February 24 is National Chili Day. If you’re looking for an AIP-friendly recipe, I’m going to tell you about this delicious hot, comforting chili on a cold day! This AIP chili is made in the slow cooker, which makes the most flavorful chili without extra work for you. This nightshade-free chili is loaded with healthy and hearty vegetables, protein, and flavor. This is a great chili recipe to keep on hand when serving a crowd because it can easily be doubled, it stays warm in the slow cooker, and it requires very little hands-on cooking time.
This chili is AIP- and paleo-friendly and well-loved even by those who are not on a special diet!
Chili in the slow cooker
Chili is one of my favorite things to make in the slow cooker because it is so easy to make a large batch of chili without having to stand over the stove. The chili can stay warm in the slow cooker for hours and is perfect for a family dinner, a party, or for game day. This chili is ready in about 4 hours, but you can keep it cooking for as long as 6 hours to let the flavors meld even more.
The key to making amazing slow cooker chili is to first brown the ground beef in a skillet, along with the diced onions and seasonings. This helps break up the ground beef and gives it more flavor as opposed to just adding raw ground beef to the slow cooker. This step takes just a few minutes and makes for the best chili!
I recommend using organic ground beef from grass-fed beef because it is a healthier option than using grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is lower in fat because grass-fed cows have a more clean and natural diet, and at the same time it contains more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. These fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and help with depression. In addition, ground beef is high in protein, which helps build and repair muscle tissue, and in iron, which helps blood carry oxygen and reduce the risk of anemia.
AIP nightshade-free chili
In order to make this chili nightshade-free, I had to make a few clever substitutions for the traditional tomato and pepper ingredients that are in chili. In this recipe I use finely diced sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots. The combination of the orange and red veggies give this AIP chili a classic reddish hue and lots of texture. I dice the veggies very small to resemble the texture of beans, and slow cooking the veggies makes them soft and tender.
The veggies not only give this chili a great flavor, texture, and color, but they’re also very healthy. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as fiber, manganese and potassium. These nutrients help keep our digestive system and immune systems healthy. Beets are also high in fiber, and they help control healthy blood sugar levels. Beets also contain nitrates, which help widen blood vessels and improve blood pressure and brain function.
I also use a little pumpkin puree to thicken the beef broth. The other flavorful broth additions are fresh ginger, which gives this chili a nice spice, as well as fresh garlic, onion, and several seasonings: dried oregano, ground cumin, and ground ginger.
The veggies and broth are added to the slow cooker after the ground beef is browned, and the chili is cooked for 4-6 hours on the high setting.
Favorite AIP chili toppings
I topped this chili with diced avocado and fresh cilantro to serve. Other favorite AIP-friendly chili toppings to try are: sliced radishes, diced scallions, a dollop of unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, and guacamole. Chili is also amazing when served with the corn-free cornbread from this stuffing recipe.
More slow cooker recipes to try:
AIP Slow Cooker Chili
4 hours, 10 minutes
- 1 lb 454.00 g ground beef
- 1 tbsp 14.79 ml olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch 2.54 cm ginger root peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp 14.79 ml dried oregano
- 1 tsp 4.93 ml ground cumin
- 1 tsp 4.93 ml ground ginger
- 1 tsp 4.93 ml sea salt
- 1 tsp 4.93 ml ground black pepper
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 small beets peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 small carrot peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup 60.00 ml pumpkin puree
- 2 cups 480.00 ml The Myers Way® Bone Broth Collagen Beef flavored
- 1 avocado chopped for serving
- cilantro for garnish
- lime for serving
- Preheat a large skillet with olive oil. Add the ground beef, diced onion, minced garlic, and minced ginger to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the beef with a spatula, for 5-10 minutes, or until the ground beef is browned. It does not have to cook all the way through. Add the next 5 ingredients to the skillet (dried oregano through black pepper) and stir.
- Transfer the browned ground beef to a slow cooker. Add the next 5 ingredients (sweet potato through beef broth) and stir well.
- Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until the vegetables are tender and easily pierced with a fork, and the ground beef is fully cooked.
- Serve warm with toppings and garnishes of your choice, such as avocado, freshly squeezed lime juice, and fresh herbs.