Bean substitutes for chilli?

(Shahrom Hawley) #1

I can do a no bean chilli just fine, but kind of like beans, particularly red kidney beans, in my chilli.
I’m pretty insulin resistant-- I’ve been eating less than 10 grams of carbs on ONE meal a day with no snacking and actually gained weight at one point because I had a little too much meat (protein glycogenisis).
I’ve tried pumpkin seeds as a bean substitute. Tastes great, but a little too crunchy… maybe if I soaked them overnight first? Anyone else find things other than beans to use in chilli? Maybe after I become less insulin resistant I can start adding a tablespoon of beans in my chilli or something like that, but for now I’m trying to go for 6 grams or less of carbs for meals.

(bulkbiker) #2


(Marianne) #3

Good question; I loved beans in chili, too, although as you say, I can also happily eat it without. Looking forward to reading the responses.

How long have you been doing keto? You may not be eating enough to the point where your metabolism is slowing, or your body is hanging onto weight because it senses a “famine” trend. The beauty of keto is that it is not about food or calorie restriction. Once you become fat adapted (took me 4.5 months of clean, stict keto), you can incorporate fasting if you decide to. For the first 4-6 weeks, I ate three hearty meals a day, even though I had never done that in my non-keto days. Would always skip breakfast. I made sure to get or sometimes exceed my fat and protein macros. I know you asked about beans, however, I just thought I’d add a little commentary as to why your weight loss may be slowing.


(Justin Jordan) #4

Black soybeans is what I use.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #5

Soy is just bad news especially for men. There’s a lot more to consider than carb count with KETO. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Shahrom Hawley) #6

Soy sounds like an ideal bean substitute. I know its bad for you, but if you’re talking estrogen, I have all kinds of hormone balancing herbs to counter act that.
Is it inflammatory? Maybe. I’ll bet everyone in the test group was eating the recommended 300 grams of carbs a day, and then some, and sugar to boot. Maybe soy is suffering the same bad public image as fat.
They probably haven’t tested its effects on someone who is fat adapted and has a very low carb intake.

(Justin Jordan) #7


The link between soy and actual effects is pretty tenuous, and what evidence does exists requires you to eat a loooooot of it. If you’re eating that much chili, then you should probably worry about all the other stuff in it, starting with the meat.

People get way too neurotic about this stuff.

(bulkbiker) #8


(Allie) #9

I just make it without the beans, it’s fine.


The ideal substitute for beans in chili is more meat. I like to use 2/3rds smoked chuck roast and 1/3rd italian sausage as the meat. Sure beats that ground beef “chili” that looks like it strayed from a taco bell filling.


Some ideas for bean substitutes-

  • Chopped up/cooked cauliflower or broccoli stalks.
  • almonds or other keto friendly nuts
  • chopped up haloumi
  • peas

(Shahrom Hawley) #12

peas? too many carbs. Why not just use beans.


Net carbs (minus fiber)-

Peas- 8g of carbs (per 100g)
Red kidney beans- 35g of carbs (per 100g)

Personally not a fan of green peas in anything myself, but a handful would only add a few grams of carbs in a meal.

(Justin Jordan) #14

I would be more concerned about the fats in the meat and what the animal before I worried about the phytoestrogens in the beans.

But in practice I’m not super concerned about either.

(Shahrom Hawley) #15

Wow! it has been many years since I checked… I guess peas could be better… or a half a cup of black soybeans-- 1 gram. I know I stopped eating snow peas and sprouts, though… I love sprouts. Have to give that stuff up.

(Mother of Puppies ) #16

This. I throw brisket in with my ground beef

(KCKO, KCFO) #17

Soy black beans are the lowest carb bean. I never liked the taste of them but if you do, have them on the side, REAL chilli is cooked without beans.

I never got why anyone would want chilli con frijoles.

(Shahrom Hawley) #18

Not only is the classic Texas chilli recipe always one that includes beans, but dark red kidney beans taste better in chilli than they do in everything. Don’t put beans in your chilli and you have hot dog sauce!


Sorry, but you are tragically wrong here. I don’t pick internet fights so I will let you believe this if you want to. But as a Texan who has done a great deal of research on the matterI can only assume you were in troll mode making that claim.

There’s a saying in Texas: “If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans.” In Texas, “chili” is shorthand for chile con carne , which translates to “chile peppers with meat.” No beans in sight.

Most people think that chili can trace its origins to Mexico, but it’s actually an authentically Texan dish. As the Houston Press explains, “In the 1700s, the government of New Spain recruited Canary Islanders to move to San Antonio. Canary Island women made a tangia-like stew with meat, cumin, garlic, chile peppers, and wild onions that they cooked outdoors in copper kettles in their settlement, La Villita.” Their peculiar, chile and cumin-heavy spice blend resembled the Berber seasoning style of Morocco.” Another early version of chili was a shelf-stable brick of dried beef, suet, and chiles that could be mixed with water to provide cowboys with sustenance out on the range. Over the years, as chili made its way throughout the rest of the United States, it picked up plenty of additional ingredients, but in Texas, it hasn’t changed much from its early days as a Moroccan-style stew. Head to Texas today and order a “bowl of red” (as the locals call it), and you’ll indeed receive something that more closely resembles a simple beef stew than your vision of modern-day chili: tender chunks of beef (usually chuck) in a rich, thick sauce that contains chiles, maybe some additional spices, and not much else. No tomatoes, no beans. It might not be how you picture chili, but a great bowl of Texas red is a thing of beauty.

(KCKO, KCFO) #20

You are so correct.