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Wheat Berry Chili

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A hearty no-bean Chili recipe made with wheat berries. You’ll love the classic chili flavor with the texture of this unique whole grain.

Hearty Wheat Berry Chili with Beef

I first tasted a beef wheat chili when I used to eat lunches at Wheat Montana when we lived in Helena. They served it with a homemade roll, and it was so hearty and delicious.

This recipe is a classic chili using wheat berries instead of kidney and chili beans. It is a soupy chili, so if you’re one of those who have to have a chunky style chili – this may not be for you, just to be upfront.

However, when you pull leftovers out of the refrigerator the next day, it will soak up a lot of the moisture, and you are left with a less-soupy chili. I usually add more beef stock to mine in this case because I do like mine more like a soup.

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We love this recipe because it’s…

  • …a healthy, no bean chili, and something a little different to put in your dinner idea arsenal.
  • …easy to make because most of the time involved is simmer time. That’s a win in my book.
  • …not too saucy. Although it has a great tomato flavor, it’s not overly saucy, and it is not made with tomato soup.
  • …perfect to use the leftovers served over baked potatoes topped with cheese and onions.
  • …a great wheat berry recipe if you’re looking for ways to use this whole grain.

Ingredients

To make this a no-chop chili, you can substitute the fresh diced onions for onion flakes and the fresh chopped garlic for minced garlic from a jar. Use 1 tablespoon of onion flakes and one tablespoon of minced garlic.

Hold up, what is a wheat berry?

A wheat berry is a ‘whole wheat kernel’ according to eatwheat.org. The entire (edible) part of the wheat kernel contains the wheat bran, germ, and endosperm.

How healthy are wheat berries?

Wheat berries are whole grains packed with protein, fiber, vitamin B, iron, and more with minimal processing, leaving the wheat berry in its original form; nutrient contents remain intact.

Where can I find wheat berries?

You can find wheat berries at your local whole foods store or online at Amazon or other online shops. My favorite brand, Wheat Montana, can be found in bulk on Amazon as well.

Instructions & Recipe Tips

First, you’ll want to start warming up your pot, then begin to finely chop your yellow onion and dice your fresh garlic. I have a chopper similar to this Cuisinart I love to use to quickly chop both.

Next, add olive oil to your pot and let the oil heat up for just a bit. Then, toss in your onions and garlic. Saute for a minute or two.

When your onions and garlic are fragrant and soft, add your lean ground beef. Cook the ground beef until most of the meat is browned through.

Strain and remove any grease from the meat and leftover oil.

Add your beef stock and whisk in the tomato paste. Then add your diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes. If you’re not a fan of stewed tomatoes, you can add an extra can of diced tomatoes. Do not drain either of these.

Next comes the seasonings, which in my opinion, is what makes a good chili. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and ground black pepper.

Optional – add red pepper chili flakes or hot sauce. I am not about spicy foods, so this is all you ;). Start with a small amount and increase as needed. Be sure to taste test along the way.

Finally, add the uncooked wheat berries. Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Checking every 20 minutes or so.

Depending on the wheat berries you purchased, it could take more or less time. But the key will be to test them, and if they’re still a bit chewy – cook them for longer.

Serve with your favorite chili toppings (sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese) and sides (homemade buns, tortilla chips). This pairs perfectly with our homemade bread machine dinner rolls.

Enjoy!

Please stop by and say hi in the comments. If you make this recipe, please add a review!

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Wheat-Berry-Chili-Ready-to-Serve-with-Toppings

Wheat Berry Chili


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

A hearty beanless chili made with wheat berries and ground beef. 


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

1. Start warming up your pot.

2. Finely chop your yellow onion and dice your fresh garlic.

3. Add olive oil to your pot and let the oil heat up for just a bit

4. Toss in your onions and garlic. Saute for a minute or two.

5. Add your lean ground beef. Cook the ground beef until most of the meat is browned through.

6. Strain and remove any grease from the meat and leftover oil.

7. Add your beef stock and whisk in the tomato paste.

8. Add your diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes. Do not drain either of these.

9. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and ground black pepper.

10. Add the uncooked wheat berries.

11. Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

12. Check and stir every 20 minutes or so. 

Depending on the wheat berries you purchased, it could take more or less time. But the key will be to test them, and if they’re still a bit chewy – cook them for longer.

13. Serve with your favorite chili toppings (sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese) and sides (homemade buns, tortilla chips).

Notes

The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products we use and love!

This is a soupy chilihowever, it will thicken up when you store leftovers in the refrigerator overnight. I add more beef broth when heating up any leftovers. 

If you’re not a fan of stewed tomatoes, you can add an extra can of diced tomatoes.

For a spicier chili – add red pepper chili flakes or hot sauce. 

  • Category: Soup, Dinner, Main Dish
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chili, soup, wheat berries, ground beef, no bean chili, best chili

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Sides that perfectly pair with this chili:

Hearty Wheat Chili with Beef

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