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This whole eating healthy thing? It is SO DOABLE, not just in January, but year round! To state my case, here is an, healthy, all in one meal for you: Whole30 Chili. It’s made with wholesome, nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes and lean meat, it’s is high in protein and fiber, and (this is key!) it is rich in flavor and ultra satisfying.

A bowl of Whole30 chili made with sweet potatoes and lean beef, no beans, topped with avocado slices

The first week of January sometimes feels like a polar plunge from the warm, cozy hug of holiday cookies and champagne into dry, cold, “healthy” food. It doesn’t have to be this way!

I passionately believe that eating well should not to taste like a sacrifice. Healthy recipes like this one shouldn’t require you to spend a fortune on ingredients or make trips to specialty stores. That’s my goal with my recipes here (especially the ones in my upcoming cookbook!).

Whether or not you are following a Whole30 diet, this Whole30 chili is a worthy recipe to make and eat year-round. It’s thick and hearty the way a good chili should be. The spices are complex, it’s made to be smothered in yummy chili toppings, and it’s also packed with healthy ingredients to make it a wholesome, well-rounded meal.

This recipe is my top-rated Instant Pot Paleo Chili. It uses the same sneak healthy ingredient (a can of pumpkin—trust me, it’s beyond delish!), but it cooks on the stovetop.

Chili is also a meal prepper’s dream. You could chop the sweet potatoes, onion, and bell peppers in the morning or the night before, then finish up the recipe when you get home from work. Since chili tastes even better the next day, you could also cook it one weekend afternoon, then warm it up for fast, healthy lunches and Whole30 dinners all week long.

Since this recipe is Whole30 compliant (and also Paleo compliant, grain free, and gluten free), I made the chili without beans. If you aren’t concerned with the recipe being diet specific, you can certainly add black beans or kidney beans if you like—this is what I often do when I make my Turkey Chili Instant Pot.

Delicious Whole30 recipe made on the stovetop and served in bowls with avocado slices

How to Make The Best Whole30 Chili Recipe

Feel free to adjust the spices and even vegetables in this recipe to your taste. You could swap the sweet potatoes for butternut squash or even carrots. Like your chili spicy? Toss in an extra pinch cumin or chipotle chili powder.

The Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Beef. Meat makes this chili hearty and filling. You can also make the chili with ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer. For something more adventurous, try ground bison. It has flavor similar to beef but is leaner (this is actually what I use most often for this recipe).
  • Sweet Potatoes. Fiber rich, high in antioxidants, and they add a serving of vegetables, making this chili a healthy all-in-one dinner. You can also make the whole30 chili with butternut squash or with carrots instead.
  • Red and Green Bell Peppers. More veggies (which means more nutrients) and more flavor too.
  • Pumpkin Puree. I realize this sounds nuts, but it works so, so well here. The chili doesn’t taste like pumpkin; rather, the pumpkin makes the chili extra rich and thick and sneaks in yet another serving of vegetables.
  • Spices. A combination of salt, pepper, oregano, chipotle chili powder, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon produces the perfect amount of heat and rich flavor.
  • Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. A staple in my pantry, fire roasted diced tomatoes add immediate flavor to the chili.
  • Toppings! One of the best parts of a bowl of chili is the way you top it off. See below for more suggestions.

The Directions

  1. Add ghee to a large Dutch oven. Once hot, add meat, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until meat is browned.
  2. Add the spices, and stir to coat.
  3. Splash in part of the broth, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining broth and vegetables.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cover part of the pot with a lid. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with desired toppings, and ENJOY!

Sweet potato chili served in a bowl with jalapenos and avocado slices

What to Eat with Whole30 Chili

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently reheat chili in a large pot on the stove over medium heat until hot, adding splashes of broth or water as needed. You can also rewarm this chili in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Make Ahead. Chop the sweet potatoes, peppers, and onions. Brown the meat and sauté the onions, coating both in the spices. Store them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. When ready to cook, begin with Step 3 and finish cooking as directed.

The best Whole30 chili recipe in a bowl with avocado and jalapeno

More Favorite Chili Recipes

Recommended Tools to Make Whole30 Chili

  • Dutch Oven. The ideal sturdy pot for making this chili.
  • Ladle. Makes it easy to transfer soup to bowls and storage containers.
  • Cutting Board. I love how much space this one has!

Two bowls of chili that are Whole30 compliant and delicious

Here’s to eating foods you love without giving up the big, bold flavors that make meal time exciting!

