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Two-Bean Beef Chili

Recipe Type

Makes 6 servings20 minutes hands on time60 minutes total time

Chili often contains a long ingredient list that can include everything from butter and bacon to brown sugar and even chocolate. This well-rounded recipe retains the hearty essence of chili without the extra fat and carbs.

This lower-carb version of classic beef and bean chili is ridiculously easy to make. If you’d like to lower the carbs even further, consider swapping in another half-pound of beef for 1 can of beans (you can still call it “Two-Bean Chili,” and we’ll never tell) and/or adding a couple of diced zucchini when you’re cooking the vegetables. Also, once you’ve gotten through the third step, feel free to pop the chili in a slow cooker and let it finish out its time in there for 2 to 3 hours on low.

Recipe Details: Two-Bean Beef Chili

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Makes: 6 servings

Total carbohydrates: 27 grams per serving

Recipe Note

Unlike true chile powder, which contains only ground, dried chiles, chili powder blend also contains other seasonings, typically cumin, garlic, and oregano.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1-1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder blend (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can pinto or pink beans (not drained)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans (not drained)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • White vinegar, to taste
  • Toppings such as grated cheese, sour cream, chopped red onions, and hot sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until the vegetables are tender but not browned, around 10 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to high and crumble the ground beef into the pot. Sauté, breaking up the clumps with a spatula, until the meat is starting to brown and sizzle, around 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to low.
  3. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, and salt, and stir just until the spices are fragrant, around 15 seconds. Add in the beans with their liquid and the tomatoes.
  4. Simmer the chili, uncovered and occasionally stirred, until thickened, about 30-45 minutes. Give it a taste, and if it is not completely fantastic, try to figure out what it needs. More salt? A dash of white vinegar? Add it and taste again, repeating until the chili tastes perfect.
  5. Serve in bowls, letting everyone top their own chili at the table.


Photo Credit: Catherine Newman