Healthy Chili Ideas

People often think of chili as an indulgence food, but actually chili can be quite healthy! It just so happens to frequently topped with cheese and sour cream, or served with a side of butter-drenched cornbread, adding unnecessary fat and calories. At its core, chili is a mix of tomatoes, beans, and sometimes meat, all of which pack serious nutrients.

Chili is also delicious when reheated, making it a perfect food for those who like to meal prep. Another advantage to chili? Beans, spices, and canned tomatoes are all very economical, meaning you can make multiple servings for less than $5, depending on how you shop.

Whether you like your chili vegetarian or with meat, chili can be a filling, nutrient rich meal, so grab your favorite pot, and whip up something delicious from this list of healthy chili ideas!

Chili Add-Ins

Consider mixing it up by adding in some healthy food items not traditionally found in chili. Besides being delicious, these all can add extra vitamins, fiber, or protein to make a more complete one-pot dish:
● Quinoa
● Lentils
● Sweet Potatoes
● Pumpkin Puree
● Cauliflower
● Zucchini
● Chia Seeds
● Corn Kernels


While you can buy pre-made chili seasoning, it’s super easy to make your own unique flavorful combinations with what you have on hand. Here are a few spicy ideas to take your chili to the next level:
● Turmeric
● Cumin
● Mushroom Umami
● Chili Powder
● Cayenne Powder
● Chipotle Flakes
● Coriander
● Curry Powder
● Black or Red Pepper

Ingredient Combos

Here are some of our favorite combinations of protein, beans, and other ingredients for healthy chili dishes. If you’re vegetarian, simply swap the meat for your favorite meat substitute or add a larger quantity of beans and veggies. Stir in some seasonings and experiment until you find your go-to favorites.
● Quinoa, Kale & Red Beans
● Chicken, Sweet Potato & Kidney Beans
● BBQ Pork Chili
● Beef & Black Bean Taco Chili
● Lentil & Kidney Bean
● Pumpkin, Beef & Kidney Beans
● Kale, White Bean, and Chicken
● Beef, Red Beans & Cajun Spices
● Chicken, Chickpeas & Green Chilis
● Turkey, Great Northern Beans & Zucchini Noodles
● Tempeh, Black Bean & Greens
● Black Beans & Roasted Red Peppers

Whichever combinations you choose, spoon up a bowl, and serve with a side salad and some corn tortillas for an easy, filling, healthy meal!

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