Whole30 Chili

5 from 31 votes
A rich, hearty Whole30 chili with no beans. Easy stovetop recipe loaded with healthy ingredients like sweet potatoes. Not too spicy and SO delicious!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound 90% to 93% lean ground beef or ground turkey, ground bison, or a mix (I used 85% lean ground bison)
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground chipotle chili powder use less if you prefer a less spicy chili
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water divided
  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices make sure they are no sugar added if you are looking to be truly Whole30 compliant
  • Sliced jalapeno avocado, chopped cilantro, or red onion, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large Dutch oven or similar large, sturdy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the ghee or oil. When it is hot, add the meat, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking apart and browning the meat, until the it is no longer pink and the onion is beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. If it seems very greasy, drain it off (the amount of fat that cooks off will depend upon the meat you use).
  • Add the oregano, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Stir to evenly coat the meat and vegetables with the spices. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Splash in about 1/2 cup of the broth and run a wooden spoon or rubber spatula along the bottom of the pot to scrape up any brown bits (this is flavor!). Add the next 1 1/2 cups broth, sweet potato, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, pumpkin and diced tomatoes and stir to evenly combine.
  • Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Use a lid to cover the pot part way. Continue to simmer until the chili is thickened and the sweet potatoes have softened, stirring it periodically to prevent it from sticking, about 20 to 30 additional minutes. If the chili isn't becoming as thick as you like, let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes without the lid. If the chili seems too thick, stir in additional broth to reach your desired consistency (chili thickness is completely personal preference. We like ours fairly thick, and the chili will thicken further as it cools too). Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with desired toppings.

Video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently reheat chili in a large pot on the stove over medium heat until hot, adding splashes of broth or water as needed. You can also rewarm this chili in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Chop the sweet potatoes, peppers, and onions. Brown the meat and sauté the onions, coating both in the spices. Store them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. When ready to cook, begin with Step 3 and finish cooking as directed.
  • TO MAKE IN THE SLOW COOKER: Sauté the meat, onions, and spices in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Transfer to a lightly greased 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  • TO COOK IN THE INSTANT POT: See my Instant Pot Paleo Chili.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6); about 1 2/3 cupCalories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 21gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 50mgPotassium: 761mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 16269IUVitamin C: 73mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 5mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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69 Comments

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  1. My husband asked for chili since it’s soup season (still 94 degrees in Phoenix!), but I had already purchased sweet potatoes for something different. I’m glad I found this recipe so I could use my potatoes and make chili to satisfy my husband. It’s really delicious and tastes like fall, even if it’s still summer where we live.5 stars

  2. A family favorite and crowd-pleaser! Thank you for sharing this! We do have to cut WAY back on the chipotle chili powder, as it is way too spicy for us otherwise.

  3. I stumbled across this recipe when starting Whole30 a few months ago and LOVED it. It is now my go-to lunch. I make a batch almost every week and freeze individual portions in Mason jars. Then I stick a jar in the fridge the night before I need it, take it to work the next day to be microwaved, and slice an avocado on top. Yummmmmmmmmm.5 stars

  4. Had a nice flavor. I grated the sweet potatoes so they cooked quickly and I like the texture better.
    I also doubled the meat because I made it too spicy and I was trying not to ruin the flavor profile too much.

    Thanks for giving me something else to eat while doing whole30. I’ve been repeating the same 5 meals for the past 3 weeks.5 stars

  5. Great recipe! My husband likes it better than regular chili. I do too! Thank you. Whole 30 or not, it’s a keeper.5 stars

  6. I love this so much. I did find it too spicy the first time I made it so I added another pound of ground beef to it and loved how it turned out so I usually do 1.5-2 lbs of meat. I also grate the sweet potato and prefer it this way.

    My son loves this too. Very healthy!5 stars

  7. Excellent recipe! I am trying to add more vegetables to my diet & eat healther. This recipe will be on my rotation. Could not taste the pumpkin, but it added so much to the consistency & overall flavor. Thank you Erin!5 stars

  8. I was worried that the sweet potato might make the flavor profile strange, but this was DELICIOUS! Will definitely make again. Based on other reviews, I cut the chili powders in half, and it was perfect.5 stars

  9. I have been making this since you came to our CrossFit box and did a seminar before you published the book and you had a stapled copy of it. I make it all the time. Back than you used unsweetened chocolate powder so I still use that recipe. I tried the pumpkin puree this time to thicken it and loved it. Thanks for such great recipes.5 stars

  10. Obsessed with this, I’ve made it twice now. The pumpkin puree is genius! I suggest swapping in poblano peppers for some of the bell peppers, because they pair well so nicely the sweet potato.

    This time I doubled it so I could fill my freezer with leftovers – it reheats wonderfully.5 stars

  11. I make this REGULARLY during cold months! It’s also my go to for when I have to feed guests because I am an anxious cook and I KNOW this will turn out so good every time! I’ve made it with the beef and with bison! Both were so yummy!5 stars

  12. I’ve made this 20+ times and love it so much. The only tweaks I made were to skip the ghee and just cook the onions with the beef (there is enough fat being released from the meat that added isn’t necessary). I also grate the sweet potato which I like the texture of better. I actually have a double batch on the stove now. Can’t wait to dig in. Thanks for sharing this recipe5 stars

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