• Mara Shanahan

Chili (Whole30, Paleo)

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

The snow fell hard last night where we are and today is a cozy Sunday at home, punctuated with shoveling the driveway and playing in the snow. A perfect day to make this spicy and tummy filling Chili!

I first picked up this recipe from The Movement Menu, but I've tweaked it quite a bit to suit my taste, while still keeping the best of what she offers in her recipe. Most especially, the cinnamon! This warm spice might seem like an odd addition to chili, but it really steps up the flavor and compliments the chili well.

This is a quick recipe, but I like to make it hours ahead of schedule and let it simmer on the stove for most of the day. This really lets those spices meld into the meat and cooks down the tomato juices so you end up with a thick, spicy, hearty chili filled with flavor. I serve with diced avocado on top if I'm following Whole30, and with a bit of shredded cheddar on top if I am not. A couple cans of beans would complement this chili well, if you're not trying to make it Whole30 or Paleo friendly and you wanted to bulk up the amount. I like to add riced cauliflower to up the vegetable content without detracting from the flavor, but you could add lots of different veggies to make your own creation and it would be equally delicious! I also use grass-fed beef, but you could substitute ground turkey if that is your preference.

This is a great recipe to make in bulk to cook for your freezer! My recipe below makes 3 to 4 dinners for our family of 3.


Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: ~20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, minimum - let simmer longer for deeper flavor!


  • 2 Tablespoons cooking fat of your choice (I use sugar-free bacon fat! You could use avocado oil, ghee, or olive oil)

  • 1 large or 2 small white onions, diced

  • 3 red peppers, diced

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef

  • 1 Tablespoon cumin

  • 1 Tablespoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder (can be adjusted to taste)

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

  • 1 can diced green chiles (4 oz)

  • 3 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes (14 oz)

  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)

  • 1/4 cup coffee

  • 1 package frozen riced cauliflower (12 oz)


  1. Let large pot heat on medium burner for 2 minutes, then add cooking fat of choice.

  2. Add chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes.

  3. Add chopped peppers and sauté an additional 5 minutes.

  4. Add ground beef and break it up with a spoon, add minced garlic and all spices. Stir and continue to break up the beef until browned throughout. This should take about 5 minutes.

  5. Add green chiles, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and coffee and give it all a good stir.

  6. Add frozen riced cauliflower and give it another stir.

  7. Put the lid on the pot, turn up the heat to medium-high, and bring it to boil. Let boil for 10 minutes, give it another stir, then turn the burner down all the way to low.

  8. Let simmer for 2 hours, or up to 5 hours. Give it a good stir every 45 minutes or so.

  9. Serve with your favorite chili toppings! Avocado is great for keeping it Whole30. We've also used shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and served with corn muffins. Yum!

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