Caveman Chili

Caveman Chili

Update: This recipe is now on the Caveman Keto YouTube Channel. Check out how to make Caveman Chili!

One of the most important things on the ketogenic diet is maintaining the ratio of 65% fats to 30% protein (by calories).  Last week I was off on some of my numbers and the main reason is that it is really hard to make up for a particularly protein heavy meal.  As a result, this week I am making it a goal to come up with recipes that individually meet the 65/30 ratio.  Then, they can be combined in any order and you will maintain the proper ratio.  So, this week I present to you, Caveman Chili!  My take on a relatively low carb chili cooked in a crockpot. Top it with some freshly grated cheese from your food processor and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Caveman Chili topped with cheese, sour cream and frank's red hotHere is the finished result, Caveman Chili with cheese, sour cream and frank’s red hot as a topping.  Let’s get cooking!

Pepper ready for the chopperThe first step is to prep the vegetables.  Normally I used to use a ton but to keep the carbs down, we’re going to just add green peppers.  If you want more vegetables and you have the carb limit for it, add away!  To prep the peppers I use this device, which is a vidalia chop wizard.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First, it makes chopping the vegetables really fast.  Second, it makes all of the vegetables the identical, small size.  To use, just cut your green peppers into strips as shown, and close the lid.

Chopped Green PeppersHere you can really see what I mean about uniform pieces.  In the past I used to use orange, red and green peppers and it would make a really pretty chili, now we will have to settle for cave style chili, but don’t worry, we will keto it up.

Chopped OnionsDo the same with the onions.

Onions and PeppersHere are the onions and peppers in the crock pot.

Browning PorkStart browning the meat!  For this recipe, I used ground pork.  This is a really tasty meat and also helps up the fat.  Beef could be used instead.  I also seasoned the meat at this point with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic.  When cooking the meat, keep breaking it up and mixing it until the red is all gone.  Then drain the meat and let cool a little bit.

Chopped BaconChop up some bacon into bite sized pieces.  Yes this chili is going to have bacon!!

Browning BaconFry that bacon up!  Make sure to save the grease for future use.

Completed BaconLet it cool on a paper towel.

All ingredients in crockpotPut all the meat into the crockpot.  Then add spices.  I put a spice pack into the chili because that’s what I’ve always done, however, I think you might be able to save some carbs if you made your own.  I also add chili powder and some dashes of cayenne pepper to taste.

Mixed Caveman ChiliHere is the Caveman Chili right before its going into the crockpot.  I cooked this for 6 hours on low. As I’ve mentioned before I use this programmable crockpot that you can set to 6 hours and then it switches to warm so it doesn’t burn.  Either use something like this or let it cook a little longer if you can’t be home.

Finished ChiliAnd here is the finished result!  Either eat plain, with toppings, or use it as a burger or hotdog topping.

Caveman Chili
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8
  • Serving size: 1 (200g)
  • Calories: 492
  • Fat: 35
  • Carbohydrates: 13
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 31
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 8 Thick cut bacon
  • 2 lbs (32 oz) Ground Pork
  • 300 g Yellow Onion (1 medium onion)
  • 300 g Green Pepper (3 small peppers)
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 pack McCormick Original Chili Seasoning
  • To taste Salt, pepper and garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper
  1. Chop onions and peppers and place in crockpot
  2. Brown pork, add salt and pepper, drain, cool and put in crockpot
  3. Cut bacon into small pieces, cook, drain, cool, and put in crockpot
  4. Drain tomatoes and add to the crockpot
  5. Add the tomato paste
  6. Add seasoning packet to chili
  7. Cook for 6 hours on low
Note: If I were to make it again, I would probably use 200g of peppers and onions and 1.5 the meat to make it less carbs.  Also, I might consider adding spices individually to reduce the carbs.  If you aren’t heavily concerned with carbs, feel free to add even more vegetables. Also, if your just making it for yourself, add as much cayenne pepper as you wish.  In my case I make it medium and then add more heat so my wife still eats it :)


Cuisinart PSC-650 6-1/2-Quart Crockpot
Useful for set it and a forget it meals where you place all the items into the crockpot and let it rip! Most crockpots use a ceramic, dishwasher safe bowl that’s heated from the outside to a low temperature which allows the ingredients to simmer for hours.
Vidalia Chop Wizard
The Vidalia Chop Wizard allows you to cut a lot of veggies fast and consistently. I use it for Caveman Chili so that all of the pieces of onion and pepper are identically sized. Perfect for anyone OCD in your family.
Lodge 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet
The only pan you really need. Once properly seasoned, this pan can cook anything you can imagine! Lasts forever and never wears out.


