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Hearty and Healthy Chili Recipe

Mar 9, 2018, 10:54 AM by Gerri French, Sansum Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Chili is a hearty balanced meal that can be satisfying for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Chili is a hearty balanced meal that can be satisfying for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 


  • 1 pound ground meat** (beef, pork or turkey or combination)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (about ½ cup; and/or red pepper)
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced
  • 1 28 oz can Tomatoes (or 3 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 15 oz can pinto or black beans (or 1 ½ cups home cooked beans)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, cook meat over medium heat using spoon to break into small pieces; cook until meat starts to turn pink.
  2. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes turning to prevent browning. Mix in seasonings and stir.
  3. Toss in carrots and peppers and cook 5 minutes mixing frequently. Add tomatoes and cornmeal and bring to boil; cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Lower heat and simmer for about 1 - 1 and 1/2 hour.
  5. Stir in beans and heat 3 - 5 minutes.

Serve with minced cilantro, additional chopped raw onion, grated cheese, sour cream….

** Vegetarian version:

Can easily substitute 16 ounces Tempeh in place of meat but may need 1 cup cooked quinoa or bulgur stirred in at the end for more satisfying meal. 

Lower Calorie version:

  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • Additional cup of peppers

Toss in extra vegetables with the carrots and peppers. You might need additional cornmeal or tomato paste to thicken to your preference.