FEAST FOR FREEDOM
Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

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Categories: Main Dishes - Beef    

Also referred to as Chili with Hamburger, or even simply Chili, this tomato bean stew is truly a North American family favorite. It can be served with fresh bread or Cheese Buns, or even corn bread, and sprinkled with grated Mozzarella or Cheddar and some diced onions.

Bowl of chili con carne sprinkled with grated mozzarella and sliced green onions
Image by: Thora Toft
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1:30 hours Makes: 4 to 6 servings Difficulty: Medium
Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Grain free Soy free

Chili is a common fall or winter dish, but I love it in the summer. Summer is when I'm the busiest, and I like to spend more time outside and a bit less in the kitchen.

Chili Con Carne is great on hot dogs, so think about adding it to a hot dog cook out, whether over a fire pit or on the barbecue.

It also works great when camping, and is really easy to reheat over a fire.

Use all organic ingredients. Ensure all the dried spices are labeled certified gluten free and any packaged items are labeled gluten free, including the canned tomatoes and canned or dried beans.

Pro tips for perfect Chili:
  • You can use a slow cooker or prepare this on the stove. To use a slow cooker, follow the directions for your slow cooker to brown the meat and fry the onions. Ensure you use enough water as recommended by your slow cooker, and cook for the recommended time, about 2 to 3 hours on high, or 4 to 6 hours on low. The chili may be more liquidy when done in a slow cooker.
  • This is a great dish to make extra of so you can freeze it to enjoy later. If you have a big enough pot, you can double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe, for use another day. Planning ahead and making extra can really help speed up dinner when you're busy or in a hurry.
  • This stores really well in the fridge for about 4 days, and some people feel it tastes better the next day.
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Tomatoes: This can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes, we show you how to do both. You can also use fresh stewed tomatoes or plain tomato sauce instead of the tomato paste.
  • Kidney beans: There is instructions on using either canned kidney beans, or dried kidney beans. There's even some tips on how to pre soak a whole package of dried beans all at once.
  • Oregano and basil: You can use either dried or fresh oregano and basil. You can even skip these if you don't have them, and it will turn out just as good.
  • Hamburger: This dish works using ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef. You can even use 50% ground beef with 50% ground pork. This is a really flexible dish!
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Chili Con Carne
Also called Chili with Hamburger, or even just Chili, this is truly a North American family favorite. Serve it with fresh bread or Cheese Buns, or even corn bread, and sprinkle it with grated Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese and some sliced green onions.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1:30 hours Makes: 4 to 6 servings Difficulty: Medium
Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Grain free Soy free
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Butter, Lard or coconut oil
1 large Onion, chopped
2 stalks Celery, with leaves, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 small Hot pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon Cumin
2 to 4 tablespoons Chili powder
2 teaspoons Sea salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons Dried oregano, coarse
1 tablespoon Dried basil, coarse
28 ounce can Tomatoes, plain, chopped
6 ounce can Tomato paste
1 pound Ground beef
15.5 ounce can Kidney beans
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Basil and Oregano: You can use fresh basil and oregano if desired. Use 3 to 6 tablespoons of chopped oregano, and 3 tablespoons of chopped basil. These herbs are actually optional, so if you don't have them, they're perfectly fine to skip - your chili will still turn out terrific!
  • Tomatoes: This can be made using fresh tomatoes and / or plain tomato sauce. You can use 4 cups of chopped tomatoes instead of the canned tomatoes. When using fresh tomatoes, you'll need to add some liquid. Cook longer, about 20 minutes, with the onion mixture, to cook the tomatoes a bit before adding to the ground beef.
  • Tomato paste: You can use plain canned tomato sauce instead of tomato paste (15 ounce can) (NOT spaghetti sauce). You could also use 1 cup of stewed tomatoes instead of the tomato paste.
  • Kidney beans: You can use dried kidney beans. You will need to soak them overnight. To do this, measure out a heaping 1/2 cup of dried beans (to use instead of the 15 ounce can). Rinse under running water. Add to glass bowl, and cover with water. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Rinse and add fresh water once or twice, after 4 to 6 hours, and add more vinegar. Soak for 12 hours total. When done, rinse very well under running water. Discard any weird looking beans.
  • You can soak the entire package of beans all at once. When soaked, you can premeasure them into about 2 cups and freeze (or any quantity you want). Then you'll have ready made beans for the future that are quicker to prep. Simply thaw them out and cook as normal, as you would with canned beans. If you do this, use 2 cups soaked beans for this recipe, then freeze the rest.
  • Ground beef: This chili works equally well with 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork. Or 100% ground chicken or ground turkey.
  • Dairy free: Use Lard or coconut oil for frying the onion mixture. Use your favorite non dairy cheese to sprinkle on the chili.
Directions:
  • Prepare the vegetables and beans. Chop onions, celery, garlic and hot pepper. Cut canned tomatoes into small pieces. You will be using the tomato liquid, so be sure to keep it. Drain and rinse the canned beans really well.
  • Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When lightly bubbling, add onions, garlic, celery and hot peppers. Add cumin, chili powder, sea salt, black pepper, oregano and basil. Stir and fry until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  • Heat large pot over medium heat. Add ground beef. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally and break up into small pieces.
  • Add chopped canned tomatoes with juice, and tomato paste, to onion mixture. Mix and cook until hot, about 10 minutes.
  • When ground beef is browned and tomoto mixture is hot, add tomato mixture to ground beef. Stir and bring to a light bubbling. Add kidney beans.
  • At this point, you can add water if needed. The chili needs to cook for an hour, so you need enough moisture so it won't burn, and the kidney beans will absorb some of the water, and some liquid will evaporate.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer. Check on it every 15 minutes, and give it a stir being careful to not be too rough, so the kidney beans don't break up too much. Add a bit of water if needed.
  • During the last 15 minutes, you want to let the moisture reduce so the chili is nice and thick. If there is still too much liquid, then remove the lid, and increase the heat a little bit. Stir often so it doesn't stick to the bottom, and reduce heat when the liquid is reduced enough.

Sprinkle with some grated Mozzarella or cheddar cheese, some diced green or red onions, and even a dollop of Guacamole or sour cream. Serve with some fresh hot Cheese Buns and enjoy!

Note: Use all organic ingredients. Ensure all the dried spices are labeled certified gluten free and any packaged or jarred items are labeled gluten free.

Freezing: This Chili freezes really well, so you can make a double batch (or more) and measure it out and freeze it. This will keep in the freezer, in a well sealed container, for about 4 to 6 months. Be sure to let chili cool completely before putting into freezer.

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