  1. Nom Nom Nom. looks mighty tasty to me!

  2. “One of the most important things on the ketogenic diet is maintaining the ratio of 65% fats to 0% protein (by calories).”
    No protein in that Chili? Magic i say!

  3. I made this last night. Thanks very filling and oh so yummy

  4. DO we add in the diced tomatoes and the tomato paste in the beginning and let it cook for 6 hours also? Or do we add them in after the six hours, right before serving?

    Thanks! :D

    • Add them in the beginning and have it in there for the whole 6 hour cooking period.

      • I can’t afford a crockpot and don’t even know if that exists in my country. Is there an alternative to the slow cooking machine from hell?

  5. Made some modifications you might be interested in:

    Added some Truvia, which helps bring out the sweet of the tomato and keeps the sausage flavor from dominating quite so much. Reduced the bell pepper by one and replaced it with two stalks of celery, which is one of the key ingredients when I make regular chili. Looks like the onion is the biggest contributor of sugars, so I used a bit less but added some onion powder so the flavor was still there. For a side dish, I had one of Candice’s Low Carb Garlic Herb Drop Biscuits (recipe is on Reddit and can probably be googled). Crumbled it over the chili then doused with Tabasco.

    If you’re thinking about making your own chili seasoning, check out the amazing “Boilermaker Tailgate Chili” on You can just take all the dried seasonings and mix them together, replacing the sugar with a sweetener like Splenda or Truvia. Double (or more) the measurements and put into an airtight container and you’ve got an easy seasoning mix on hand for whenever you want to make the chili!

    Thanks for the recipe! It’s super tasty and really helped my craving for chili. Was also fun to play around with and customize, too.

    • That is so cool that someone else knows about the “Boilermaker Tailgate Chili” recipe on I’ve been using it for years! And that’s exactly what I was thinking while reading this recipe but before I read your comment.

  6. Hi There,

    This looks great but I’m a complete newbie when it comes to using a Crocpot and im sorry if this is a dumb question, When you add all the ingredients to put put water in the pot also for it to stew in or leave it just with the ingredients ?

  7. I just made this tonight, but it doesn’t seem very “soupy” at all. As it cooks (overnight), will some “juices” water it down a bit?

  8. Would I be able to prepare everything and put it in the crock the night before, and just keep in the fridge over night, and put it on the heat for 6 hours before headed to work?

    • Yeah, I normally make my crockpot meals the night before, then kick it off in the morning. Its fine in the fridge overnight.

  9. I just made this yesterday and it’s amazing. Thank you so much! Looking forward to trying some more recipes!

  10. Can I use bacon bits instead of cooked bacon in this recipe and others

  11. Hey CMK, I love the recipe, and have made it a few times to great results. I made a few alterations to better suit my tastes as well. If you’re up for it, give em a try sometime. :)

    Being from Texas, we have a family recipe for chili. Here’s our spice mix.

    For 3.5 lbs 80/20 ground beef
    2.5 tbsp dark chili powder
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp oregano
    2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp unsweetened cocoa (optional)
    3/4 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp coarse salt
    1 tsp ground black pepper

    Try nixing the tomato puree, you really don’t need it and it will save you a bunch of carbs.
    I’ve tried using 200g onion and 200g pepper a few times now to good results every time.
    I also add in 1 fresh jalapeno with the rest of the veg, just for a bit more kick. And of course… the bacon.

    I’ve also found it helpful to add in about 1/2 cup of water with the spices to help even them out a bit. (I used to use beer for this, but that’s out for keto).

    Thanks again!

  12. Hey dude.

    Awesome recipes. I was wondering how you calculate your macros out.


  13. What size can of chopped tomatoes?

  14. This is awesome, mine is sitting in the Crockpot at the moment. I omitted the veggies to keep my carbs low though, so we’ll see how it turns out. I was wondering, how do you set the serving size on MFP? All I can see to do is say how many people it serves and split it at 1 serving size but can’t find how to give an amount per serving, any help or suggestions?

    • Yeah that’s what I do, I figure out how many servings it makes. But often when I make the meal I’ll weight it at the end so I know how many grams are per serving.

