The Best Chili

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on our sister site

Slow-simmering, secret-ingredient chili is fun when you’ve got time. When you’re in a rush, you want the hearty cold-weather favorite. The nutritionists’ preferences and additions to the famous brands can be helpful in those situations.

According to registered dietitian nutritionist Kacie Barnes, chili is very comforting and can be nutrient-rich when appropriately prepared. Chili is an excellent foundation for meals. You can make taco salads with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and salsa. It goes well with whole-grain cornbread, wraps, or brown rice.

Label Guidelines

Bianca Tamburello suggested choosing chilis that use turkey, tofu, chicken, or beans. There is less saturated fat in leaner proteins than in beef or pork chili. Check the sodium content of your canned food. Anything over 20% DV, or 460 milligrams, is pretty high.


We heard from many nutritionists that beans should be the highlight of chili ingredient lists. As RDN Jerlyn Jones explained, regular bean consumption lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity. In addition to keeping you healthy, beans provide you with lean protein.

Some packaged chili contains no beans, according to RDN Amy Gorin. She suggests choosing beans for a plethora of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Don’t Go Overboard

RD Vanessa Rissetto recommended paying attention to extras. Add plain Greek yogurt, crumbled soy, or tofu to your chili to boost protein content. It adds sodium and saturated fat. Adding other ingredients and toppings can lower the calories to around 300 per serving.


Use toasted whole wheat pita chips instead of tortilla chips for chili dipping – toast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cut pita into triangles. Make sloppy Joes, bake a sweet potato with it, or tuck it into a pita. Chili leftovers make great meals. Here are a few nutritionist-recommended brands: Amy’s Kitchen, Eden, Tabatchnick vegetarian chili, and Tribali Foods turkey & white bean chili.