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On the Menu: Healthy Chili

For this On the Menu segment, Registered Dietitian Rebecca Serra from Mercy Health is sharing some healthy, delicious, warm chili recipes to kick off your fall.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Fall is finally here! The weather is cooling down, the kids are back in school and football season has begun. What better way to kick off your fall meals than with a warm, delicious bowl of chili?

There are so many amazing was to prepare chili in order to keep things fresh in the kitchen. Chili is the perfect way to get in a wide variety of colorful nutrients and is also a great source of fiber and protein. 

Preparing chili is quick and simple and can be used for meals all throughout the busy week, while further leftovers can be frozen for later use. 

Through adding a range of vegetables, choosing lean protein and seasoning without sodium, it is a great low calorie, low fat and low sodium meal choice that will still leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Registered Dietitian Rebecca Serra from Mercy Health shares some healthy, delicious, warm chili recipes to kick off your fall.

Turkey Black Bean Chili


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced or 1/4 tsp. minced
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey (I use 93% lean)
  • 4 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 14 oz. fat free chicken broth
  • 2 16 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen corn


Brown onion, garlic and turkey. Add spices, cook and stir 5 minutes. Add broth, beans, tomatoes and corn. Simmer until warm.

1 1/2 cups is about 280 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 11 grams fiber

Sweet Potato Chicken Chipotle Chili


  • 2 – 3 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped). Turns out to be around 3 1/2 – 4 cups
  • 2– 2 1/2 cups broth (use 2 cups for more Chili texture) see notes for more tomato base alternative
  • 1 lb. ground lean pork, beef, chicken or turkey (see notes for using precooked meat)
  • 14 oz. diced canned tomatoes (drained) – you can use garlic or onion flavor canned if you like
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 –3 cup finely chopped or riced cauliflower (add as much or little as you’d like)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 chipotles with the adobo sauce, chopped, found on Spanish/Mexican foods aisle or, 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup hot chipotle salsa may be substituted
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (1/2 tsp will create more spice)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • sea salt to taste
  • optional 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • Fresh chopped Cilantro and optional sliced jalapeno to garnish
  • Optional toppings: Cheese, tortilla chips, etc.


First chop and peel your potatoes. Place in a microwave safe bowl and steam with 1 Tbsp. water in them for 2-3 minutes or until tender.

Brown meat in a skillet, drain grease. Then place in crock pot.

Add your canned tomatoes, sweet potato, onion, cauliflower and broth, and mix all together.

Finally, add your seasonings and chipotle peppers with sauce. Add your bell pepper here if you are using it.

Stir and cook on high for 3-4 hrs. If you browned your meat prior, cooking time will be less. Around 1-2 hours high, checking at 1 hour or so.

Add more paprika and or black pepper/sea salt when finished cooking, if desired.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and optional jalapeno.

Vegetarian White Bean Chili


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-in. pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-in. pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 15.5-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped lacinato kale (about 2 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano


  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in beans, cumin, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add broth. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly reduced, about 6 minutes. Stir in kale and quinoa. Cover and cook until kale and quinoa are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in oregano.


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