Skip to main content

Paleo Beef & Bacon Chili


I feel like the differences in mine and Neil’s taste emerge in our chili choices. While I prefer more veggies and hints of coffee or chocolate (Mocha Tofu Chili anyone?), he prefers meat and heat. So this past weekend, when he was craving a “red-hot meaty chili”, he went down to the kitchen at 11 p.m. and came up with this recipe. Have I mentioned I love him?


This is a fairly traditional red chili with beef and plenty of tomatoes, however the addition of beer and veggies gives it a wonderfully complementary sauce and texture.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 teaspoon cumin (ground or seeds)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 pound of thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 green peppers, stemmed and sliced
3 dried red chiles, sliced
2 onions, diced
4 carrots, sliced thinly
8-10 tomatoes quartered
8-10 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup beer (we used a stout, however anything works!)
Greek Yogurt for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season beef with salt and pepper, add it to the pot and brown it. As its browning, break up with wooden spoon and stir gently until it loses its raw color, around 6-8 minutes. Stir in cumin and oregano. When cooked through, drain off some of the liquid.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook, turning over until it begins to brown, around 4 minutes. Remove from heat to a plate with paper-towels. After several minutes, chop finely.
  3. Add beef and bacon to crock pot with remaining ingredients (except Greek yogurt) and stir until thoroughly combined. Set Crock to low and go about your business for 5-6 hours.
  4. Garnish with Greek Yogurt because it’s better than sour cream.

Makes 6-8 servings


I always feel weird writing out crock pot recipes — like I’m cheating and should really be developing more process-intensive (read: legit) stove top directions. Looking around at other people’s chili recipes, it seems like most are written for stove top + 2 hours of slow cooking. I just can’t convince myself to go that route vs. going crock pot. You might laugh, but my skewed logic is “why be mindful for two hours when I can be absent for 5-6?” Am I just that lazy, or is there a super secret tastiness we’re missing out on by not going stove top?

Do you prefer stove top or crock pot?


  • Rachel says:

    I’m totally game for crock pot chili unless dinner ideas are zero and I have a lot of things to make chili so stove top is my best option. Like yesterday 🙂

  • camille says:

    I like both ways, and I don’t think slow-cooker recipes are “cheating” or what have you, but I’m more likely to make a chili on the stove simply because we have a teensy slow-cooker, and chili is something you want to make big amounts of so you can have leftovers!

    • Jessica says:

      Definitely! We make huge batches when we make it too. I love cooking, but it’s so nice to come home some nights and not have to worry about it you know?