The first sign of cold weather and I am ready for a hot bowl of chili. I have grown to love chili even more since I married my husband. Chili is a family favorite in the Coggins household. They mark the start of football season with the first big pot of chili, every year. And my father-in-law sure knows how to make the best chili I have ever tasted.
The problem with traditional chili is that my stomach does not digest beans well. So even though I enjoy the bowl of chili while I am eating it, I experience a very unhappy gut afterwards.
So I tried to re-create my father-in-law’s wonderful chili recipe without the beans. Instead, I substituted for lentils which are much kinder to the gut. Keep in mind, my father-in-law doesn’t have a specific recipe he goes by. He just throws all the ingredients in a pot and measures by taste. So I’ve never seen a physical copy of the delicious chili. This made my job a lot harder to re-create it but I think I came pretty close.
The Best Bean Free Chili
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 green pepper (finely chopped)
- 1/2 large red onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes (juice included)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less depending on spice preference)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup beef bone broth
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Rinse and drain lentils. Set aside. In a large pot, on medium heat, brown hamburger. Once completely browned, add green pepper, onion, and coconut oil . Cook until vegetables are translucent (approx 10 minutes).
Once hamburger and vegetables are cooked, add all other ingredients, except for lentils. Cover and simmer on low for an hour.
After an hour, pour in lentils and cook for another 30-45 minutes until lentils are cooked. Serve with cilantro, pickled jalapenos, or whatever you like!
Note: In a sealable bowl, chili will keep in the refrigerator for 7 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.