  15. This was fantastic, I just made it for my family, we all devoured it.

    Very good recipe, thank you very much!

  16. So, I did some suggestions from the other comments. Made this for my Wife and I and a friend. I skipped out of the Tomato Paste and put in 1 can of diced tomato. I didn’t have as much bacon, only two strips so I put in 4 pork sausage links chopped up. Just put in the chili seasoning mix, didn’t add the second seasoning part…all and all it turned out fantastic. It was surprisingly delicious especially with melted Mozzarella Cheese and a dollop of Sour Cream.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  17. One suggestion that’s a great low-carb addition to this recipe is mushrooms.

    I like my chili lumpy, so I put in a full pound of the white pre-sliced button mushrooms in addition to everything else. Really good…

  18. How much is each serving? a cup?

  19. I’m at work for 10 hours. Would it hurt for the chili to cook on low for that long?

    • Hmm, that is a long time to leave it on, I tend to notice that at about 7 or 8 hours the sides start to get a little more brown than I would like. Do you have a timer you could use to shut it off? Or could you cook it on high for 4 hours?

      • When you say the sides brown at 7 hours, is that 7 hours on low, or an hour after it’s done cooking at 6 hours, and has been on ‘warm’ since? I’d imagine pretty much anything would be fine as long as your crock pot switches over to ‘warm’ when the programmed time for cooking is elapsed.

  20. Just made this last night. Did a mix of beef and pork, cut down the tomato paste, onion and pepper, and made my own spice mix…. and then added some Sriracha. Absolutely delicious! Only thing I would do different would be to add in a bit of beef or chicken stock to give a bit more liquid, since I took out about half of the watery ingredients. But it’s very hearty and SUPER tasty. I’ll probably serve this over Cauliflower “rice” with some sour cream and a bit of cheddar. Thanks for the great recipe (and site!!)

  21. So I had a tough time finding ground pork. I used 93/7 ground beef. All my recipes have significantly less fat. I’m new to the keto thing and want to make sure I’m doing it correctly to see results.

    • If you’re gonna go with beef, you should probably go with sometime more like 90/10 or 85/15. I use a mix of half ground pork and half 85/15 beef in mine. You generally want fats in keto, not lean beef.

  22. I am pretty good cook. Is it at all possible to make this in a heavy pot? (I don’t have crock pot.) Thank you for your blog — it is tremendous.

    • From my own experience I would think you would be just fine doing this but don’t cook it for as long. The crock pot method keeps it low and slow but the stove top method would be more of a quick and dirty. Even so the next day this stuff still tastes awesome so put any leftovers in the fridge and enjoy it even more.

  23. You sir have made a great recipe, and I have made a few of them so plan to do lots of commenting. I made my own seasoning from the link provided and the fact that all your recipes are already in MFP….I think I may love you just a little for that :) My husband has been so thrilled with the recipes I have made from your site so far, so thank you for all of your hard work!

  24. Brionne Griffin

    This is in my crock pot as we speak! House smells incredible!!

  25. So I tried to make this the other night. Eating it now, in fact. But I use the verb “try” because, even after following instructions, my chili still came out pretty dry. Note: my crock won’t let me cook 6 hours on low, so I opted for 8 hours on low, and cooked it overnight. So…yeah, dry. Good. But dry. When I add sour cream and cheese it’s quite tasty, and I feel those help moisten it up. But yeah. Dry. Weird.

    • Hmm, That is interesting. I am not sure why yours was so dry! I wonder if your crockpot low is higher than mine. The Chili ends up with a decent amount of liquid on my end. Next time you could skip draining the meat and vegetables to get more liquid.

    • Mine came out dry as well. Not totally but it has like a crust overtop.
      Of course I also had a couple sunstitutions. My wife is allergic to pork so I used ground beef and turkey bacon, which I think probably caused my dryness. My wife kept asking if I was missing a liquid to add to it.

      This is my first recipe from Caveman Keto. I’m sure it will turn out better next time.

  26. I just bought a used crockpot but it’s a 4 quart model. You don’t say what size crockpot will make this recipe. There are so many sizes of crockpots that it’s probably best to mention what size will work in the directions. Hoping to make this soon.

  27. Are beans an option if we adjust the amount of meat? I love beans in my chili (heresy, I know) but I wouldn’t want to screw up the macros.

  28. are those macros per 200 grams or per 300 grams? 200 grams is only about half a cup and I have a hard time believing that’s 500 calories.

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