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FODMAP Your Favorites: Beanless Chili

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There’s nothing in the world like the joy you get from your favorite comfort foods. You might think that just because you’re on a restricted diet all your faves are out of bounds. Not a chance! We’ll help you FODMAP Your Favorites!

As we get ready to say goodbye to summer, there are a few fall things to look forward to that may make it a little bit easier. Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider donuts, and a big pot of chili simmering on the stove to name a few! But what do you do when you’re following a low FODMAP diet and jonesing for some chili? A great option is to try beanless chili!

Beanless chili actually has another name: Texas Chili or Chili con Carne. It typically contains some type of ground meat (usually ground beef or turkey), chili peppers, and diced tomatoes or tomato sauce. Occasionally kidney beans are included in some Texas Chili recipes. Unfortunately for those with IBS following a low FODMAP diet, kidney beans are out (in any portion size) due to their high FODMAP content. Curious to know what other chili ingredients you should be mindful of? Let’s break it down...

 

High FODMAP Ingredients

The “O” in FODMAPs stands for Oligosaccharides, which are broken up into two groups: fructans and galactooligosaccharides (GOS). Oligosaccharides are malabsorbed in the small intestine and are then rapidly fermented when they reach the large intestine. All humans malabsorb oligosaccharides, whether they have IBS or not. Unfortunately, those with IBS may experience symptoms like gas, bloating, and abdominal pain when those carbohydrates are consumed in larger portion sizes. 

Common fructans are garlic, onion, and wheat while common GOS containing foods are beans, peas, silken tofu, and certain nuts. Some foods, like kidney beans, contain both fructans and GOS. So, what common chili ingredients should a Low FODMAP-er be mindful of?

  • Garlic: this contains the oligosaccharide, fructan. During the elimination phase, garlic should be avoided. You can use garlic-infused olive oil, as FODMAPs are not fat-soluble. This means that they do not leach out into fat (i.e., oil), so you can get all the yummy garlic flavor without the digestive symptoms. 
  • Onion: This is another fructan food. However, white onions contain a small amount of GOS as well. Just like garlic, you can use onion or shallot-infused olive oil to get some of the same flavors. Other food options are chives or scallions (the green part of green onions). 
  • Chili powder: Chili powder is a seasoning blend that typically contains red chili pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. Be sure to read your labels and avoid chili powder during the elimination phase due to the garlic (or onion). You can always make your own blend or buy a Low FODMAP version. 
  • Beans: Some beans, like chickpeas, are actually well-tolerated in smaller portion sizes. Other beans, like red kidney beans, do not have a low FODMAP serving size and should be avoided during the elimination phase. 

 

Low FODMAP Ingredients, Big Flavor

You can still make a great beanless chili recipe without using high FODMAP ingredients. Traditional beanless chili recipes use ground beef or ground turkey, tomatoes, and chili peppers. Feel free to play around with any of the below ingredients: 

  • Spices: cumin, Low FODMAP Chili powder, and just plain old salt and pepper are great flavor enhancers!
  • Vegetables: diced tomatoes or tomato sauce are classic chili ingredients, but you can also play around with red bell peppers, small amounts of corn, or even potatoes.
  • Toppings: Lactose-free sour cream, Fritos (yes, they’re Low FODMAP! Also, the original, lightly salted, and scoop versions are gluten-free!), scallions (green parts only), and sliced jalapenos (if you can tolerate spicy foods) are all great toppings. Mix it up and try something new!
  • Protein: ground beef or ground turkey are the typical proteins used, but if you’re looking for a vegetarian option try tempeh, firm tofu, or even quinoa. 

 

Beanless Chili Recipes

If you’re looking to make your own chili, check out some of our favorite low FODMAP beanless chili recipes below!

Touchdown Low FODMAP Chili

Hearty Beanless Low FODMAP Chili

Low FODMAP All Beef Chili

Low FODMAP No Bean Chili

Low FODMAP Chili with Quinoa

 

How to Introduce Beans Safely

Not interested in totally beanless chili? Try adding in small servings of chickpeas, black beans, or lentils. They all have low FODMAP portion sizes and are obviously a great addition to chili! Epicured has two fantastic chili recipes for delivery that use legumes, Low FODMAP Three-Spice Turkey Chili and Vegan Chili made with tempeh

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About Author

Liz McMahon, RDN, LDN
Liz McMahon, RDN, LDN

Liz is a Registered Dietitian who focuses on digestive health. She has completed FODMAP training through Monash University and loves seeing the benefit her IBS patients have with this diet! Liz has been in the nutrition field for over 10 years, working at a top hospital in Philadelphia as a Clinical Dietitian for the past 5 years. She also runs her own private practice, Liz McMahon Nutrition, where she provides virtual nutrition counseling to clients with a range of gastrointestinal disorders.

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