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This Best AIP Chili Recipe gives you the gentle comfort food heat and spice + all the rich cozy deliciousness you want from hearty Southwest food, but without the nightshades or legumes … and with a Low FODMAP option.
This recipe is also Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole30 and GAPS diet friendly.
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Ingredients in Best AIP Chili Recipe
Basic great Southwest flavors combine in this delicious bowl of chili. But the ingredients are also flexible for your unique body. So if you’re Low FODMAP and AIP, just follow the Recipe instructions for that variation.
The main ingredients in this Best AIP Chili Recipe are:
- ground beef — Seek out pasture-raised, grass-finished, if you can, instead of “grass fed” (which only means the cows ate grass at some point in their lives). Pasture-raised and finished means: the cows are truly fed on pasture their entire lives. The resulting meat is higher in omega 3s, plus void of the estrogens otherwise found in beef.
- a variety of hearty veggies — Onions (with Low FODMAP alternatives given in the Recipe), parsnips (sub for GAPS), zucchini and optional mushrooms (omit for Low FODMAP) are all great textured veggies for this hearty stew.
- herbs and spices — Garlic (omit for Low FODMAP), tamarind paste, ginger, oregano, optional cumin (omit for AIP until re-intro) and sea salt create Southwest flavors that are also AIP compliant. If you don’t already have tamarind paste (find it here), it’s a great fridge staple that’s worth having for all AIP Mexican cooking. I use ours all the time.
- broth — or Meat Stock (homemade or store bought)
- optional — Nomato Sauce + tapioca flour:
- If you want a redder or more tomato-like base, the main recipe has a variation to add Nomato Sauce. The Low FODMAP version leaves it out. And personally, I love the recipe without, plus it’s one less step/ingredient need. But include it if you prefer for that rich tomato-like base and color.
- Add a tapioca flour slurry (tapioca flour mixed with a little water) to thicken the chili as the final step. (Omit for GAPS.)
Other AIP recipes that use tamarind
How to make Best AIP Chili
This easy recipe has you:
- Cook up the ground beef, then set aside.
- Sauté the veggies, then add herbs, spices, tamarind and broth. Simmer covered to soften and stew.
- Add beef back to the pot. Create tapioca-water slurry, and add to simmering chili, to thicken slightly. Stir and simmer briefly.
- Serve with optional garnishes.
Best AIP Chili Recipe (Paleo, Nightshade-free, Low FODMAP option)
- big low pot or large deep sauté pan
- 1 pound ground beef
- Optional: 2 cups Nomato Sauce omit for Low FODMAP or to make the recipe easier! (This makes the recipe more chunky and traditional, having a similar to tomato base, but the recipe is super delicious and comes together well if you don't have this ingredient on hand and for LF. The recipe photos show the Chili without.)
- 2 cups broth or meat stock
- 2 onions diced, omit for Low FODMAP, and sub with any combination of 3 cups total: the greens of green onions (1 to 2 bunches, as preferred, plus optional 1 to 2 cups diced bok choy, extra parsnips or zucchini, and/or diced water chestnuts, one can, drained, without citric acid, or rinsed well)
- 1 parsnip peeled and chopped small (the size of beans), or diced (sub out for GAPS diet)
- 1 zucchini peeled and chopped small
- 5 crimini mushrooms omit for Low FODMAP
- 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root finely grated
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil or preferred fat, fine to use avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic smashed or minced (omit for Low FODMAP, or sub with 1 teaspoon asafoetida powder)
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder dried
- 2 teaspoons oregano dried
- 1 teaspoon cumin optional -- omit until reintro stage of AIP
- 1 teaspoon + ¾ teaspoon sea salt divided
- Optional but recommended: 2 teaspoons tapioca flour + 2 Tablespoons extra broth or water Use this option if you want the base of the Chili nice and thick. (Omit for GAPS.)
- Heat large deep sauté pan, or large low pot, over medium heat. Add ground beef and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Cook and break up beef with spatula, until most of the pink is gone, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove beef with slotted spoon to large bowl. Set aside.
- In same sauté pan or large pot, add olive oil, onions, parsnips and remaining ¾ teaspoon sea salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add zucchini and mushrooms (if using), and sauté another 5 to 8 minutes. Add spices and herbs: tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, oregano and optional cumin. Stir to mix and heat well, until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add broth and optional Nomato Sauce. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium low or low to maintain slow simmer. Stir and cover. Slow simmer for 20 minutes, peaking and stirring once or twice. Reduce heat as needed to keep simmer slow.
- Stir cooked beef into simmering veggies. In a small bowl, create a slurry of tapioca flour and water. Pour this into simmering Chili, stirring until it thickens. Slow simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring a bit.
- Serve now, or if you have a very low Warm setting on your stove top (or in your oven), keep Warm for up to several hours, until ready to serve. (It's nice to make it ahead of time!) Garnish optionally with fresh slices of avocado and/or fresh cilantro.
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