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20 of the Best Chili Recipes You’ll Ever Try

When it comes to savory goodness, it’s hard to beat a great chili recipe. And these aren’t just delicious–they’re healthy too! 

Delicious chili is one of my favorite “one-pot” dishes. It’s easy to make and you get a ton of flavor for a relatively small number of calories, and you stay full for hours.

Think of chili as a blank canvas for incorporating your favorite ingredients, and you’ll start to see that there are endless possibilities.

Whether you can’t get enough pumpkin this time of year, need a delicious low-carb and high-protein meal, or simply need a recipe to toss together in a 30 minutes or less, there’s a chili recipe here for you.

Enjoy!

Heart Healthy Turkey Chili

Serves 4

This is a classic chili with leaner macros. In other words, it’s a recipe you’ll want to keep in your regular dinner rotation.

If you keep your pantry stocked with common spices and canned goods like tomato sauce, beans, and chicken stock, you won’t have to remember to buy much at the grocery store. Grab a pound of ground turkey, swing by the produce section, and then pick up a bar of dark chocolate at the register as your secret ingredient.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

438

Calories

43 g

Protein

34 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 yellow onion, diced

1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. ground turkey breast

1 red bell pepper

2 plum tomatoes

1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 can (14 oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. paprika

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

1 oz. unsweetened Baker’s chocolate (or dark chocolate)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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White Bean, Pork & Pumpkin Chili

Serves 8

One spoonful of this fall take on chili will leave you craving more. Rather than using a base of tomatoes, this chili has a whole lot of pumpkin. So if you have a whole squash and don’t know what to do with it, this is great way to transform it into dinner.

This recipe calls for shredded pork, which you can make a big batch of in a slow cooker, or using the Dutch oven a day before.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

475

Calories

32 g

Protein

47 g

Carbs

25 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 cans (15 oz. each) great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cups diced pumpkin, peeled

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup white onion, chopped

1/2 cup roasted chile peppers

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. salt

3 cups chicken stock

3 cups shredded pork

1/2 cup half and half

2 cups kale leaves

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Buffalo Chicken Chili

Serves 5

Buffalo chicken might seem like a totally different flavor than traditional chili, but it only takes a few extra ingredients to enjoy them both in one bowl.

Along with the chili powder, this version is seasoned with cumin, paprika, and of course a generous amount of Frank’s hot sauce. The ground beef is swapped out with ground chicken. Then instead of diced tomatoes, there are chopped carrots and celery.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

307

Calories

26 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground chicken

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp. chili powder

1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin

1/2 Tbsp. ground paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 can (15 oz.) white beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (13.6 oz.) refried pinto beans

3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup water

6 Tbsp. (about 1/3 cup) Frank’s hot sauce

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White Chicken Chili with Cilantro Sauce

Serves 8

When American white chili meets Mexican chili verde, this is the delicious result.

There are two main differences between white chili and red chili. First, take out the tomatoes. Next, use green chiles such as jalapenos instead of red chili powder. And to complete the picture, white chili typically has white beans and a lean meat like chicken.

A fresh cilantro sauce rounds out this meal, but if that doesn’t suit your taste buds, a handful of shredded white cheddar is all you need for a delicious garnish.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

417

Calories

37 g

Protein

50 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

White Chicken Chili:

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

8 cups chicken broth (or more for a soupier chili)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

4 cans (15.5 oz. each) white beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp. jalapeno peppers, minced (or more to taste)

Salt to taste

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded white cheddar

Cilantro Sauce:

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (or water)

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Pinch of salt

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Easy Tuna Chili

Serves 6

Chili is usually made with ground meat, whether it’s beef, turkey, or bison. But you can also use canned tuna to make a tasty chili that’s loaded with healthy fats.

Tuna and beef deliver about the same amount of protein per serving, but fish has half the saturated fat. So you’ll be consuming more heart-healthy fats – just be sure to pick up tuna packed in water and not oil.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

512

Calories

39 g

Protein

68 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

2 cans (14.5 oz. each) black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans (6 oz. each) tuna in water

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt to taste

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

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Chipotle Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili with Quinoa

Serves 4

This isn’t your grandma’s chili. It still has black beans and tomatoes, but adds quinoa and sweet potatoes to boost nutrition.

