Magic “Chili”

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magicchili2 One of the recipes I get the most comments and praise about on this site is my AIP Carrot and Sweet Potato “Chili”. Most people love it because the ingredients are simple, its easy to make, and it tastes amazing! Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, you are missing out. I was thinking though, that it would be fun to add to the nightshade-free chili family with this variation that I have been whipping up. What is pretty amazing, is that it actually looks like chili (I promise, there are no tomatoes, despite how much it looks like it in the photos! Answering this now before the nightshade police are on my tail). So if you are looking for another quick, simple “chili” recipe free from the usual offenders in conventional variety–beans, tomatoes, and nightshade spices–be sure to give this a try. The grated beets give it a lovely color and thick texture. This is winter cooking at its best, a nice meaty one-pot stew with bone broth, lots of herbs and flavor that intensifies the next day. A note for you batch-cookers–this would be an excellent recipe to cook a double batch and freeze in portion-size containers for quick, nourishing meals. Nutrient-seekers–add some grated frozen liver to the ground beef to add some extra nutrition to your batch.


Magic "Chili"
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 tablespoon solid cooking fat (coconut oil, lard, tallow, duck fat)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups bone broth
  • 2 parsnips, chopped into 1½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, chopped into 1½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large beet, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
  • a few parsley sprigs, for garnish
  1. Heat the solid cooking fat in a heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high heat. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, add the onions, and cook, stirring for 7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
  2. Add the bone broth, parsnips, carrots, grated beet, and all of the spices except for the parsley. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat, being sure to stir it occasionally so that it is browned evenly.
  4. Add the ground beef to the vegetables and simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh parsley.


  1. Christina says

    Ohhhh looks so good. I will give it a try for sure! I love your AIP chili so I am sure I will love this.

  2. Kaitlyn says

    I’m going to make this tomorrow. Just what I need on a cold winter day! Thanks for the incredible recipes.

  3. Saundra says

    This looks sosoooo good! I will plan to make this this weekend. Perfect for our cold winter weather and I miss chili. Thanks for another good recipe.

  4. Karla says

    Oh, thank you! I will be making it for this “chili” weekend we’re having here! Have been longing for chili for months now.

  5. Suzanne says

    Assuming ground turkey and chicken broth is fine:) Probably will taste different but I’m allergic to beef:(

  6. Jan says

    Question for Mickey: I normally avoid powdered onion and garlic in recipes, and substitute fresh. (I have a pretty sensitive gut and don’t trust the powdered forms). But since you’re using both fresh and powdered onion and garlic in your recipe, it’s clearly intentional. Could you talk about that a bit, please? Thanks!

    • says

      I think they both have different flavors, and I wanted both here. You can always use one or the other, or neither if you feel like it. I’m all about flexibility!


    • says

      I think most powders (onion, garlic, celery, chili) contain either wheat or gluten or corn products in the form of maltodextrin, glucose or sucrose (even the organic ones), so many Paleo people make their own by drying the garlic or onions in the oven or a food dehydrator, and then grinding them in a coffee grinder. I’d like to experiment with onion or garlic granules in the grinder and see if that will make it into a powder. Meanwhile, Mickey, do you know of any brands of organic powders that are free of gluten and corn products?

    • Heidi says


      It is so so easy to make your own onion and garlic powders. You simply slice and dehydrate the fresh stuff and grind it in a food processor. I also do this with fresh mushrooms. Mushroom powder adds such a great umami ‘oomph’ to food!

  7. Mollie says

    I was wondering, is cumin in the nightshade family (or otherwise autoimmune-inappropriate)? You sometimes see it in chili recipes as a chilli powder substitute, so I was a little surprised not to see it here. Is it something to be avoided on AIP or just not part of this particular recipe? Thanks!

    • says

      Cumin is not in the nightshade family, but it is a seed spice. All seeds are eliminated for the beginning of AIP, but it is one of the foods you can reintroduce sooner than later, when you get to that point.


  8. Faith says

    I just made a batch and can confirm that this chili is, indeed, magical. I am in root vegetable heaven!

