This is a super easy 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 super easy to make? All you do is open a bunch of cans, dump them in a pan, stir and eat. 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 this recipe 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.
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.
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 Pot .
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.
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 thing 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.Print
I love how easy it is to throw this 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.
- 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
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ⅛ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- ⅛ 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