This chili without tomatoes and beans is a Texas-style chili and has the perfect amount of heat and is super thick with tender chunks of meat. It’s made in one-pot and totally gluten free and paleo. Served with some warm cornbread or tortilla chips, it’s the perfect recipe for a cool, fall night.

You can’t get more Texas than a bowl of chili. It’s the official state dish and many people here have recipes that have been in their family for years. But there’s one thing that remains consistent – there are no beans in Texas chili. As quoted by journalist and chili enthusiast, Wick Fowler, “If you know beans about chili, you know chili has no beans”.

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A big bowl of chili without tomatoes with a spoon inside resting on a striped towel

Chili without Tomatoes

Considering that many types of beans are one of the lesser known migraine triggers, Texas chili is the perfect route for those on the Heal Your Headache diet. Another plus is it’s also considered against Texas chili requirements to add tomatoes to the dish. Although tomatoes are allowed on the diet, the higher histamine content can make them an issue for some. They are also a source of natural glutamate, so for those who are extremely sensitive to MSG, they can potentially cause an issue. We manage to avoid both potential triggers with this recipe!

a scoop of texas chili without tomatoes on a spoon over a bowl

Choosing Chili Powder

I’m not going to lie, my first time making this Texas chili recipe it came out extremely spicy. I do like a little spice to my dish, but not enough where I’m sweating at the table and chug the entire contents of my 25oz S’well bottle in one sitting. Fortunately for my lucky husband, we got to have many more nights of chili testing.

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Many Texas chili recipes require you use an assortment of dried chilis that you grind up yourself, but I don’t know many of us that have time for that. I used my favorite Morton and Bassett Natural Chili Powder. It’s a little more expensive, but I love that they clearly state all the ingredients on their label versus the ominous “spices” term. Frontier also makes one that is safe. A few things to look for when choosing chili powder – make sure there’s no onion powder or cocoa powder included if you’re following a migraine diet. Those are two potential triggers. Silicone dioxide is permitted – it’s just to prevent caking of spices.

Chili without Bacon

Another widely used ingredient in chili is bacon, which most of us have had to let go of due to nitrates and high tyramine content in packaged meat. In this recipe I use good butter to add the fat and flavor that you might miss with bacon, but duck fat would be another wonderful way to go for this dish. You can actually buy duck fat in your grocery store, or make it your self by saving the drippings from any duck breast you cook. This would also make the dish dairy free as well, although ghee is also an option for those on a paleo diet.

Other Tips

If you’re following a migraine diet, I highly recommend making your own broth, although I have a few suggestions for store-bought under my Pantry Staples list.

As far as servings, you’ll want to keep in mind that even though it seems like a lot of meat, you’ll lose a big chunk of that in the fat you trim and discard. I ended up getting a 2.5lb boneless chuck roast and it made about 3-4 servings for us. You may want to double the recipe or get a larger chuck roast if you’d like to have leftovers or need to feed more than 4 adults. This recipe doubles extremely well and cooks within the same amount of time too.

This is also a great recipe to make ahead and freeze for those days when you just don’t feel well or need a quick meal on hand! Microwave it in increments, stirring every so often or add to a covered pot with a little bit of broth and bring it to a low simmer.

stirring a big pot of meat on the stove

pouring broth into texas chili

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a big pot of texas chili simmering on the stove

Chili Toppings

There’s so many wonderful toppings you can add to this! A few of my favorite migraine-friendly ones are:

  • Chopped green onions
  • Grated American Cheese – good quality ones are Andrew & Everett and Boar’s Head
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Chopped red radishes
  • Whipped cottage cheese – a great substitute for sour cream

Gluten Free Cornbread

Another epiphany I had while making this Texas chili was that cornbread doesn’t contain any yeast, so this is one type of bread you can have fresh out of the oven. While it’s not required to go gluten free on the diet, I know many readers are following that restriction. I used the Trader Joe’s gluten free flour mix which contains brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. I think the combination of all 3 flours works well here, not making the mixture too gritty, as some rice flours can be.

The flavor was still good and it had a nice crumble to it. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornmeal because that’s all I had on hand. This recipe isn’t sweet, so if you like super sweet cornbread this isn’t the one for you. I have seen other recipes add as much as ½ cup of sugar, but this one is a healthier version. I’d personally rather save my calories to slather it in butter.

Chili in a gray bowl surrounded by pumpkin cornbread with melted cheese on top

For more paleo and migraine-friendly recipes, check out these posts. And stay tuned for the pumpkin cornbread recipe that’s seen in these pictures! If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram or Facebook @thedizzycook or #thedizzycook and feel free to leave a review. Thank you!

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