Grass-Fed Beef Chili (gluten-free, grain-free)

A few months back, through Instagram stories, I shared that I had finally perfected my chili recipe. I can’t stand when chili is too tomato-y. It takes over the dish and is way too acidic - at least for my palate. Interestingly enough, the majority of you agreed with me! I had a number of direct messages asking me for my new recipe.

I’m not sure it’s ideal chili weather anymore. My bad for taking so long to post this for you. But, here in Ontario we’re experiencing more than our fair share of rainy, windy days this spring - so, I think chili is still fair game!

For those of you who prefer a meat-free, vegetarian chili, you can check out my original Three Bean Vegetarian Chili.

This version, is (obviously) more beef-forward (I’m using quality grass-fed), contains very little tomato and is loaded with flavour. I know you’ll love it!

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I recently got myself an Instant Pot. I know, I know - I’ m super late to the game! If you can believe it, I’ve never even owned a pressure cooker or a slow cooker before.

I was so excited to dive in and start using it but MAN…it was intimidating at first! I can totally understand why some of you still have it in the box untouched.

I took 2 full weeks to practice on it. I made sure to include a ton of Instant Pot recipes on our meal plans to really test it out. Now that I’ve got my feet wet, I’m happy to give my opinion on it.

I really like it for it’s pressure cooking feature. We made a grass-fed beef stew and a chicken cacciatore that turned out AMAZING. We set the pressure cooker to about 30 minutes and both dishes tasted like they had been cooking away for hours. I would definitely make them again.

I tried the slow cooker feature and in fact, made this exact chili recipe but I didn’t love it as much as when I make it over the stove top. It lacked complexity, richness and tasted too watered down and hollow for my liking. I can, however, see how this feature is beneficial if you just want to toss all the ingredients in there, set it and walk away.

I’m also not nuts about the sauté feature, especially for meat. I don’t find I get a really nice, hard sear on anything. It more or less just steams the meat. So, I would end up searing my meat on the stovetop anyway which felt counter productive.

For me, I really like cooking and having a certain level of control with each step of the cooking process. So, I doubt the Instant Pot will be my go to appliance for everything. But, I can totally see how it’s a time saver and a fantastic option if you’re on the go.

Please feel free to leave me any Instant Pot suggestions, tips or tricks or your favourite go to recipes in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you :)

I highly recommend making this Grass-Fed Beef Chili over the stovetop for maximum flavour but you could easily do it in your Instant Pot (sorry, I’m only providing step by step directions for stovetop).

But here’s a rough breakdown of what I did in my Instant Pot:

  • Using the sauté feature, brown the beef in olive oil. Remove it from the Instant Pot.

  • Add pureed veggies and continue to sauté for a few minutes.

  • Then add packet of chili spices with hot water. Let the spices cook out a bit.

  • Add diced peppers, passata and tomato paste and let this sauté for another few minutes.

  • Cancel the sauté feature.

  • Add 1.5 cups of water, kidney beans and beef to the pot. Stir it up. Put lid on and select the slow cooker option. Cook for 30 min-1 hour.

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Grass-Fed Beef Chili

Serves 4-6


1 yellow onion, rough chop
1 carrot, rough chop
1 rib of celery, rough chop
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb grass-fed extra-lean ground beef
1 packet of chili seasoning (we like Simply Organic)
1 cup hot water
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup passata
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1-1.5 cups of water
1 14oz can kidney beans
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Prep your veggies. Roughly chop onion, carrot and celery. No need for pretty knife skills because we’re throwing this into a food processor.

  2. Add chopped onion, carrot and celery to a food processor with 2 whole cloves of garlic and pulse until fully pureed. Set aside.

  3. Prepare the ground beef. Remove it from its packaging and set it on a cutting board. Ours is usually vacuum sealed and keeps its shape. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry. Season both sides of the beef with a generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

  4. Get a large pot warming up on the stove top over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and carefully add the ground beef. Allow it to get a hard sear on each side. Roughly 4-5 minutes per side. Then using a spoon, break up the beef into small pieces. Remove it from the pot and set aside. {don’t worry if it’s not fully cooked yet - we’ll be adding it back to the pot}.

  5. Lower the heat a touch and add the pureed veggies to the pot. Sauté for about 5-8 minutes.

  6. While the veggies sauté, add packet of chili seasoning to 1 cup of hot water and whisk so there are no lumps. Add this to the veggies and cook out the spices for a few minutes.

  7. Add diced red pepper, passata and tomato paste to the pot and let all of this simmer for about 5-8 minutes.

  8. Add 1 cup of water to the pot with the kidney beans and the beef and simmer for at least 30 minutes. An hour is ideal. Occasionally check the chili, you may need to add a bit more water as it cooks out. I would add water in 1/2 cup increments so that the chili doesn’t get too watery.

  9. Taste carefully for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. Enjoy!

  10. Optional toppings: diced avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese and sliced green onions.

Do you have an instant pot? What’s your favourite recipe?
Share with me below!

Share your recipe recreations with me on Instagram @valeriepiccitto - I love to see what you’re cooking!

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