Chili Recipes That Wind Down The Winter Waistline Woes

chili recipes | Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White vegan | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Vegetarian Ventures | Recipe: Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White

If you like recipes with less than 20 ingredients, this is still the article for you.  You might be surprised at how easy chili is to make regardless of its ingredient count.  Pick a recipe that you haven’t tried or that contains the ingredients you have on hand. And let’s talk about healthy! This is the perfect season to start lightening things up a bit in the comfort food arena.

chili recipes | Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White vegan bell peppers corn chilis | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Vegetarian Ventures | Recipe: Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option)

Chili is in Season

As you recall from our article on February’s seasonal veggies, sweet potatoes are at their peak right now.  Enjoy a bowl of chili that is quite light and healthy.  Recipes that call for ground turkey and black beans will give you a boost of protein.  We love turkey chili with lots of spice to help flavor both the meat and the broth.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 white onion , diced
1 green bell pepper , diced small
1 jalapeno , diced
3 garlic cloves , minced
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 15- ounce cans Great Northern beans , drained and rinsed
1 4- ounce can chopped green chilies
3/4 cup frozen corn
2 cups warmed whole milk (use non-dairy if wanting to make the recipe vegan)
Salt / Pepper , to taste
Lime juice , to taste
garnish options: cilantro , avocado, tortilla chips, pickled jalapenos, radish slices, hot sauce

Click here for full recipe and instructions.  This recipe has a nice punch of cayenne and chili powder.  Feel free to add fresh diced jalapenos if you’d prefer some extra kick.

chili recipes | Creamy Enchilada ground turkey tomato cumin chipotle black beans cotija cheese | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: A Farm Girl’s Dabbles | Recipe: Creamy Enchilada Chili

The Whole Enchilada

Mexican food is so fun and festive.  Our next bowl of chili is a perfect substitute for a pan of enchiladas.  It’s fast and easy to make and removes the carb content tortillas normally bring.  The ingredients list can look overwhelming at first glance—let us reassure you that they are mostly spices you probably already have in your cupboard.

2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground chili powder (I use a medium spicy chili powder)
1 tsp. ground chipotle powder
1 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
2 lbs. ground turkey, chicken, or beef
3 T. olive oil
1 c. diced yellow onion
1/4 c. Red Gold® Tomato Paste
2 (14.5 oz.) cans Red Gold® Tomato Sauce
2 (14.5 oz.) cans Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes (no not drain)
2 c. low sodium chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed small and softened to room temperature
1 (14 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 c. frozen corn
chopped fresh cilantro
crumbled Cotija cheese
fresh lime wedges

Click here for full recipe and instructions.  There is so much flavor in this yummy recipe.  It is packed with vitamins and minerals due to the tomato content.  We definitely recommend going all out and adding the cotija cheese. It really brings an extra dimension to every bite.

chili recipes | Ground Chicken Instant Pot slow cooker tomatoes black beans cinnamon cumin cayenne pepper healthy | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Glitter, Inc. | Recipe: Ground Chicken Chili

Sweet Little Instant Pot

The next recipe is perfect for Instant Pot or slow cooker users.  Cooking chili in an Instant Pot retains the flavor of slow cooking in a fraction of the time.  We love the sweet and spicy combo that yellow corn, cinnamon, and nutmeg bring to the table. This recipe calls for ground chicken but you can easily substitute with any ground meat of your choice.

approx. 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or cooking spray)
approx. a pound and a half of ground chicken (or ground beef or ground turkey)
1 medium sweet or yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
48 oz chicken broth
1 or 2 28 oz can of crushed or diced tomatoes (I love San Marzano, but any type works.)
6 oz can of tomato paste
2 cans of regular or seasoned black beans, drained
1 can of cannellini beans, drained
14 oz bag of frozen corn (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 – 2 teaspoons chili powder (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 – 2 teaspoons Sazon Tropical seasoning* (optional)

