This is a super easy homemade clean eating chili recipe. You can be eating it 30 minutes after you start making it, that’s how easy it is. You literally just throw everything into a pot and cook it for 20 minutes until the flavors meld together. It ends up with a surprisingly complex flavor from the homemade chili seasoning (which is awesome to make ahead of time).
What makes this chili super easy to make? All you do is open a bunch of cans, dump them in a pan, stir and eat. Today I have a tried and true chili recipe for you. It really couldn’t be any easier, especially if you brown your ground beef ahead of time and freeze it in one-pound portions.
In fact, this entire recipe freezes really well. And if you don’t have any ground beef on hand, you can still make it in 30 minutes. Just get the ground beef started cooking while you put all the other ingredients in the pot. By the time the ground beef is done, the rest of your chili will be ready for the ground beef.
The main thing I use this for is on Navajo tacos. I get this easy chili started and then it’s finished by the time the fry bread is done. You can get my healthy fry bread recipe here.
When I grew up, we never had chili. I think it’s because my Dad doesn’t like beans at all. I remember when I first started dating my husband in college, a meal similar to this was one of the main foods he ate. Side note, another recipe popular in our apartment complex was canned chili and spam.
Have you ever tried it or heard of it? It’s actually surprisingly good – at least for college food. Of course, that was back in the day when I thought a frozen burrito fried in a little oil in a pan was delicious too.
Anyway, back to my husband’s chili. The main difference was that he cooked it in the crockpot on low all day. It really does get some good flavor that way and you could totally cook it in the crockpot yourself.
Another thing you can do to speed things up is to get your ground beef started cooking (if it’s not pre-cooked or frozen) and by the time you get the rest of the ingredients in the pan, your ground beef will be close to being done and you will have a head start on the 20 minutes of simmering the main part of the chili.
You can also change up the recipe by using different combinations of beans or by putting it in the crockpot or simmering it longer on the stovetop. Or, you can totally cook this in a pressure cooker. In the pressure cooker, just push the chili button. And in the slow cooker, cook it on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. It’s not any harder, but it ends up tasting really good since the flavors get really melded together.
This Chili was Practically Made for Freezer Meal Prep
Like many soups, stews and chilis this works great for freezer meal prep. There aren’t even any special instructions you need. Just cook up a HUGE batch of it (I usually do 5 recipes worth at a time) either on the stovetop, slow cooker or Instant. When it is done, enjoy it for a day (or two) then freeze the rest in individual (or larger) freezer containers.
When you are in the mood for chili, just pull a container out of the freezer, heat it up either in the microwave or on the stovetop and you have an instant meal. Perfect for lunch or dinner. One of the great things about freezing small portions of it is you can use it for things that usually too big of a pain to made chili for, like a little on a hot dog, nachos or Frito Taco Salad. Yum!
Just think how much money you will save shopping around and finding good deals on these ingredients. Buying 5 pounds of ground beef at a time is pretty much always cheaper than one pound and shopping around to find it on a really good sale is worth it when you are buying so much at once. You could easily save $10-20 just on one trip of the meat. The same goes for all the canned goods.
To get more ideas of other recipes I freeze this way and how life-changing it can be, sign up for my email list at the bottom of this post.
Tips and Tricks
Since I’ve made this so many times, I have some tips and tricks for you:
- The bean types I have listed are just suggestions. You are welcome to use your favorite chili beans. My favorite things to do lately is to just get a couple of cans of chili beans. I believe they are the Westbrae brand that I usually get, but there are probably other brands that do this. Anyway, it has like 3 types of beans all in one can. So it’s really easy, especially if you want to make smaller batches or go light on the beans.
- Sometimes I make this with fresh tomatoes from my garden. So. Good. When I do that, all I do is take the stem out of the tomato and throw the whole thing in my Vitamix . Blend it for half a minute or so. Usually, this has more water than the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, so put a little less chicken broth in your chili – or just let it cook down a little longer.
- If you don’t want to use the homemade chili seasoning I have, you can totally buy those packets at the store with chili seasoning. We used to do that all the time until we discovered how easy it was to “make” our own chili seasoning.
- You are welcome to add a few of your favorite chili ingredients to the pot if you want. Fresh jalapeno or chili peppers are good. I almost always add onions. I’m sure there are other things I just can’t think of right now. Please comment below if you have some suggestions for myself and others to try.
- You can totally substitute ground turkey for the ground beef. Or ground pork or sausage. Or – the best is to make a huge batch with ground turkey, beef and pork. Yum!
- Obviously, this could easily be turned in to a vegetarian chili by leaving out the meat.
What’s your favorite way to eat chili? Do you think it’s a college-type food, or is it good for everyone? Do you like chili on hot dogs, cheese fries or by itself? Do your children like it? It always surprises me that my children love it so much, which I can’t explain why I’m surprised by that.
Do you have any other tips or tricks to make this chili even better? I would love to hear your ideas! Please comment below and help us all out.
Oh, wait. It could be because generally children don’t like things mixed together and they rarely like soup. But, they do love chili and taco soup, which are very similar. I guess I’ll have to put my taco soup recipe on my blog sometime soon since it’s another quick, easy recipe. . .
