It is hard to beat a really great bowl of chili, but when you throw in some smoke from cooking over a live wood fire that adds a flavor component that takes it way over the top. In our Smoked Over The Top No-Bean Chili Recipe, we take our classic Smoked Chili and omit the beans and amp up the meat to make it super meaty and the perfect bowl for the bean-haters in your life.
Smoked Over The Top No Bean Chili
Personally, I love beans in chili, but I get why people don’t. I went years and years as a child and in my 20s just eating around the beans in the bowl. Some people are just die-hard NO BEAN chili fans, and this recipe is just for them.
We use ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry. Fire up your smoker or pellet grill and get cooking! This is one you’re going to want to save for your recipe book. Plus, you can use any leftovers you have for these awesome No-Bean Chili Dogs!
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No-Bean Chili shopping list
Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Ground beef
- Kosher salt
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Granulated garlic
- Black pepper
- Cumin powder
- Canned whole peeled tomatoes
- Chili powder
- Kosher salt
- Ground cumin
- Onion powder
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How to make Smoked Over The Top No-Bean Chili
This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
Mix your meatball ingredients together and form a loaf. Saute the onions on the stovetop for a few minutes before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pot. Put the meatball on a wire rack on top of the pot.
Put the pot on the smoker and let it ride. Smoke it for about an hour, stirring the sauce occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick or burn.
Crank it up
Turn the heat up on the smoker to 350°F. Let everything cook until the internal temperature on the meatball reaches about 150°F. Put it into the sauce and chop it up into bite-sized pieces. Continue to let the chili cook for another 30 minutes or so.
Serve with your favorite toppings, like sour cream, cheese, crackers, onions, etc.
Try our Chicken Chile Verde
No-Bean Chili Recipe FAQ
Are there any recommended substitutions or additions?
This recipe is very versatile, so feel free to get creative and experiment. I know there are some fans of chocolate in chili. I’m not one of them, but if you are, don’t let me stop you! Toss in a little and see what happens.
Like it spicy? Throw in some cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce!
What’s the best way to store and reheat the leftovers?
These can be stored in any airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat them in the microwave or in a pot on the stove, or whatever way you want. I’m not the boss of you. 😉
Can this be made ahead of time, or frozen for later?
Sure! This is the perfect dish to make the day before a get-together, or to freeze for an easy meal in the weeks or months to come.
More great recipes with a kick to love!
- Traeger Brisket Chili is my favorite thing to do with leftover brisket. It is delicious, and the brisket is such a good compliment to your typical chili recipe!
- A fun twist on your typical chili, the Smoked White Chicken Chili is a great way to use chicken with a kick!
- Have leftover steak? This Easy Steak Chili is a great way to use it!
- One of my favorite verde recipes, our Smoked Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas make an amazing meal, and are perfect to bring to a friend that just had a baby or got out of the hospital!
- Homemade Traeger Beef Birria Tacos are going to be such a huge hit at your house. Homemade consommé for dipping, and cheesy tacos made from tender spicy shredded beef.
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- Get the marinade ready because Spicy Grilled Galbi is easy AND delicious. Great with a side of rice and some homemade egg rolls or mandu!
- Spicy Grilled Chicken Teriyaki is a PNW restaurant staple, but it is simple to make at home on the grill. This is a great weeknight dinner because it is fast, everyone loves it, and you can make it without a ton of prep or fuss.
- Need a great appetizer recipe to go alongside your next taco or enchilada night? This Traeger Spicy Corn Salsa is a great way to feature fresh summer corn on the cob.
- 4 pounds ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 large diced onion
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 28-ounces can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 10-ounce can of original Rotel
- 10 ounces water
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- Preheat your pellet grill to 250°F.
- While the grill is preheating, mix up your meatball with all of the seasonings, form into a large loaf, and place onto a wire rack that'll fit on top of your Dutch oven.
- In a Dutch oven on the stovetop, add the onion and the oil and saute over medium-high heat until the onions are softened and slightly browned. Add the rest of the Sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
- Place the wire rack with the meatball on it on top of the Dutch oven, and put the whole contraption into your smoker.
- Smoke the chili for 60 minutes at 225°F. Stir the sauce mixture occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick or burn.
- Turn the smoker up to 350°F. Let it cook at that temp until the meatball reaches 150°F. Put the meatball into the sauce and break it up with a meat masher.
- Let the mixture cook, stirring frequently, for another 30 minutes or so.
- Remove from the smoker and enjoy with your favorite chili fixings.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 678Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 724mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 63g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.
Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.