The Healthiest Chili Recipes You’ll Ever Make

When trying to eat well, your menu can quickly become nothing but chicken cutlets and salad. It’s hard to get excited about such a boring menu, though, especially when cooler weather leaves you wanting something more substantial. The best way to rescue yourself from this sad situation is to whip up a batch of chili. That might sound like an odd suggestion, but it’s easy to make the stew into a nutritious meal by using plenty of veggies, beans, and lean meats. As long as you don’t get too carried away with mountains of cheese and sour cream, these versions are some of the healthiest chili recipes out there.

1. 3-Bean and Beef Chili

Beef and bean chili

Beef and bean chili Beef and bean chili |

Surprised to see beef on this list? Don’t be. As long as you opt for ground meat that’s 90% lean, it’s a great choice. This recipe from Food Network‘s Ellie Krieger is particularly smart because it stretches the meal even more by using tons of beans, which are packed with protein and fiber. Make this your new go-to.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, seeded and minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Directions: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add ground beef, then increase heat to high. Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until meat is fully cooked. Add tomatoes, water, chipotle, a bit of adobo sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.

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