My kid-friendly ground beef chili. Gluten-free, of course.

ground beef chili

Simple, gluten-free and kid-friendly ground beef chili

A few weeks ago, after a weekend on the ski slopes eating delicious, heart warming, beef chili, I decided it was time to come home and document the ground beef chili that I make at home for the kids every now and again. It’s a concoction, that has developed over time, with a little less spice than I used to make a chili with and no beans (they usually get a pretty negative response from my youngest and it’s a real bore to sit picking them all out of his dinner). M devours a bowl each time and tells me how wonderful it is. I sit there and think “great – but – really? That was so easy…” and so with this I pass on to you a wonderfully easy gluten-free family meal that your kids will love.

I also make this with ground turkey and ground lamb mince. Last year C’s school did a campaign with Cool the Earth and we decreed to eat less beef. It’s not something we eat much of anyway, with red meat not being a biggy in our house. The kids really do love anything made out of minced beef though and so when we do serve it, we always make sure that it’s organic, grass-fed beef. Not only can you taste the difference, but I eat it without having heart palpitations about the potential hormones that I am putting into our bodies – a definite no no.

We eat our chili on a bed of brown short-grained rice, or with tortilla chips, or sometimes (if C gets his way), stuffed into taco shells (his favorite).

Ground Beef Chili


1lb ground beef, turkey or lamb

1 onion

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 8oz cans of tomato sauce (or if you prefer it more juicy, a 28oz can of diced tomatoes)

1/2lb of frozen corn

1 teaspoon of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

1-2 teaspoons of chili powder (depending on how spicy you want it to be)

1 teaspoon Trocomare (optional – you can also add salt to taste)

A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons of olive oil


  1. Heat the olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and diced onions. Simmer for up to 10 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir frequently to avoid over-browning.
  2. Add the bell pepper, the Trocomare (or salt), the chili powder and the red pepper flakes. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef. Stir and simmer for around 10 minutes, until the meat is browned all over.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, or tomatoes, the frozen corn and the chocolate. Stir well, bring back to the boil and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer for 30 minutes.



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  1. This sounds delicious, Nicola. Some purists say that chili should never have beans. Hubby definitely likes his with none or few, but I’d never pick them out for him (you should get the super mom award from your son for doing that with your other versions!). I like the addition of chocolate. :-) What is Trocomare?


  2. Well, so far so good. No shaking and quaking yet. My Mom cracks me up. She told me she took down all of her stuff off the shelves and tied her cabinet doors shut that hold all of her china and wine glasses just in case. Now she is afraid to take the ties off because she says it is her luck that the second she does, an earthquake will hit! LOL
    By the way, this chili looks fabulous. I love your picture. I also wonder, like Shirley, what exactly is Trocomare?


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