Tomato Free Zesty Chili


While I love tomatoes of all sorts cooked into almost any form, I also know that this savory fruit can be unkind to those with acid reflux and related disorders. My husband enjoys traditional northern chili, but his stomach complains when he eats it. To solve this problem, I wanted to develop a red chili with no tomatoes. This quest seemed puzzling until I realized that we had been enjoying just such a soup at a local burger diner. During one of our many visits there over the past couple years, I closely examined the soup, spoonful by spoonful, and determined that what set this concoction apart from other local chili was the lack of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.

I don’t wish to encroach on this local favorite by copying it, so I made a chili this afternoon that was significantly spicier than the diner chili.

Tomato Free Zesty Chili

Serves 8

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 quart reduced sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 – 15.5 oz can hot chili beans, undrained
  • 1 – 15.5 oz can dark red kidney beans, undrained
  • 2 – 1.25 oz packets Tex Mex chili seasoning (or 2 packets of your preferred chili seasoning mix)

Sprinkle ground beef with 1 T chili powder. Brown and crumble in dutch oven, drain excess fat. Mix 1/2 cup beef broth and corn starch to make a slurry. Pour remainder of the quart of broth into dutch oven. Bring to a bare simmer and whisk in slurry. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring gently. Let boil for two minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in both cans of beans and the seasoning packets. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Enjoy.

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