This healthy Beef Chili is a hearty and comforting dish, with rich and robust flavors that warm the soul. The lean ground beef is slow-cooked in a flavorful and spicy tomato-based sauce, infused with a medley of aromatic spices such as cumin, chili and garlic powder, plus oregano.

A bowl with chili with cornbread muffins on the side.

**This post was originally published on Dec 2014. It has been updated to be more helpful.

You’ve just found your new favorite Healthy Beef Chili! With only 15 minutes of hands-on time, it isn’t labor-intensive.  Plus is healthy and delicious! The heat from the chilies is balanced by the sweetness of the onions and the tanginess of the tomatoes, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite.

Chilis made in the slow cooker are a fantastic make-ahead option for families who are constantly on the go, and this beefy version is no different. Serve with a simple green salad, cornbread or my tasty Skinny Cheddar Bay Biscuits for a dinner that will soon be a fan favorite.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Don’t you love it when a comfort food dish is also healthy? Beef Chili recipe is one of those dishes that is packed with protein, fiber, minerals, antioxidants and more. To keep it low fat, use 96% lean ground beef or ground turkey or chicken if you prefer.

Two white bowls of chili with cornbread muffins on the side.

The Ingredients

To make this healthy chili recipe, you will need the following ingredients (amounts included in the full recipe card below).

  • Beef: Use 2 pounds 96% ground beef for a very healthy & lean chili. You can use higher fat beef if you want but the higher fat content is not necessary for extra flavor. Additionally, this can be made with ground turkey as well.
  • For the juice: All you need is tomato juice and tomato purée.
  • Beans: Canned red kidney beans and pinto beans.
  • The veggies: You’ll need onions, green bell pepper and celery.
  • The spices: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, dried oregano, white sugar and cayenne pepper if you like to add a little kick to it.
Beef chili ingredients in the dish of a crockpot.

How To Make This Beef Chili

Be ready! The aroma of the chile simmering on the stove fills the kitchen with a mouth-watering scent. Luckily, the entire prep process takes 15 minutes or less. Top Tip: To save time, get the other ingredients ready while you brown the beef.

  1. In a large skillet or a medium saucepan, brown the ground beef until almost all liquid is gone. Since the beef it’s low fat, you should not have much it.
Cooked ground beef in a small skillet.

Cooking it on slow cooker

  1. Once the beef is ready, add the cooked beef and the rest of the ingredients in a large crockpot. Cover the pot and let the chili simmer for 4 hours on low.

Note: For me this is the best method for cooking Beef Chili. All of the flavors have time to develop well together without rushing the process. I have tried cooking it in the instant pot and it just didn’t do it for me 🙂

Cooking it on stove top

If you cook it on the stove top, place all ingredients in a medium to large heavy bottom pot. Simmer on very low heat for 2 hours or until all of the flavors have developed well. Make sure not to cook it on very strong heat since it’ll dry it out too quickly. Stir often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Beef chili in the dish of a crockpot.

How To Serve

Serve warm with a side of fluffy and buttery cornbread, making it the perfect meal for a cold winter evening. This dish may also be served with toppings such grated cheese, diced onions, red pepper flakes and sour cream.

However, even though most people cook chili during cool weather days, I love to make it year round!

How to Store & Reheat


  • Fridge: If you’re planning to eat the leftover chili within a couple of days, store in the fridge in an airtight container. 
  • Freezer: This chili will perfectly last up to three months in the freezer in an airtight container.


Place the chili in a small saucepan and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot; or reheat in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes per bowl.

Beef chili in a black bowl with a piece of cornbread on the side.

I hope you like this recipe! Share it, or leave a rating and comment below. For questions that need an answer right away, please contact  me and I’ll get back to you asap. Gracias!!!! xx, Ana

Print Recipe:

Beef chili in the dish of a crockpot.

Healthy Beef Chili

Servings 10 people
Ana Frias
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
This Healthy Beef Chili is packed with protein, fiber, minerals, antioxidants and more. I like to use 96% ground beef but you can make it with ground turkey as well.


  • Slow cooker
10 people


  • 2 pounds 96% ground beef
  • 1 quart tomato juice 1 29-ounce
  • 1 can tomato purée 1 15-ounce
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained (15-ounce)
  • 1 can pinto beans drained (15-ounce)
  • 1 medium-large onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 3 Tablespoon chili powder use 1/4 cup to make it spicy
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.
  • Drain off the fat (if any).
  • While the beef is cooking, turn the crockpot to low to start warming it up and start adding the remaining ingredients.
  • *See note for cooking it on stovetop.
  • Cover the slow-cooker with lid and let the chili simmer for 4 hours on low.
  • Serve warm with crackers or cornbread.

Muy Delish Notes:

Stovetop instructions:
  1. In a large pot, cook the beef as noted above.
  2. Add the remaining of ingredients.
  3. Simmer on very low heat for 2 hours or until all of the flavors have developed well. Make sure not to cook it on very strong heat since it’ll dry it out too quickly.
  4. Stir often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add Your Own Private Notes

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.


Serving: 2cup | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 694mg | Potassium: 1233mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 36mg

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday and it came out so good. This will definitely become a staple part of my diet. I’m going to be making more of it to use my extra ingredients.

  2. Yummy, can’t wait to make it! Do you have a preferred brand of chili powder? Love your blog, thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Pushpa! I really don’t have a preferred brand for chili powder. Most of the time I end up buying the ones in the little bags in the spices or in the bulk section of my farmers market store. I really appreciate you visiting the blog! Hope to see you soon again 🙂

    1. Hi Rachel! Chili is perfect especially during this time of year. Thanks so much for your commend and the pin! Have a fantastic day xo, Ana