The 13 Best Healthy Chili Recipes of All Time
Healthy chili recipes
Chili can be made a number of ways—packed with meat, heavy on veggies, thick, creamy...the list goes on. But any way you make it, a bowl of homemade chili should always have a kick. Spices like paprika, cumin, and cayenne add heat, which can be a good thing—spicy foods may help rev up your metabolism, clear out your sinuses, and even protect your heart by improving circulation and raising HDL cholesterol. Plus, chili is the perfect comfort food to warm up at the end of a long winter day.
We rounded up our best-ever healthy chili recipes so you can whip up a hearty meal for you and your family that won't derail your diet. Here, 10 healthy chili recipes to try this season.
Smoky Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili
Try this recipe: Smoky Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili
This turkey chili recipe packs some serious orange power, thanks to sweet potatoes. They're loaded with vitamins A and C, plus fiber, iron, and potassium.
Ingredients: Olive oil, ground turkey, red onion, green bell peppers, garlic, sweet potato, canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, tomato paste, Belgian white ale (such as Blue Moon), unsalted chicken broth, low-sodium red kidney beans, kosher salt, smoked paprika, cider vinegar
Vegetarian White Bean Chili
Try this recipe: Vegetarian White Bean Chili
This vegetarian chili is packed with good-for-you veggies like carrot and kale, but still gets a protein boost from both beans and quinoa, making it perfect for a hearty dinner.
Ingredients: Olive oil, white onion, large carrot, celery, cannellini beans, ground cumin, kosher salt, low-sodium vegetable broth, Lacinto kale, uncooked white quinoa, chopped fresh oregano
Red Chili With Beef, Queso Fresco, and Lime Crema
Try this recipe: Red Chili With Beef, Queso Fresco, and Lime Crema
Don't be afraid to swap the meat in this dish. Brisket has great flavor, but boneless chuck roast would also work well in a pinch.
Ingredients: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, frozen organic corn kernels, red bell pepper, garlic, all-purpose flour, ancho chile powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, beef brisket, olive oil, low-sodium beef broth, queso fresco, sour cream, lime zest, fresh lime juice
Yes, this chili is perfect for fall, but you can also enjoy it year-round, thanks to canned pumpkin puree. Black beans deliver protein, and vegetables like carrots, red peppers, and tomatoes bump up the nutrients.
Chipotle Turkey Chili With Sweet Potatoes
Try this recipe: Chipotle Turkey Chili With Sweet Potatoes
Use dark meat ground turkey instead of white for more flavor and minerals.
Ingredients: Extra-virgin olive oil, ground turkey, onion, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, chipotle chile powder, ground cloves, sea salt, ground black pepper, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, fresh cilantro
Basic Chili from Scratch
Try this recipe: Chili from Scratch
Get nearly half a day’s worth of protein in just one serving of this hearty chili. Top it with cilantro for a boost of vitamins A and K.
Ingredients: Vegetable oil, turkey, large onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomatoes, hot chilies, pinto or kidney beans, cilantro
Black Bean Chili with Winter Squash
This delicious, vegetarian chili is packed with rich, smoky flavors and tastes even better the next day. The best part? Just 10 minutes of prep time and you've got this crowd-pleasing chili on the stove.
Ingredients: Olive oil, onion, yellow bell pepper, garlic cloves, black beans, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, mild green chiles, chili powder, chipotle chile powder, dried oregano, winter squash, salt
Smoky Chipotle Chili
Try this recipe: Smoky Chipotle Chili
Not only is this chili delicious, but it's also very budget-friendly. Chuck steak is an economical and leaner cut of beef, adding a nice flavor to the beans and veggies. Pinto beans are virtually fat-free, and packed with fiber and folate.
Ingredients: Dried pinto beans, coarsely chopped onion, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, unsweetened cocoa, chuck steak, tomato paste, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, frozen corn kernels, can diced tomato, kosher salt, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh cilantro
Chunky Vegetarian Chili
Try this recipe: Chunky Vegetarian Chili
You won't miss the meat in this chunky chili. Three varieties of beans plus a load of veggies totals up to more than 14g of muscle-building protein per serving.
Ingredients: Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, stewed tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, green bell pepper, onion, garlic cloves, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, vegetable oil
Chicken Chili With White Beans and Chipotles
Try this recipe: Chicken Chili With White Beans and Chipotles
White beans and chicken pack this hearty stew with more than 40 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber.
Ingredients: Onion, cumin, Great Northern beans, chicken broth, chipotle chiles, chicken breast, cilantro
Mexican Mole Chili
Try this recipe: Mexican Mole Chili
This hearty bowl has some kick from two different types of chili powder, plus crushed red pepper. And it's fiber-packed! Make a batch for your Super Bowl bash or post-sledding party.
Ingredients: Olive oil, onion, garlic, ground beef or bison, unsweetened cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, green bell peppers, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, cilantro, red onion, sour cream (optional)
Chunky Two-Bean and Beef Chili
Try this recipe: Chunky Two-Bean and Beef Chili
This hearty bowl doesn't shy away from protein or fiber with its two varieties of beans and iron-rich meat. If you're looking to cut back on the fat in this dish, you can easily swap chicken into the recipe instead. Either way, serve with a sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese and cilantro on top for even more flavor.
Ingredients: Beef stew meet, salt, canola oil, cooking spray, onion, green bell pepper, garlic, jalapeño, red wine, brown sugar, tomato paste, ancho chile pepper, dried oregano, ground red pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, canned whole tomatoes, red kidney beans, hot chili beans
Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili
Try this recipe: Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili
This hearty soup delivers 17 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving and also features two types of hot pepper: chili powder and jalapeños.
Ingredients: Olive oil, onion, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, boxed roasted red pepper and tomato soup, can black beans, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh cilantro, diced peeled avocado Cilantro sprigs (optional)