Firehouse Chili – Beanless

This is my take on the Chili recipe on page 121 of the TNT Diet Book.


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef – not lean
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped – fine
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped – fine
  • 1 sweet onion – medium – chopped – fine
  • 8 or more large mushrooms quartered – these take the place of beans and provide a similar mouth feel.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic – check out the large bottle of chopped garlic at Costco – lasts forever.
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water – or ½ to 1 cup red wine (never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup chili powder (or more, depending on the spice level you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more, depending on your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda or other sweetner
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese – Costco has a Mexican Style Blend of shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadillo, and Sadero Cheese which is super.
  • 1 cup Sour Cream


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Mix up the ground beef as it cooks so that it ends up in very small lumps and not one large brick. You do not need to pour off the fat. This is not a low-fat recipe.
  2. Add the bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili, cumin, coriander, Splenda, red pepper flakes and mix together. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally for 20 to 30 minutes, until desired thickness. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. NB: I found that cooking this for a couple of hours over low heat really enhanced the overall flavor and melded the veggies into the sauce.
  4. Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top and/or a spoonful of Sour Cream.
  5. This recipe can be double or tripled by just proportionately increasing the ingredients. It is best made the day before. Any excess can be frozen. It re-heats in a Microwave without a problem.
  6. Suggestion – just line up all the ingredients on the counter. Cut, measure and mix all the ingredients except the chopped meat and place in a large bowl. When it comes time to add it to the chopped meat, just pour it in and stir.
  7. ETA: I made up a batch – tripling the recipe.  Because I used a can of crushed tomatoes instead of sauce and because of all the added veggies there was a lot of excess fluid.  I let it simmer for 8 hours over night on a very low heat in a pot with a thick bottom.  It ended up super thick with the vegetables reduced to a part of the sauce.  The sharpness of the seasoning was blunted and provided a much richer and deeper taste.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim
    Mar 30, 2014 @ 22:45:02

    I do the above in a crock pot (after browning meat and all of that). It’s great if it cooks on low all night/day.


    • TNT Man
      Mar 31, 2014 @ 05:53:35


      The Crock Pot sounds great – the longer it cooks – the richer the flavor.


      TNT Man


  2. baseballmom024
    Nov 08, 2015 @ 12:48:35

    TNT Man,

    I am making this today…just got it all in the crockpot…coooking for 8 hours on low. Can’t wait to taste!

    Thanks for a great recipe!



    • TNT Man
      Nov 08, 2015 @ 14:35:53

      What I’ve found using a crock pot – huge amounts if liquid from the veggies remain – cooking on the stove – the liquid reduces. You are an experienced cook – so I’m sure you can handle this. Enjoy.


  3. baseballmom024
    Dec 04, 2015 @ 00:04:55

    Didn’t have any issues with water from veggies… was so good! Making this weekend with my son home.


    • TNT Man
      Dec 04, 2015 @ 09:51:18


      Glad the recipe worked well for you. Enjoy the time with your son.

      TNT Man


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