Paleo Recipe: Viking Chili

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This paleo chili recipe is one of my absolute FAVORITE meals.  You can tell from the amounts that I make plenty to have the day after :)

If you love bacon, meat, and spices, I’m sure you’ll be a fan of Viking Chili too

(With the Super Bowl coming up, this is a great main course for your football party…)

Here’s the ingredient list:

  • 1.5 pounds uncured bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 5 pounds ground beef (grass-fed is best)
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1.5 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans chopped tomatoes with liquid
  • 1.5 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Dashes of tabasco sauce
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Turmeric

Now, step-by-step instructions:

Set a large pot (I use an 8 quart stainless steel or le creuset) on the stove and start at medium-low heat.  Use scissors to snip the bacon right into the pot.

Uncured bacon is by far the best choice (reasons why here: Sodium Nitrites Are Bad).  Trader Joes has uncured bacon “ends and pieces” for $2.99 a pound.

Why you’re waiting for some fat to render out of the bacon, chop your onions.  Pictured are one white and one purple onion, but the choice is up to you

When the chopped bacon has started to brown, and there is some delicious bacon fat in the pot, add onions and stir

While that is going, coarsely chop some garlic (Or, if you’re lazy, get minced garlic at the grocery store)

When the onions have turned translucent cooking in the bacon grease, add the chopped garlic

Cook a few minutes longer.  Now, add the ground meat to the pot and stir until no pink remains

Your best choice for beef is to use grass-fed.  Other options include beefalo, bison, elk, venison, and ground turkey.  (I wasn’t a fan of the ground turkey, but some of my friends are)

With lower fat meats (venison, bison) you might need to add a little beef or chicken broth.  But with higher fat meats (beef, turkey) you might want to drain some of the fat out with a ladle:

Once all the meat is cooked through, add the spices (EXCEPT for the cocoa and vinegar) and tomatoes and stir well to combine

Cover the pan and simmer on low heat for an hour, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.  Adjust the temperature up or down if necessary.

An hour later, add the vinegar and cocoa powder and stir well.  Then let it simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Now try a little taste and add some sea salt, to taste.

I garnished this chili with some European grass-fed sour cream and sharp goat cheddar with some chopped green onions and cilantro.  To go more fully paleo, forgo the dairy and use some diced avocado instead.

Serve and enjoy!

Servings: Twelve


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