Healthier Chili

5 from 5 votes

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My Healthier Chili recipe is perfect for a cold 🥶 winter day. Chili is in our weekly dinner rotation at my house during the cool fall or winter days. Once you taste how delicious this version is, you’ll definitely want to add it to your dinner rotation too! A spoonful of this goodness really feels like a big hug in a bowl!

Why You’ll Love Healthier Chili

This recipe is perfect for meal prep, as it holds up beautifully in the fridge for a few days, and the flavors only deepen over time.

This is a filling, stick-to-your-bones meal, made hearty with ground meat and two kinds of 🫘 beans. The 🌶️ chili powder adds just the slightest spice, but feel free to amp up the heat by adding more chili powder or serving the chili with hot sauce.

Also, I want to encourage you to use any 🫑 veggies, seasoning, or ground meat of your choice and make this recipe your own!

Likewise, you can easily throw in spinach or any 🥬 greens you like at the end of cooking to make the chili more nutrient-dense. Toppings are optional and this meal can be easily made plant-based (see notes below).

How To Prepare Healthier Chili

  • First, prep and chop all your ingredients in advance. This is a practice called “mise en place.”
  • When all your ingredients are ready, start by heating the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and break it into small chunks as it browns, which takes about 10 minutes, ensuring all the liquid evaporates.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, then stir in onions, garlic, chipotle chili powder, 🍅 tomato paste, and tomato sauce one by one.
  • Next, pour in the vegetable broth, let it come to a boil, then reduce to medium-low, semi-cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Finally, add 🫘 beans and 🫑 bell peppers, increasing the heat to medium-high, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • You can adjust the consistency by adding more broth or boiling longer.

Nonna’s Tip

Remember that the chili thickens as it cools. Taste and adjust for 🧂 salt, and finish by garnishing with optional toppings like 🌿 cilantro, cheese, sour cream, and chives. Enjoy your chili!

Variations and Substitutions

There are various ways you can adjust this Healthier Chili to fit your diet, taste, or other preferences.

  • You can substitute the ground turkey with ground beef, pork or 🐔 chicken.
  • Make a meatless version of this recipe with tofu or impossible ground meat.
  • Try any combination of 🫘 beans. I used kidney and cannellini, but you could also use black, pinto, or white beans.
  • You can certainly use almost any vegetables that you want; try zucchini, 🍠 sweet potatoes, 🌽 corn, or butternut squash. In addition, you could add 🥬 greens at the end of cooking for some added nutrients.
  • Get creative with toppings and try sliced 🥑 avocado, 🧅 red onion, or pickled jalapeños.

Best Served With

Similar Recipes

If you’re interested in comforting soups, don’t forget to explore other similar soup recipes on my blog:

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Common Questions

Can I use different types of group meat?

You can certainly use any ground meat you like. I love this with ground turkey, ground pork, or ground beef. You could use a combination of ground meats as well.

Can I use other types of broth?

Yes, you can use broth or water, but be sure to use organic unsalted broth as it can be extremely salty otherwise.

What type of broth do you use?

I love any broths by Kettle and Fire, so click HERE and use my code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% off!

What type of tomato sauce do you use?

The tomato sauce I use for this recipe is our Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce; it is made only with tomatoes, salt, and basil. Please choose a good-quality jar of sauce or Passata that has clean ingredients.

How can I store the leftovers?

To store any leftover soup, let it cool to room temperature and then, transfer it to an airtight container or sealable freezer bag. Lastly, store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

How should I reheat leftovers?

Place your desired portion in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it, and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval until it’s heated through. I don’t own a microwave so I reheat everything on the stove.

What type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is always to taste, therefore always taste and adjust as you cook.

How can I make this chili spicier?

You can add any seasonings that you like to your chili, or you can use jalapeños if you prefer it spicier.

Healthier Chili

This recipe is perfect for meal prep, as it holds up beautifully in the fridge for a few days, and the flavors only deepen over time.
5 from 5 votes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, any neutral oil
  • 450 grams ground turkey, any ground meat of choice
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder, any variety of chili powder will work
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup tomato sauce, plain
  • 4 cups bone broth, or unsalted broth
  • 2 15 oz cans of beans, I used red kidney beans and cannellini beans
  • 1 cup bell peppers , I used red, yellow, and orange

Optional Toppings:

  • cilantro , or parsley to taste
  • mozzarella , measure with your heart
  • sour cream, to taste
  • chopped chives, taste

Instructions 

  • Important note: this is a great recipe to practice “mise en place,” which means you prep/chop all your ingredients before you start. I want you to be ready so you don’t scramble for ingredients as you cook.
  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the ground meat and, using a wooden spoon, break it into small chunks as it browns. Cook the meat for about 10 minutes, or until all the liquid has fully evaporated. Ground turkey doesn’t have any fat so you won’t see much browning. If you use ground pork or beef, cook until it has browned in color. Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the onions and garlic and stir. Add the chile powder, tomato paste, and tomato sauce one at a time and stir after adding each ingredient.
  • Add the vegetable broth, and let the contents come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, semi-cover the pot, and cook everything for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Add in the beans and bell peppers. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for another 10 minutes. If you like a thinner chili, you can add more broth or water; if you like it thicker, you can let it boil longer, until the liquid reduces. Just be aware that the chili will thicken as it cools down.
  • Be sure to taste and adjust for salt. Garnish with any of the optional toppings: cilantro, cheese, sour cream, and chives, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 49g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 1232mg, Potassium: 817mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 2247IU, Vitamin C: 71mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This chili was…phenomenal! I’ve made other chili recipes for years and it was always too acidic or it was like I was always missing something. This has everything you need and in the right order, for example, adding the green peppers and beans at the end kept them crunchier than if they were soft and sautéed earlier in the recipe. Absolutely love!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely incredible!!!!
    I’m blown away
    The most delicious chili I have ever had
    So hearty yet smooth wow!!!
    Insanely delicious
    Thank you Nonna !!!!