Best Ever Chili Recipe – Dairy Free

Dairy Free Chili
Chili is one of those dishes I didn’t like at all growing up.  Eventually I learned to love the hearty goodness of this dish.  However…I couldn’t make good chili to save my life!  It took a long while for me to concoct this best ever chili recipe.

I would try different chili recipes again and again.  They were okay, but never as good as my mom’s.  Or anyone else’s for that matter!  Once, when I decided to make a spicy chili, my husband swore I was trying to kill everyone.  I accidentally added way too much chile in adobo.  The chili was so spicy we couldn’t eat it — and we LOVE spicy!!

Seriously y’all.  My boys added so much cheese and sour cream to their bowls the chili turned white.  And it was still too hot!!  Our lips and tongues burned for hours.  It was not pretty.  Being frugal, I divided the leftover chili into 5 baggies, froze them, and used them as a base to make chili in the future.  With varying levels of success. Whew, what a mess!

As time went on I continued to experiment with my chili recipes, swapping out this ingredient for that until I GOT IT!  A hearty, delicious chili!!  Hallelujah!!  And this is it, the only chili recipe you’ll ever need.  The flavors blend together beautifully.  Plus, it’s easy – bonus! If you like spice, feel free to kick up the cayenne a bit.  We often do.

Best Ever Chili Recipe

Serves 6-8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
This best ever chili recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Hearty, flavorful and delicious, it's perfect for cold nights.


  • 1 1/2lb ground beef
  • 2 Medium onions (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 12.5 ounce bottle beer
  • 2 Cups beef broth
  • 14.5 Ounce can diced tomatoes with spicy red pepper (I used Hunt's)
  • 15.5 Ounce can dark red kidney beans
  • 15.5 Ounce can light red kidney beans
  • 15.5 Ounce can black beans
  • 15.5 Ounce can great northern beans
  • 15.5 Ounce can pinto beans
  • 3 Ounces tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper


Step 1 Over medium heat, in a large pot, combine the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until the beef is brown and onions are translucent.
Step 2 Drain any excess fat.
Step 3 Add the beer and beef broth. Stir to combine.
Step 4 Drain and rinse all the beans. Add the beans, plus the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
Step 5 Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Taste chili for flavor and seasoning. Adjust salt and seasonings to your palate.
Step 6 Simmer an additional 15-25 minutes. Chili will be thick, hearty and delicious.
Step 7 Enjoy!


Try this recipe with different beers, from a light brew to hearty ale.  Also, if you are able to eat dairy, serve this chili with shredded cheddar and sour cream.

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Better Than It Looks Avocado Tomato Salad Dip


If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I’m working on getting healthyHealthy and fit.  I want to be Denise Austin fit. (Hi Denise!) I like to pretend Denise and I are on a first name basis. I’ve looked up to her for years, though I just signed up for a weight loss plan through her site. (Denise didn’t pay me to say that, but if she wanted to, I’d totally go for it. #justsayin).

Anyway, a big part of getting fit is eating healthy. Last year, I did a great running program but didn’t lose a single pound.  That fun fact showed me the food I choose to put in my body is a big part of my problem.  So I’ve been working on making healthy eating choices.

I’m drinking more water, cutting down on processed foods and incorporating good fats – like avocados!

A favorite recipe is my Better Than It Looks Avocado Salad Dip.  I call it that because, well, it tastes better than it looks.  When whipping this up, I feel like the Pioneer Woman, chopping beautiful red tomatoes and green avocados. And I think, I should take pictures of this, like the Pioneer Woman. Then I stir everything together and…hmm. It’s not so pretty anymore.

But it tastes good! And that’s what counts. Right?

It’s called Avocado Tomato Salad Dip because I like to eat this as a salad, a side dish with my meal. The kids like it as a dip, with tortillas…but I’m trying to get healthy, so I don’t go there.

This is a basic recipe you can dress up with different ingredients, and it will still taste yummy. Next time I might add black beans to pack in protein; that would be good.  And maybe some onion. Feel free to experiment! Because of my allergy, I eat dairy free, but this would be good with cheese, too.

Better Than It Looks Avocado Tomato Salad Dip

4 small-medium tomatoes, chopped for salad, diced for dip
3 ripe avocados, chopped for salad, diced for dip
1 11oz can white shoepeg corn, drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir gently so that the avocados are slightly broken down, but still chunky. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and serve!


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Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and Bedlam

Dairy Free Recipes: Zippy Meatloaf

Confession: I love meatloaf.

I didn’t like it as a child.  And, I’d imagine, it’s rarely requested as final meal on death row.  It doesn’t sound appetizing in all its loaf-iness.

But I’m seeing a slow revival of meatloaf, and I couldn’t be happier.  The days of a bland hunk o’ meat slapped on a plate are over.  A quick search on Food Network will reveal a host of quirky loaves – Italian meatloaf, BBQ meatloaf, even cheeseburger meatloaf!

Really, what’s not to love about meatloaf?  It’s tasty and chock full of protein.  This mama needs protein since I’ve been nursing children for the last 4 out of 5 years.

So I’ve been fiddling with recipes for the last few months and now have the perfect meatloaf recipe.  I call it Zippy meatloaf, because it’s…well, zippy.  A little sweet, a little spicy, savory and a bit tangy.  Mmmmm.

I like to mix it up in the morning so the flavors marry before baking in the evening.  This recipe is dairy free, but you can substitute any milk or bread of your choice.

Cheryl’s Zippy Meatloaf – Dairy Free

3 pounds ground beef
4 slices of bread, crumbled (I used Roman Meal Whole Grain)
1 cup almond milk (I used Silk)
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, shredded or finely diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground savory
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram leaves

2/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon

For the meatloaf, combine all 13 ingredients.  Mix well but be gentle so you don’t mush the meat, you want to keep it light.  You can cover and refrigerate the mix for several hours or bake immediately.  To bake, shape the mixture into 2 even loaves. You can mold them in a bread pan then turn them out into your baking dish.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until just it reaches an internal temperature of 160.  Remove the meatloaf from the oven and drain off the fat.  Make the glaze by mixing well all 6 ingredients. Spoon the glaze over the meatloaves and bake for 10 minutes more.  Enjoy!

I usually bake this in one mega meatloaf…but don’t ask me how long it bakes when I do that.  I didn’t time it.

How do you feel about meatloaf?

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