Gluten Free Chili Recipe
When you’re stuck inside on a cold winter’s evening, what brings you comfort? Maybe it’s donning your fluffiest robe and a thick pair of socks, or perhaps it’s spending the evening in front of a roaring fire with a good book. For many, it’s a hot and hearty meal shared with your family.
Chili is the ultimate comfort food and the good news for celiac disease sufferers is that it’s usually gluten free! Even if your favorite chili recipe contains gluten, it’s easy to make omissions or substitutions to come up with a delicious gluten free chili recipe the entire family is bound to love.
Whether you’re vegetarian, a meat lover, or somewhere in between, gluten free chili is a simple recipe that is easy to customize. Read on to learn some helpful tips to prepare a perfect pot of chili along with some ideas to help you spice things up.
Tips for Making Awesome Chili
The beauty of gluten free chili lies in its simplicity. Though it may seem that chili is little more than meat, beans, and tomato sauce, there’s an art to making it well.
Here are some simple tips to make the perfect pot of chili:
- Choose your meat carefully. You can easily substitute other ground meats for the traditional ground beef but be mindful of the fat content. If you use ground meat less than 90% lean you may need to drain the meat before adding the other ingredients.
- Make sure you give your gluten free chili a few minutes to cool before serving it – this gives it time to thicken up a little bit.
- Cook your chili according to the type of meat you use. Ground beef and turkey tends to cook a little faster than tougher cuts of meat. If you use chopped beef instead of ground, you may need to cook your chili for 60 to 90 minutes for it to become tender.
- Add your spices at the beginning of the recipe so they have time to “bloom.” Stir in your spices when you’re cooking the meat or softening the onions to make sure the entire recipe becomes infused with the flavor. You can always adjust the seasoning later.
- Always drain and rinse your beans before adding them to the chili. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a soupy liquid instead of a nice, thick gluten free chili.
- You can never have too much chili, but if you end up with leftovers you can easily store it in a freezer-safe container after it has cooled and freeze it for up to 6 months.
If you want to enjoy a hot pot of chili for dinner but you don’t have a lot of time after work, consider making gluten free chili in your crockpot. You simply cook the beef and onions and add them to the crockpot with the remaining ingredients (except the beans) and cook for 4 hours on high or 5 to 6 hours on low heat. Add the beans 30 minutes before serving so they heat through and you’re good to go!
Ways to Spice Up Your Chili
The key to a delicious pot of chili is choosing the right ingredients. Tender meat and flavorful spices are the backbone of a good gluten free chili, but there are plenty of ways to customize your recipe to your preferences and dietary needs.
Here are some ideas to play with flavor in your gluten free chili:
- Don’t forget the spice. Even if you’re not a fan of spicy food, a hint of spice is what makes an ordinary chili extraordinary. A pinch of cayenne pepper can make a difference or, if you’re into bolder flavors, try soaking dried chilis then pureeing the rehydrated peppers to throw in the mix.
- Add a hint of sweetness. If you like a little sweetness to balance out the heat, throw in some diced carrots or sweet potatoes. Instead of veggies, you can also add ketchup or brown sugar.
- Throw in a secret ingredient. Many family recipes for gluten free chili incorporate a “secret” ingredient that adds a depth of flavor. Some people like a teaspoon of ground coffee or cinnamon while others like a hint of acidity from vinegar or lime juice added right at the end.
- Use fresh beans. Canned beans are a convenience but if you want to give your chili something special, consider using freshly cooked beans instead.
- Serve with plenty of toppings. The only thing better than a hot bowl of gluten free chili is one with all your favorite toppings. Set out bowls of toppings so your guests can customize their bowl exactly the way they like it.
Once you’ve perfected your gluten free chili recipe, start experimenting with different ways to serve it! You may find that different toppings or different serving methods really enhance the flavor.
Things to Serve with Chili
Chili is the perfect comfort food on a cold day, but it is easy to customize according to your diet. If you’re vegetarian, simply skip the meat and load up on beans. If you’re more of a carnivore, add some ground pork or turkey to make your meal a little protein heavy. No matter how you make your chili, there are plenty of ways to enjoy it.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Dip into your chili with some buttery snack crackers or Schär Gluten Free Entertainment Crackers or crumble a few crackers over the top to add a nice crunch.
- Top your chili with fresh diced red onion or a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese. You might even add a dollop of sour cream.
- Give your meal a hearty twist by serving your chili over a bed of fresh Schär Gluten Free Penne pasta or steamed rice. Pasta and grains really absorb the flavor and kick the recipe up a notch.
- Add a kick of heat to your chili by sprinkling diced or sliced jalapeno peppers over the top – you could even try pickled jalapenos or banana peppers.
- Spoon a heaping helping of chili over a hotdog served on a Schär Gluten Free Hotdog Roll and add plenty of shredded cheese and your other favorite toppings.
- For the meat lovers in your family, top your chili with bacon bits or dice up some thick-sliced bacon yourself and fry it to a crisp for the perfect topping.
How you choose to make your chili is up to you. Maybe you have a family recipe passed down through the generations or maybe you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe to try for the first time. Here’s a gluten free chili recipe you can make in under 45 minutes to satisfy the whole family.
Recipe: Gluten Free Chili with Noodles
Whip up a pot of hot and hearty gluten free chili in under 45 minutes with this simple recipe. Serve spooned over tender noodles or enjoy the chili on its own topped with shredded cheese.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef (85% lean)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ cups beef broth or stock
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 box Schär Gluten Free Fusilli
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- ¾ cup sour cream (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
- Add the diced onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until they start to soften.
- Stir in the ground beef, using a wooden spoon to break it into smaller crumbles.
- Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring as needed, until the meat is browned.
- Stir in the tomato paste, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder.
- Season with salt and pepper then stir until well combined.
- Drizzle in the beef broth while stirring then stir in the diced tomatoes, beans, and tomato sauce.
- Stir until well combined then bring the chili to a low boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer on medium-low for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, bring a stockpot of salted water to boil.
- Add the Schär Gluten Free Fusilli and cook to al dente according to the directions.
- Drain the pasta and set aside, covering to keep warm.
- When the chili is done, remove from heat and let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- Spoon your chili over fresh Schär Gluten Free Fusilli and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese or add a dollop of sour cream to serve.
Notes: If you’re looking for a lighter meal or a simple way to enjoy reheated chili, skip the Schär Gluten Free Fusilli and dip into your chili with some Schär Gluten Free Entertainment Crackers. Chili is a recipe where the flavor is really best the next day, anyway, once the flavors have time to develop!