Smokey Bacon Chili {bean-free}




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About a month ago, I signed up to bring chili to our church’s Pinewood Derby and Chili Cook-Off activity. The derby was for everyone, not just the scouts, so I took that opportunity and got all Pinterest-y and found lots of tips to make a super fast derby car with my oldest daughter. I was bound and determined to beat my husband and son.

Pinewood Derby Cars

The boys’ car on the left and the girls’ car on the right. The boys won 🙁

The day of the activity came up really fast and we were all painting cars and adding graphite to the wheels up until it was time to leave. About an hour before we had to leave the house, while I was getting ready, Rob asked me “Aren’t you making chili?”.

Smokey Bacon Chili {bean-free} by Our Paleo Life

I had completely spaced on that and had absolutely nothing done. Nothing. So I enlisted the help of my father-in-law who was visiting at the time (thank goodness for that man dropping anything to help me out, I struck gold in the “in-law department”), and we got to cooking. While I was racing around (pun absolutely not intended) trying to figure out what ingredients I needed, he was busily chopping onions and peppers and browning ground beef.

The thing about the chili cook-off is that there was a trophy involved, and it was a trophy I wanted. A gold hulk-like figure ripping off his shirt with a “V” for victory on his chest. Just hilarious. But I knew deep down that my last minute attempts to throw together a chili would not be trophy-worthy.

Smokey Bacon Chili {bean-free} by Our Paleo Life

We managed to make a really great chili, I was actually surprised at how good it turned out. But sadly, I did not come home with a trophy. So I set out to make a few adjustments to that initial attempt and got the flavor fine-tuned. Now I just need another Chili Cook-Off to attend…

Smokey Bacon Chili {bean-free} by Our Paleo Life

Smokey Bacon Chili {bean-free}

This is our family's favorite chili, and not just because it has bacon in it. It's not too spicy for the kids but still has enough spice and flavor for the adults. It's so hearty and tastes so good, you won't even notice there are no beans in it.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 534kcal
Author Kendra Benson



  • In a large stockpot, add the diced bacon and cook over medium heat until fully cooked and crispy, stirring occasionally to keep them from burning. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  • In the same pot, in the bacon grease, add the diced peppers, onions, celery, and minced garlic. Saute until crisp tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables and set aside.
  • Add ground beef to the same pot and brown completely, breaking up into crumbles with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • When the beef is completely cooked, add the vegetables, bacon, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and all spices to the pot. Stir to mix everything evenly and reduce heat to low.
  • Cover pot and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot with Paleo Cornbread (unless you're on a Whole30, then just eat it plain).


Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1081mg | Potassium: 549mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1330IU | Vitamin C: 28.5mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2.3mg



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Last Updated 03/23/2020

6 Responses to “Smokey Bacon Chili {bean-free}”

  1. Carbs? per serving. want to make this as it sounds delicious. thanks.

  2. @Virginia, I don’t usually calculate nutritional data, but if you need that, you can use an online tool such as Spark People ( I haven’t measured out the serving size, so I don’t have that info readily available for you.

  3. Sounds like it would be pretty low the tomato and tomato paste seem to be all that would really add.

  4. I made this tonight! My girls, (10 & 5), loved it! I have to blend the veggies to paste to hide them, they don’t like chunks of vegetables, but it was delicious. I personally will add a bit more cayane pepper to up the flavor when I serve only adults but this one is going to make my rotation.

  5. 5 stars
    I’m on Whole 30 now and plan to make this yummy recipe!!! I’m going to put it over a baked potato … sounds good!!!

  6. Can you make this in the crock pot?


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