Fall and winter are the perfect seasons to whip up some healthy chili. The hearty, warm dish will fill you up—and also ward off the cold. But chili can also be pretty unhealthy, depending on the ingredients you use. From higher-fat meats (like non-lean ground beef) and toppings (like cheese and sour cream), the calories and fat content can quickly add up.
So if you are trying to eat healthy or are embarking on a weight loss journey—you may assume chili is off the menu for you. However, chili is a great food for weight loss. It’s packed with protein, thanks to leaner meats (like turkey and chicken) and beans (which also contain lots of fiber to keep you full). Chili is also great for vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based eaters. Plus, chili can also be made super healthy without skimping on the flavor, thanks to lots of spices, broths, and added veggies.
Here are 15 of the healthiest chili recipes for weight loss. Read on, and for more, don’t miss 25 Cozy Soup Recipes That Are Perfect For Weight Loss This Fall.
This healthy turkey chili recipe from Ambitious Kitchen includes lots of veggies—including red bell pepper, corn, onion, and crushed tomatoes. And you get tons of protein from 99% lean ground turkey and kidney beans.
Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.
Looking for a yummy vegetarian chili recipe? Make this one from Chocolate Covered Katie, which calls for sweet potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and black beans. The best part? It cooks in just 20 minutes.
Get the recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.
You can still make chili with ground beef and achieve your weight loss goals. This one from Healthy Fitness Meals calls for lean ground beef and gets tons of flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Plus it has extra veggies with two bell peppers.
Get the recipe from Healthy Fitness Meals.
Not all chilis have to be tomato-based. And this white chicken chili from Well Plated by Erin calls for chicken breast and white beans (such as Great Northern, cannellini, or white kidney beans) will give you lots of protein and fiber to keep you full.
Get the recipe from Well Plated by Erin.
If you are really watching your calorie and fat intake, this low-calorie vegetable chili recipe from The Spruce Eats is also almost fat-free. It has red bell pepper, green bell pepper, corn, carrot, and kidney beans, with a bit of soy sauce for extra umami flavor.
Get the recipe from The Spruce Eats.
Fall is the season for butternut squash, so it’s a great ingredient that is the center of this healthy chili from Chew Out Loud. Together with bell peppers, turkey, 7 cloves of garlic (you read that right!), black beans, and more, it’s the perfect dish for a chilly autumn night.
Get the recipe from Chew Out Loud.
This sweet potato chili gets inspiration from Mexican flavors, with ingredients like black beans, corn, sweet potatoes, and lots of spices. The most surprising? Cinnamon!
Get the recipe from Evolving Table.
If prepared as instructed, this beef chili only has 298 calories per serving. Made by The Girl Who Ate Everything, it calls for ground sirloin or beef, a packet of taco seasoning (easy!), black beans, and corn.
Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
This veggie and bean chili recipe by Cookie + Kate is full of flavor. It has two kinds of beans (pinto and black), as well as loads of veggies like celery, carrots, red onion, and red bell pepper. And it gets a tangy kick at the end thanks to sherry vinegar (or lime juice).
Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate.
If you need a buffalo chicken fix, you can get it in this bowl of chili from Delicious on a Dime. With ingredients like celery, onion, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and a homemade ranch dressing addition, your tastebuds will be totally satisfied.
Get the recipe from Delicious on a Dime.
Short on time? This healthy vegan chili from Midwest Foodie takes just 15 minutes to make. It has black beans and split red lentils, which are known to cook quickly.
Get the recipe from Midwest Foodie.
Craving a non-traditional beef chili? This beef and butternut chili from Julia’s Album also contains corn, green bell peppers, kidney beans, and canned tomatoes.
Get the recipe from Julia’s Album.
This low-sodium chicken broth-based white bean chicken chili has lots of cannellini beans, corn, and green chiles. Created by Eating Bird Food, you can make it spicier by adding fresh jalapeno slices and extra chili powder.
Get the recipe from Eating Bird Food.
This easy three-bean chili recipe from The Simple Veganista is vegan and loaded with fiber from kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. It also gets a deeper flavor from cocoa powder (yes, the same thing in chocolate!) and chipotle powder.
Get the recipe from The Simple Veganista.
This chili recipe from This Healthy Table calls for ground chicken. And rather than being a white chicken chili, it has a tomato base—as well as two types of beans (black and pinto).
Get the recipe from This Healthy Table.
While it might be surprising at first, chili is actually a fantastic soup for weight loss. Often made with a mix of high-fiber, high-protein beans; high-protein meat; a mixture of vegetables; and topped with quality ingredients such as avocados, which are rich in healthy fats, and protein-rich Greek yogurt, chili contains numerous ingredients that have been linked to weight loss.