Loaded Secret-Ingredient Chili

By: Ginny Mahar

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo

If you’re cooking for a family, you know that the ability to customize equals success. With so many people on restricted diets these days (including us), the same is true for entertaining. One person doesn’t eat dairy, another won’t go near a sweet potato with a 10-foot pole, another wants three helpings loaded with every single topping. Unless you’re avoiding things like beans or nightshades, chili makes an easy staple. Fill the crockpot with chili, and set out a colorful array of toppings that your family or guests can use to customize their bowl. Sounds simple. Feels deluxe!

Things like diced avocado, roasted sweet potatoes, chopped green onions, or fresh cilantro add color and delight to the traditional chili toppings of grated cheese, diced onion, or sour cream. Whether it’s a football watch party, a winter potluck, or a Tuesday-night dinner, this approach to chili is not only delicious but problem-solving. It satisfies the gluten and dairy free eaters, the picky kids, and those who eat anything and everything.

It’s also easy to make, can be made ahead, and leftovers freeze well for those no-time-to-cook days.

If you think peanut butter in chili sounds too weird, think again.When it comes to blue ribbon winners at chili cook-offs, this ingredient isn’t so secret. I promise, it won’t make the whole pot taste like peanut butter, but when you taste it you might think, Yum, what makes this chili so rich? What is that smooth flavor filling in all the flavor gaps between earthy chilies and bright tomatoes? Only the cook will know.

Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:

5 from 4 votes

Loaded Secret-Ingredient Chili

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8


  • A knob of ghee
  • 1 green bell pepperdiced small
  • 1 small oniondiced small
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Saltor more to taste
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powderor cayenne, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1 lb lean ground bisonbeef, or turkey
  • 2 4 oz. cans diced green chilies
  • 1 14.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz. can organic fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies, or sub. plain diced toms.
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2/3 c frozen corn kernelsoptional, omit for grain-free diets
  • 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 c beef brothpreferably homemade
  • salt and pepperto taste
  • 1 lb sweet potatopeeled and cut into 1/2" dice
  • a knob of coconut oil
  • salt and pepperto taste
  • 1 fresh limecut into wedges
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 1/2 c grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocadodiced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantrochopped


  1. In a large soup pot, melt ghee over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion and saute until soft and translucent, 3 - 5 minutes.
  2. Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute more.
  3. Season with Lawry's, chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir to combine and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add ground meat to pan, and saute until browned, breaking up any large pieces, 3 - 5 minutes.
  5. Add diced green chilies, black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn kernels, peanut butter, and 2 cups beef broth. Stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 1 hour to allow flavors to combine. If necessary, add remaining beef broth to thin it.
  7. While chili simmers, preheat oven to 350. Peel sweet potato and chop into 1/2-inch dice.
  8. Place knob of coconut oil on a large, rimmed sheet pan and place in oven until fat is melted. Add sweet potato, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with a spatula to coat, and place in center of oven for 20 - 25 mins. or until sweet potato is tender when pierced with a fork.
  9. For garnish: chop lime wedges, grate cheese, dice avocado, and chop cilantro. Place in serving dishes and serve alongside hot chili, with sour cream and any other desired toppings (see note below).

Recipe Notes

Other topping ideas: sliced black olives, green onion, diced jalapenos, hominy (a corn product).

Nutritional Info Print
Nutrition Facts
Loaded Secret-Ingredient Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 416 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 769mg32%
Potassium 738mg21%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 9180IU184%
Vitamin C 20.4mg25%
Calcium 243mg24%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.