If you haven’t had padron peppers, you are in for a treat. Their delicious flavor is the star in this quick and easy padron chili recipe! These peppers can range in heat from mild to spicy! If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner, this is a delicious chili recipe to make.

My easy chili recipe is a twist on a classic chili recipe. I am in love with Padron peppers and I wanted them to be the star of this recipe. If you haven’t heard of Padron chiles, check out all the great recipes with Padron peppers. This padron pepper chili recipe is not only gluten free, but it is also dairy-free.

To make things easy for you, I include directions to make my chili recipe for the stovetop, the Instant Pot, and the slow cooker, so you have many options for cooking this homemade chili.

Why we make this homemade chili on repeat:

If you love rich, hearty meals that make lots of leftovers, this is a great recipe to make. This tasty chili is sure to please! All you need is 30 minutes and a few simple ingredients. If you want more delicious ideas, check out these gluten free dinner recipes too!

This is a hit every time! We love all the vegetables and the heartiness of it!”

katie t., blog comment

Serve with these fresh Gluten Free Corn Tortillas, or make these Gluten Free Corn Dumplings in the boiling chili!

Allergen Information:

This homemade padron pepper chili is gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and oat-free.

Photos of the padron chili ingredients.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Meat – You can use ground beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or vegan meat.
  • Padron Peppers – If you can’t find these little peppers, use shishito peppers or green bell peppers.
  • Diced Tomatoes – You can use salted or unsalted. Do not use Italian seasoning for diced tomatoes.
  • Kidney Beans – You can also use pinto or black beans. Just be sure to rinse them.

Tasty flavor variations:

One of the things I love about this recipe is the ability to customize it. Mr. Fearless Dining loves vegan meals, while the kids like meat. In this recipe, you can use vegan meat like Impossible burger or ground meat.

You can also use ground beef or low-fat meat like ground turkey or chicken. Chili meat can be anything, even bison!

If you love vegetables, add them in! I added zucchini, but you can add broccoli, carrots, corn, or anything you have on hand in the refrigerator.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Padron chili photos of steps 1 and 2.

Step 1: Add the onion and oil to a large pan. (I used a combination of scallions and onions.) Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.

Step 2: Add the meat and vegetables and cook until the meat is browned.

Padron chili photos of steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Pour in the diced tomatoes and add the salt and seasonings.

Step 4: Add in the beans. Mix everything well. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve hot with sour cream, cheddar cheese, scallions or chives, chopped red onions, fresh cilantro, or anything you like! This also is great with tortilla chips or Fritos!

Stirring a pan full of cooked chili.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What kind of beans are best for chili?

Most people will use kidney beans for chili. You can use canned or cooked dried kidney beans. (If you use canned, be sure to rinse your beans in a colander first.)

How long will this homemade chili keep fresh?

This chili will keep fresh for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container.

Can you freeze chili?

You can freeze this chili. I like to freeze it in single-serving blocks. The container is on Amazon and is called Souper Cubes.

What is the secret ingredient to great chili?

The secret to great chili is in the spice. Use high-quality gluten free spices like Penzey’s or McCormick.

Should chili be soupy or thick?

Chili can be made soupy or thick. This chili recipe turns out pretty thick and hearty.

Can you make this Padron chili in a slow cooker?

You can easily make this recipe in a slow cooker. Brown the meat, peppers, and onion. Add them to the slow cooker with the tomatoes, spices, and vegetables. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

Dip these Gluten Free Cheddar Muffins into this homemade chili.

A large pan filled with the cooked chili.

More Gluten Free Mexican-Inspired Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

A bowl of padron pepper chili garnished with scallions.

Padron Pepper Chili

Sandi Gaertner
A delicious hearty chili made with ground meat, vegetables, and spices. It is ready in just 30 minutes.
5 from 8 votes
dairy free allergen icon
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Gluten Free Dinner Recipes, Meal Recipes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people
Calories 346 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef * see note
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • cup padron peppers chopped, seeds removed
  • ½ cup corn kernels * see note
  • cup zucchini chopped
  • 15 ounces kidney beans * see note
  • 1 tablespoon light oil
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper optional
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red peppers optional


  • In a large skillet or pan, add the oil and onion to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add in the meat and vegetables and cook until the meat is browned.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and seasonings and mix.
  • Rinse the kidney beans in a colander and add to the pan. Mix again.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 minutes
  • Serve garnished with any of these: sour cream, cheddar cheese, scallions, chives, chopped red onion, and/or fresh cilantro. I like to add crushed tortilla chips too.


  1. You can use any ground meat in this chili recipe. Ground beef, chicken, turkey, pork, bison, or even vegan meat.
  2. Feel free to use fresh, frozen, or drained canned corn kernels.
  3. This homemade chili will taste great with kidney, pinto, or black beans. Just be sure to drain and rinse the canned beans first.
  4. This chili can be stored in an airtight container and will keep fresh for up to four days in the refrigerator.
  5. You can freeze this chili, and it will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 346kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 21gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 493mgPotassium: 765mgFiber: 8gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 992IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 5mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

5 from 8 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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  1. Where does the corgette come into this recipe? its at the beginning of the list but no where to be seen. Would realy like the whole method so i could try out this wonderful looking recipe. :):)