Altogether it amounts to 17 grams of protein per serving, which is a lot considering this is a vegan chili. But if you want even more, add a half pound of ground meat. That’s two ounces per serving, an additional 12 grams of protein if you use lean ground beef.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

366

Calories

17 g

Protein

64 g

Carbs

6 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 small tomatoes, diced

1/2 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

5 cups water

2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup dry quinoa

1 Tbsp. ground chipotle

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt (or more to taste)

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Classic Low-Carb Chili

Serves 6

Leave out the beans, and a bowl of homemade chili makes an excellent low-carb dinner. Choosing an extra-lean ground beef will make it a low-fat chili as well. The resulting beef stew is a lot like Texas chili, only much leaner.

The carbohydrates that are in this dish are from the tomatoes, so look for an all-natural tomato paste to ensure there are no added sugars.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

172

Calories

23 g

Protein

12 g

Carbs

4 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/4 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 can (8 oz.) tomato paste

1 1/2 tomatoes, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup water (add more if needed)

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Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Tortilla Soup

Serves 8

You love chili. You love chicken tortilla soup. So why not use a slow cooker to make a mash-up of both?

Like any red chili, this one starts with a base of tomatoes and broth. But instead of using ground meat, whole chicken breasts are tossed into the stockpot to cook for several hours before getting shredded.

Most of the changes come at the end with the garnishes: crispy tortilla strips, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

299

Calories

25 g

Protein

32 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can (15 oz.) fire-roasted tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 Tbsp. (1 packet) chili seasoning

1 cup frozen corn kernels

4 corn tortillas

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 avocado, diced

Lime wedges

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Beef & Sausage Chili

Serves 12

Unless you’re vegetarian, you probably think of a bowl of chili as an excellent source of protein. Make it even meatier with both beef and sausage, and your hearty stew will be a carnivore’s dream come true.

This chili also has a real kick with chili powder, chipotle powder, and diced green chilies. If you’re concerned about the heat, start with a teaspoon of ground chipotle and add more to taste.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

521

Calories

39 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

23 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. bulk pork sausage

1 medium onion, diced

2 cans (14 oz. each) tomato sauce

2 tomatoes, diced

1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies

1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced olives

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. chipotle powder

2 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lb. dry black beans (or 2 cans)

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Moroccan Beef Chili

Serves 8

Infuse beef chili with new flavors using Moroccan spices like cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and harissa. It’ll taste gourmet, but this is actually a healthy one-pot meal you can throw together on a weeknight.

Start by sautéing the beef, onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir in carrots, tomatoes, stock, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, and add chickpeas and collard greens. Then simmer until it’s thickened up, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool briefly, and dig in.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

377

Calories

30 g

Protein

44 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1” piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. lean ground beef

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 bell pepper, diced

1 cup chicken stock

5 Tbsp. mild harissa (or 3 Tbsp. spicy harissa)

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. paprika

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups chopped collard greens

Salt to taste

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional garnish)

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Slow Cooker Turkey Lentil Chili

Serves 6

Not everyone wants beans in their chili, but you can bulk it up with lentils instead. Since beans and lentils are both legumes, they offer similar nutritional value even though the texture is different.

Lentils have about the same calories per serving as most beans used in chili, but they deliver a few extra grams of fiber and protein compared to black beans, red beans, and pinto beans.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

306

Calories

31 g

Protein

29 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. ground turkey

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup dry green lentils

2 cups water

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes

1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

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Lighter Chili Mac

Serves 6

Leave the Hamburger Helpers where it belongs – back on the grocery store shelf. You can make a much tastier and more wholesome chili mac from scratch, and it’ll take about a half hour to get dinner on the table.

When you make this start to finish, you can include everything you want, like black beans and lean ground beef, and leave out the MSG, artificial colorings, and hydrogenated oils.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

289

Calories

23 g

Protein

27 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground beef

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1/2 cup macaroni

1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles, drained

2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack

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Real Texas Chili

Serves 8

If you don’t live in Texas, you probably haven’t tasted “real” chili yet.

By Texan standards, the stew is loaded with meat and more meat without a single bean in sight. Texas chili is super spicy, using whole dried chile peppers to make a paste rather than relying on bottled chili powder, which isn’t as fresh or flavorful.

And it’s extremely easy to make. Brown the meat, veggies, and spices in a stockpot. Then stir in everything else, and allow it to simmer uncovered for at least an hour.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

375

Calories

47 g

Protein

7 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

40 dried cayenne chile peppers

3 dried ancho (poblano) peppers

2 1/2 lb. beef round steak, cut into small cubes

2 Tbsp. oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 can (10.5 oz.) condensed beef broth

1 1/3 cups water

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

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Vegetarian Thai Chili

Serves 8

Although chili is thought of as a classic American stew, it can be turned into a global fusion with a few simple tweaks.

