A bowl of hearty and healthy chilli con carne garnished with fresh herbs.

Chilli con Carne is a beloved dish that has earned its place in the hearts of food enthusiasts around the world. This hearty and flavorful meal is a go-to comfort food for many, combining the richness of meat, the wholesomeness of beans, and the warmth of spices. My version of Healthy Chilli Con Carne is perfect for those who seek the soul-soothing flavors of the classic recipe but with a mindful approach toward health and nutrition. This dish is not only packed with protein and fiber, but it’s also low in fat and calories, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to enjoy a satisfying meal without guilt. Whether you’re a busy parent, a fitness enthusiast, or simply someone who loves good food, this recipe is sure to impress. It’s easy to make, incredibly delicious and can be customized to suit your dietary preferences.

A bowl of hearty and healthy chilli con carne garnished with fresh herbs. healthy chilli con carne Healthy Chilli Con Carne Healthy Chilli Con Carne1 1024x576

Recipe: Healthy Chilli Con Carne


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 500g lean ground beef (or turkey for a lighter option)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (400g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (400g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 500ml beef or vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Optional: shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sautéing until the onion is translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the diced bell peppers to the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes until slightly softened.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the lean ground beef to the pot. Break the meat apart with a spoon and cook until browned and no longer pink.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and dried oregano. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Pour in the beef or vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the chilli has thickened to your liking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the chili hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. If desired, top with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a squeeze of lime juice.

How to Prepare:

This Healthy Chilli Con Carne is simple to prepare and can be ready in just about an hour. It’s a one-pot meal that minimizes cleanup and maximizes flavor. For an even richer taste, you can let the chili simmer longer, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully. If you prefer a vegetarian version, omit the meat and add an extra can of beans or some quinoa for added protein.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 6
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Kcal: Approximately 350 per serving

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 350 | Total Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 500mg | Total Carbohydrates: 34g | Dietary Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Protein: 35g

Kitchen Equipment Needed:

  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Spoon (for serving)

How to Store Leftovers:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors often improve the next day, making it a great make-ahead meal. You can also freeze the chilli for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot.

Food or Drink Pairings:

Healthy Chilli Con Carne pairs wonderfully with a slice of whole-grain bread or a portion of brown rice to soak up the delicious sauce. For a refreshing beverage, try a glass of light-bodied red wine or a cold beer to complement the spices in the dish.

By incorporating lean proteins, reducing the fat content, and adding a variety of beans, this Healthy Chilli Con Carne is a nutritious twist on the traditional recipe. It’s a versatile dish that can be adapted to fit any dietary needs, and it’s sure to become a staple in your cooking repertoire. Enjoy the rich flavors and the peace of mind that comes with a meal that’s both delicious and good for you.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here