Minimalist Carnivore Chili

I love eating chili that’s a mixture of a dozen or so ingredients. When I make it, it usually takes me a couple of hours, chopping, dicing, and pressing everything by hand, and then allowing all the flavors to blend together in a simmering pot.

Then I discovered that chili can be delicious and enjoyable without ANY plants … other than spices. I discovered that while I enjoy a nice bowl of ‘complex’ chili… what I really loved is the blending together of the three main ingredients…. meat, chili powder and cumin!

This ‘discovery’ hit home when I made a bowl of minimalist Carnivore Chili … chili without the use of plants (other than spices). For those who may not know, “Full-carnivore” is avoiding all plant-based foods.

Why Full Carnivore Chili?

Or… Why go full-carnivore?

Books have been written on this topic but for the purposes of this post I’ll be very brief.

The short answer: Plants have toxins as defense mechanisms such as oxalate, phytate, lectins etc. Individual toxicity depends on the dose (the amount consumed) and a person’s sensitivity to the toxins.

Bottom Line: Many people have experienced health improvements from slight to dramatic results going full-carnivore. If you have tried low-carb, keto, paleo, etc and you haven’t reached your desired potential, or if you have some nagging ailments that aren’t resolved … I urge you to give it a try.

I did for about three years and I loved it. (See summary post from 2017). After a brief period of adding plants back to my diet this past spring and early summer, I’m back to “Diabetic Carnivore 2.0“.

Note: Some who eat a ‘full-carnivore’ diet eat only meat, and drink only water. They don’t use plant-based spices. If that’s your ‘thing’, this chili recipe obviously isn’t for you. You can’t make chili without plants … plants like chili peppers. 😎

On with the recipe!

Carnivore Chili Ingredients

Below are my main ingredients for my chili, and what I now call my ‘base recipe’.

Note: If this is your first time making chili, you may want to use the lessor of the amounts given below. I usually use even more than listed… I do love my chili and cumin!

3 lbs of ground/chopped meat: I usually use beef, poultry, or pork.

chili powder: 2 -3 tablespoons

cumin: 1 – 2 tablespoons

salt: 1 tablespoon

black pepper: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon

cayenne pepper: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon

paprika: 1 tablespoon

grated cheese, sour cream or full fat yogurt (optional)

water, broth or coffee – add depending on thickness preference and length of cooking. I usually use water unless I have broth. Broth adds another level of awesomeness!

Hot Sauces are Optional … but Awesome!

I love adding hot sauces to the chili, especially the ones listed below. The last time I checked, these contained no sugar or other ‘junk’ added. Always check ingredients… you never know when someone may change things up.

Approved Hot Sauces: Texas Pete, Crystal’s, Louisiana and Tabasco to name a few, but while I’ve been in Canada I’ve been using Frank’s. From their website, the ingredients.


Frank’s RedHot Sauce – not very hot, but nice flavor (click here)

Cooking: Quick, Simple and Easy

I produced a video (below), also the steps are included in the next section. Even with me narrating as I cooked… it only took about 12 minutes to prepare.

Note: This was my first time cooking on video in years … and it was my first time videoing in Kelly’s kitchen, so there is a lot of room for improvement. πŸ˜ƒ

Cooking Steps

  1. Brown the meat in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet. I avoid using Teflon coated pans.
  2. As the meat is browning, I add in the ingredients, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne, stirring often.
  3. If desired add grated cheese, sour cream, or plain full fat yogurt.

That’s IT! Quick, simple, delicious and nutritious!

Note: You may need to add water, broth, or coffee depending on how ‘wet’ you want the chili. Leave it ‘less wet’ if you are using as a topping for hot dogs or hamburgers (bunless of course).

Below you can see a favorite ‘chili utilization’ technique. Poaching or cooking the eggs in chili. It is DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS and diabetic friendly!

Evolution of my Chili Recipes

When I first began making chili after a diabetes diagnosis, I typically made chili with greatly reduced carbs. I avoided beans completely and reduced the amount of tomatoes in the chili.

I did use onions, garlic, celery, and green peppers bringing the approximate carb total to less than 5 grams per cup. Click here for the original chili post.

Then I realized that I didn’t need tomatoes … at all. So for years my recipe was bean-less, tomato-less chili … it was awesome!

Then I began to experiment with Minimalist Carnivore Chili … honestly, I never looked back. The main flavors I love are the meat, chili powder and cumin. Add a nice cheddar cheese to the mix and I’m in food heaven.

Carnivore chili is so quick and easy! Occasionally when I make chili, the thought crosses my mind to add garlic, onions, and maybe other vegetables … but then I think, “I ain’t got time for that!” They just aren’t worth the flavor-to-hassle ratio.

If I am making chili to ‘show off’ in the future … yes, I may take the time to chop, dice and press… but who’s got time for that? πŸ˜ƒ

Chili is Diabetic Friendly

I usually eat very simply, I am a simple man. Chili is as complicated as I get with food prep. And since going to a minimalist Carnivore Chili … even chili is quick and easy. It’s also still very tasty.

As I have evolved to lower and lower carb versions… chili has gotten even MORE diabetic friendly.

Below are past posts, some display the different ways I use chili to flavor or showcase other foods.

Chili Bacon & Eggs
Chicken and Chili
Chili Cheese Bacon Zucchini Boats

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