In this vegetarian chili, coconut milk and fresh lime juice add a Thai twist. Then instead of ground chili powder, this recipe calls for a Thai red curry paste, which can be found at Asian markets or ordered online.

Bulgur may also not be in your regular grocery store; if not, substitute 3/4 cup of quinoa.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

488

Calories

23 g

Protein

60 g

Carbs

19 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 tsp. red curry paste

2 tsp. ground cumin

6 cups vegetable broth

1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 cans (15 oz. each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup coconut milk

2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

4 limes, cut into wedges

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Pork Chili Verde

Serves 6

The first type of chili that comes to mind usually has ground meat, diced tomatoes, and chili powder. But there is more than one way to enjoy chili, including this green chili that’s infused with Mexican flavors.

This recipe uses fresh peppers instead of dried chiles. And it’s not too spicy – similar to mild salsa verde, tomatillos and all. Adding a can of cannellini beans makes this dish slightly reminiscent of red chili, but just the smell of this soup as it simmers in the slow cooker will make your household forget about any other dinner cravings.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

581

Calories

39 g

Protein

52 g

Carbs

25 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (11 oz.) tomatillos, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1 cup Anaheim peppers, deseeded and chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cans (4 oz. each) diced green chile peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups chicken broth

2 tsp. lime juice

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Spicy Chipotle Chili with Andouille Sausage

Serves 4

Andouille sausage is an easy way to make a Cajun chili. Of course, for it to be truly Cajun, this has to be a real spicy chili.

Instead of beans to contrast that heat, there are big chunks of butternut squash. That means this is a Paleo chili too. For a creamy, non-dairy topping, simply dice up a ripe avocado. Even if you’re a cheese lover, you’ll want to consider avocado since it contains half the saturated fats of a serving of cheddar.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

431

Calories

15 g

Protein

24 g

Carbs

32 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 small red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt (or more to taste)

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth

1 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

1 bay leaf

1 avocado, diced

Fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

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Easy White Chicken Chili

Serves 6

White chili may make you think of white sauce, which is usually made with Parmesan cheese.

And although grated cheese would be a delicious garnish for this chicken chili, it’s actually the lack of tomatoes that makes this a slightly different variation. That difference aside, this chili still has plenty of meat, beans, and chili powder.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

467

Calories

44 g

Protein

49 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Anaheim chile peppers, cored and chopped

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

6 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 cans (15 oz. each) great northern white beans

Juice of 1/2 lime

Fresh cilantro

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No-Chop Low-Carb Chili

Serves 4

Transform simple ground beef into a quick and filling dinner with this no-chop chili recipe.

Rather than making a stew, this is chili is cooked more like a stir fry. Mix the ground meat and seasonings together, and cook in a skillet. Add salsa, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Whether you go with red onion, sour cream, avocado, or cheese, the garnishes are what turn this quick chili into a complete dinner.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

223

Calories

35 g

Protein

3 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cayenne (optional)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 cup salsa

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Protein-Packed Veggie Chili

Serves 4

Just because you’re making a vegetarian stew doesn’t mean it can’t be a good source of protein. Many canned soups, even with meat, don’t crack more than 10 grams of protein per serving.

This veggie chili has 15 grams of protein from the beans and hemp hearts. For more, serve on top of brown rice or quinoa.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

373

Calories

15 g

Protein

52 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup red kidney beans

1 cup black beans

1 large onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 cup corn kernels (optional)

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 1/2 Tbsp. dried sweet basil

1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 tsp. hemp seeds (optional garnish)

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New Mexican Chile Verde

Serves 8

If you want a South of the Border-style bowl of chili, this is it.

A traditional chile verde, it simmers in a large stockpot for several hours so that the pork roast is able to cook low and slow. When it’s done, it’ll be fork tender and easy to shred.

This recipe doesn’t have any beans or grains, just a touch of masa, which is optional for flavor. But the real star are the tomatillos. They look like green tomatoes but come in a papery husk and have a tart flavor – not good for eating raw.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

596

Calories

74 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

24 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/4 cup oil

4 lb. pork butt, trimmed and cut into big cubes

1 Tbsp. salt, divided

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

2 large onions, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Anaheim peppers, chopped

2 poblano peppers, chopped

1–2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and diced

1 lb. tomatillos, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

3 Tbsp. masa (corn flour)

4 cups chicken stock (or water)

Lime wedges, to serve

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