  9. Karen says

    Thanks so much Mickey for the inspiration! I made this tonight with a few alterations: I had baked beets earlier in the week and just cut them up and threw them in once the meat was browned. Added zucchini and ginger, along with a dash of tumeric. So grateful for this recipe on a cold night!

  10. Beth says

    I happened to make some fresh vegetable juice the other day including celery, carrot, beet, and daikon radish among a few other things. To my surprise the concoction tasted exactly like tomato juice! Daikon was a new thing for me in my juice. I wonder how such a combination would work as a mock marinara, especially since you get a pretty thick juice from certain high quality juicers. Add a bit of oregano, and no one would ever guess! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • says

      Beth, wow what an awesome discovery! I have never tried juicing daikon, but I will the next time I fire the juicer up (probably this summer).


  11. Mary Anne says

    Wow. I was messaging with my sister just now and telling her how slushy and cold it is outside. I made a nice fatty chuck roast in the crock pot so it’s waiting for me at home. But I really wanted chili. The next link I hit is to here! And you have an AIP chili recipe!!! I heart you so mucho right now :-) Bless you….bless you….

  12. Annemiek says

    We love it! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s great to have a different flavour to add to our repertoire. Wondering if we could add some heat by adding finely chopped raw radishes (is that a veg in english?), I do miss spicy tasting dishes sometimes on the AIP.

    • says

      Jenni, I’m working on implementing that functionality soon! It takes re-formatting all of the recipes on my site, so I have been putting it off for awhile :)


  13. Kate says

    This is indeed MAGIC chili! My almost 7 year old son ate an entire bowl of it tonight!! I often have to fight to get him to eat veggies and he LOVED it!! So do the rest of us :) THANK YOU! I can’t wait to get your cookbook. -K

  14. Kristen says

    Killer! Mickey does it again. I used those pre-packaged “I love beets” that come pre-peeled and cooked. Grated easily right into soup pot. Otherwise I added little sweet potato and cardamom and the fresh oregano it calls for was really fresh and good (from wf). Wonder if cardamom is ok on AIP. Really was shocked how good this tasted in the end, I frankly wasn’t in love with the smell as I was cooking it, but I totally changed my mind after it all cooked together and give it an A+.

    • Deana says

      Cardamon, from what I understand, is one of those “grey area” spices, along with vanilla and black pepper. It comes from the fruit or berry of the plant. According to Sarah Ballantyne, it is best to eliminate initially. However I do beleive these grey area foods (such as these spices) can be reintroduced fairly early. She has a great post about spices:

      Hope this helps!

      Ona side note, I plan to makes this “chili” this weekend. I have made the sweet potato one of Mickey’s and LOVED it! :D

  15. Sharon says

    What if you don’t have bone broth? It’s just me and I don’t often cook because too much gets wasted.

    • says

      Sharon, I really recommend using the broth. It makes the soup. Have you considered making a batch and freezing what you don’t use?


  16. christina says

    I am a huge parsnip and beet fan, so I was sure I would like it, but my husband enjoyed it just as much. I didn’t have bone broth. I still have to master that bit, so I used some store-bought stock instead. I have been suffering from Hidradenitis Suppurativa for 20 years and I am currently trying to find out if dietary changes might help. Love your website!

    Greetings from Germany,

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback–I hope you see some improvement soon! If you haven’t checked out Tara Grant’s book, The Hidden Plague, I highly recommend it for anyone suffering from HS.


      • christina says

        I thought my comment was gone, but you even answered it. I totally missed that. Yay! ;)

        It was Tara’s book that led me to your website. :) At first, I was super skeptical, but I think a moderate to low amount of carbs and no nightshades has brought significant relief for me so far. It’s only been 6 weeks and I am not even on the full AIP. I love Paleo, so AIP was not as outlandish and restrictive as it may seem to people who eat the standard American diet (which is even worse than the German standard diet, but not much).
        Thanks for reading!

  17. christina says

    This recipe has quickly become a staple for my husband and I. I wonder if pure Wasabi powder would be okay to spice it up, although I do fully enjoy the mild version.

  18. Jennifer Steidl says

    I am assuming that a yellow beet will work too. That is what came in my weekly vegetable bin.


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