You may also like these recipes:
Clean Eating Chili Video
30-Minute Easy Homemade Clean Eating Chili Recipe
I love how easy it is to throw this chili recipe together. You literally just dump in a bunch of cans of food and add some seasoning. My kids love this chili, especially on Navajo tacos.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Clean Eating
- 1 lb ground beef (browned)
- 15 oz cans dark kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 15 oz can of chili beans
- 15 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- homemade chili seasoning (recipe below)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp Real Salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot
- Stir together
- Heat on medium-high until the chili starts to simmer
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes (or longer)
Keywords: healthy, quick, easy, fast
If you would rather make the chili seasoning in bulk, here’s a recipe for you:
- ¾ cup chili powder
- ¼ cup ground cumin
- ¼ cup Real salt
- 2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
- Store in an airtight container
9 Clean Eating Chili Recipes
You won’t believe some of the ingredients in these recipes, really! It’s winter here and really cold outside. It has snowed more here this winter than it has in years. This is the perfect weather for chili.
The first recipe is an oldie that my husband made for years before we even met when he was a bachelor. It is definitely and man’s kind of recipe. All you do is open several cans like tomatoes and different kinds of beans and dump them in a pot. Well, I shouldn’t say that about men because it’s my kind too. It’s a real easy peasy go-to recipe that we have at our house quite often. I’m just glad my husband introduced me to it.
There are some really interesting clean chili recipes here. Have you ever tried chili with pumpkin or sweet potatoes in it? It sounds pretty good to me. There is also chili here with quinoa in it but the real kicker is the chili with applesauce in it. Let me know how they taste if you try them. I haven’t been that brave yet, have you?
1. 30-Minute Easy Homemade Chili – See Above
2. Pork Chili Verde Crock Pot Recipe – My Natural Family
Tomatillos – Anaheim Peppers – Olive Oil – Pork Roast – Onions – Garlic – Oregano – Cumin – Paprika – Chili Powder – Real Salt – Cilantro – Green Chilies – Chicken Broth – Lime – Avocado
This is the best soup to make and eat on a cold winter day. The meat is easy because all you do is cut a pork roast into pieces. This is meant to be made in a crockpot but you could easily simmer this in a covered pot on the stovetop for about 2 hours. You may need to add more chicken broth if too much of the liquid boils off.
3. Slow Cooker Creamy White Chicken– My Natural Family
Chicken Thighs – Great Northern Beans – Green Chilies – Onion – Coconut Milk – Cilantro
White chicken chili is really popular, there’s a good reason for that. It’s flavorful, light and healthy. It’s particularly easy and more flavorful when made in a slow cooker. I make this for a large group quite often. It’s easy to just throw everything into the slow cooker and let it cook while I’m getting ready. Whether I’m taking it to someone else’s house or having guests come to my house. My slow cooker has handles on it with clips that hold the lid on real tight. That makes it especially easy to carry it to someone else’s house.
4. Slow Cooker White Chicken & Quinoa – Eat Yourself Skinny
Chicken Breasts – Quinoa – Celery – Jalapeno – Green Chilies – Cannellini Beans – Corn – Chicken Broth
This is the perfect blend of healthy and hearty. It’s so easy because you put the uncooked quinoa in the pot and it cooks up while the rest is cooking up. Plus the quinoa soaks up all the flavors while it’s cooking. It’s packed with protein and will also leave your house smelling wonderful.
5. Chicken – The Bewitchin Kitchen
Ground Chicken – Black Beans – Corn – Tomatoes – Applesauce
I don’t know if you looked at the list of ingredients above but there is a real unusual ingredient in this one. I came upon the idea of using it on accident and it worked great. Yes, it’s the applesauce, I needed some extra sweetness but didn’t want to add sugar or anything like unto it, so I tried the applesauce and I’m glad I did.
6. Amazing 3 Bean Sweet Potato – My Whole Food Life
Veggie Stock – Black Beans – Kidney Beans – Pinto Beans – Tomatoes – Onion – Corn – Sweet Potatoes – Garlic
This is really easy to make. Just combine everything in a pot and turn on the heat. I think it would be really good cooked in a crock pot too. This makes tons so I would put some in the freezer if I were you. It would make a great, I don’t have time to cook tonight, I’m defrosting that chili in the freezer tonight kinda meal.
7. Slow Cooker Chicken Chili – Spend With Pennies
Chicken Breasts – Bell Peppers – Jalapeno Pepper – Corn – Black Beans – Kidney Beans – Onion – Tomatoes – Salsa – Limes – Refried Beans
Make this in the crockpot on those days when you are planning to come home late and need dinner already made. This doesn’t call for meat but you could certainly add pre-cooked ground beef or chicken breast if you want to. Ground chicken or ground turkey and good lower-fat options also. You just may have to add a little extra broth or water to compensate.
8. Crock-Pot Sweet Potato Chipotle – Cotter Crunch
Sweet Potatoes – Ground Meat of Choice – Tomatoes – Onion – Cauliflower – Chipotles – Shallot
This is made with ingredients that are easy to get and you might already have in your refrigerator. Can also be made easily in the crockpot. It’s hearty but healthy. You’ll have to try it out. I think you’ll like the addition of the chipotle.
9. Southwestern Turkey – The Gracious Pantry
Mushrooms – Ground Turkey – Peppers – Corn – Black Beans – Tomatoes
Chili has always been comfort food at our house and this recipe won’t disappoint. If you want to make this really easy to make try using a bag of frozen bell peppers or the chopped garlic you buy in a jar or dried onions, all instead of fresh. All of these options are still clean eating. You may want to try those options only some of the time and use fresh when you have more time to make dinner.