There’s nothing like a hot and spicy bowl of chili to bring you comfort and warmth, no matter what time of year it is. Too bad chili isn’t so good for you – or is it? With extra lean ground beef, ground turkey or even tofu, a chili recipe can be a very healthy, tasty and filling. Try adding greek yogurt to your chili instead of eating it with buns or bread to make it even more filling without eating extra, unnecessary carbs.
When I’m tired from dealing with people and problems all day at work, the last thing I want to do when I come home is cook a long and complicated meal. Since so many chili recipes take too long to make, I thought I would never taste it again! However, once I found a good chili recipe that could be made in 30 minutes, cooking this meal after work didn’t seem so bad. Plus, it’s so easy to make a lot of chili at once and this is one meal that is even tastier leftover, because all the flavours come out even more after it sits for a few hours. Here are 10 quick, simple and healthy chili recipes that will be easy to make after coming home from work:
This is a quick version of a normal chili recipe. It does call for a pre-made chili seasoning mix, but if you are like me and prefer to make meals entirely from scratch, you can always make a few servings of your own chili seasining mix in advance and pull it out of the cupboard whenever you decide to make this chili recipe.
- Cook the ground beef and drain it
- Add the chili seasoning mix and continue sauteeing the beef
- Add the veggies, beans and tomato sauce and boil for 15 minutes
- Serve with brown rice or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
2. Tofu Chili Recipe with Beans
Yes, you read it right. Chili can taste good with tofu, and it is a healthy option for vegetarians or those who want to limit their meat protein. This chili recipe will take you a little over 30 minutes to make and calls for pinto beans and kidney beans, but if you really want to “beef it up” you can add black beans, white beans and even chickpeas for more of a filling chili.
- Saute tofu, cumin and soy sauce in a Dutch oven and remove from pot when done
- Saute cumin, coriander, onion and oregano and then put all of the ingredients together
- Boil for 30 minutes and then stir in vinegar
- Serve with freshly chopped cilantro, non fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, and enjoy!
3. Green Chili with Chicken & Quinoa
This chili recipe looks and tastes different than any other chili recipe you’ll find online. Made with salsa verde, it’s green instead of the traditional red chili. If you are in the mood to try something different, and you want to get from the kitchen to the couch as quickly as possible after work, this is a very fast and satisfying meal to make. All is requires is pre-cooked chicken. Actually, if you buy a pre-cooked chicken for a meal the day before, you can use it for this chili recipe and get a few more meals out of it.
- Grab a large pot and heat up some oil to saute the garlic and onion
- Add cumin, salt, chicken, salsa verde and beans to the mixture
- Stir in chicken broth (hold one cup back) and the quinoa and simmer about 20 minutes (if the quinoa soaks up too much broth, add the leftover cup)
- Serve with your favourite Mexican style additions – sour cream, cheese, cilantro, lime, etc.
This recipe will take about an hour to make, but it’s only 185 calories per serving! The calorie count might just be worth spending some extra time in the kitchen. Plus, while it simmers for 30 minutes, you can relax with a glass of wine and clear some space on your PVR.
- Heat up a large pot and cook the ground turkey and onion
- Add in the water, beans, tomatoes and garlic
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, and cayenne
- Simmer for 30 minutes
- Serve with shredded cheese for added protein, or brown rice
5. 30 Minute Turkey Spinach Chili
Spinach is full of iron, a mineral many people don’t get enough of, so it is a great addition to chili. This chili recipe calls for extra lean ground turkey, which is a healthy, low-fat protein. The two ingredients, along with the other vegetables and spices this recipe calls for, make a very healthy and hearty chili. Since this recipe is chock-full of vegetables, go ahead and have that bun with it.
- In a heated Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes
- Add ground turkey, celery, mushrooms, carrots, pepper and cook for 5 minutes
- Add all of the the spices and cook for 2 more minutes
- Bring to a boil after adding in tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes
- Stir in chickpeas and spinach and simmer for 5 more minutes
- Serve with a hot roll or warm, buttered bread
6. Smoky Chipotle Chocolate Chili
If you are craving chocolate, but don’t want to indulge, try adding it to your chili! This recipe is reminiscent of Mexican mole sauce, and the smokiness that the ancho chipotle peppers bring out just cannot be beat. Since this chili calls for unsweetened cocoa and chocolate, not milk chocolate, you get the added antoxidants found in dark chocolate.
- Add lean ground turkey, onion, peppers and garlic to a heated Dutch oven and cook until turkey is browned
- Stir in brown sugar, beans, cocoa, spices, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and chicken broth and bring to a boil; simmer for 15 minutes
- Stir in unsweetwened chocolate until it melts.
- Serve with low fat sour cream and green onion
At 261 calories oer serving, this chili will become a favorite. The beet brings out some great flavors that will only get better the next day. (If there is any leftover!) Thus chili recipe will only take you 40 minutes to make.
- Heat a Dutch oven or large pot and throw in the garlic onion, peppers and lean ground beef
- After the beef is cooked, add salt, cumin, chili powder and sugar and cook for 1 more minute
- Stir in oregano, beans, tomatoes, beef broth and beer and simmer for 15 minutes
- Add the cornmeal and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Squeeze some fresh lime juice in the pot and serve
8. Spicy Turkey Sausage and Kale Chili
Another very different and healthy option, this chili will not look exactly like a normal beef chili, but it has the flavor profile to become a favorite. Kale, one of the key ingredients, is full of vitamins and minerals.
- Throw some turkey sausage into a heated Dutch oven and cook it through
- Add to the pot onion, garlic, peppers, and all the spices and cook for about 6 more minutes
- Pour in the tomatoes, beans and chicken broth and bring to a boil
- After heat has been reduced to a simmer, add the kale and simmer for 30 minutes
- Serve as is, or with chopped green onion
9. Hominy Chili
In this recipe, the hominy take the place of meat, but you won’t miss it. Hominy is very filling, low in fat and gluten free. This chili is a great choice for anyone who wants to eat a couple more vegetarian meals each week.
- In a heated pan, saute garlic for 1 minute
- Add chili powder, cumin, beans, hominy and tomatoes
- Simmer for 15 minutes
- Serve with low fat sour cream and chopped cilantro and shredded cheese
10. Turkey Chili with White Beans
While most chili recipes call for black, pinto, or red kidney beans, white beans actually contain the most cancer fighting fiber. This turkey chili recipe will not only be a tasty addition to your menu, but it will also help your body fight cancer and other ailments that can attack your body.
- Add ground turkey and salt to a heated pot and cook around 6 minutes, or until cooked through
- Add onion to the pot and after 5 more minutes, stir in chili powder and cumin
- Stir in tomatoes, beans and water and after it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium for 10 minutes
- Serve with Greek yogurt or low fat sour cream
Featured photo credit: Foodio via shutterstock.com