Click here for full recipe and instructions.  In addition to black beans, cannellini beans add extra heartiness.  They are the largest in the white bean group and have a nutty, earthy flavor and are also often used in minestrone.

chili recipes | Smoky Squash Quinoa pinto black beans
Photo courtesy: The First Mess | Recipe: Smoky Squash Chili with Quinoa, Pinto and Black Beans

Smokin’ Immune Booster

Cold and cloudy days call for soup on repeatChili is so nutrient-rich that it is one of the best soups to eat as a way of keeping your immune system healthy and strong.  Fire-roasted tomatoes and smoky chipotles will quickly move this recipe to the top of your list. It also incorporates seasonal squash but a sweet potato will work as a substitute in a pinch.

1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups small-diced butternut/honey nut squash (about one 1-lb squash)
¼ cup quinoa
3 tablespoons adobo sauce
1 cup vegetable stock
1 28-oz can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 ½ cups cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large poblano pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Click here for full recipe and instructions.  Some suggestions we like with this recipe is to chop up a chipotle and add it to the adobo sauce.  Cornbread is also an essential side dish—the sweet corn flavor works beautifully with that smoke.

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Photo courtesy: 40 Aprons | Recipe: White Bean Chili

Chicken Soup on Steroids

Looking for a twist on the classic chicken soup?  One of our favorite chili recipes is light and refreshing due to the chicken broth and white beans.  The seasoning is lighter too—paprika, cumin, and a dash of cayenne. Top with sliced jalapenos and cilantro and you will be addicted in 10 seconds flat!

6 cups chicken broth
4 15.8 ounce cans of white beans drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil divided
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cubed
2 cans green chiles undrained
16 ounces frozen corn
1 cup onion diced
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon jalapeno chopped (about one jalapeno)
1 cup cilantro leaves packed
Sour cream to serve

Click here for full recipe and instructions.  This recipe calls for a dollop of sour cream on each serving but we like Greek yogurt just as well.  It’s also perfect for sports parties because you can make it ahead of time and it also freezes well.

chili recipes | healthy ground turkey Instant Pot black pinto beans tomatoes bell peppers paprika | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Oh Sweet Basil | Recipe: Award-Winning Healthy Turkey Instant Pot Chili

Chili Cook-off Contender

You might not be out to win any awards but this next recipe would certainly put you in the running.  Slow-simmering chili gets the majority of its flavor from the combination of peppers, spices, and flavoring ingredients.  Foodies will appreciate the precision-tuned taste explosion of fire-roasted tomatoes and three kinds of peppers.  Additionally, this recipe is suited for your Instant Pot so you can start eating within 20 minutes of cook time.

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Turkey
8 Strips Turkey Bacon chopped
1 Can Pinto Beans 15 ounces, drained
1 Can Black beans, 15 ounces, drained
1 Can Fire Roasted tomatoes 15 ounces diced , drained
1 Can Tomato paste 6 oounce
1 Red onion Small chopped
1/2 Red bell pepper seeded and chopped
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper seeded and chopped
1 Jalapeño seeded and minced *optional
2 Cups Chicken stock
1 Tablespoon oregano Dried
1 Teaspoon cumin Ground
2 Teaspoons Kosher salt
1 Teaspoon black pepper ground
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon garlic Minced

Click here for full recipe and instructions.  You will also enjoy the healthy proteins from ground turkey, turkey bacon, and a mixture of black and pinto beans.  It’s the right balance of spicy and tangy and tastes wonderful with your choice of toppings.

chili recipes | Instant Pot cocoa powder ground beef lager beer corn bread | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Damn Delicious | Recipe: The Best Instant Pot Chili

Just Add Beer

These are just a few of our favorite recipes and we like to keep them in heavy rotation throughout the cold months and into Spring.  Once you get bit by the chili bug you will start experimenting more and more with ingredients. Cocoa powder, ground beef, and a fresh lager could take your standard pot of chili to amazing new heights.  Think about it.

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