Home | Healthy High Protein Beef Chili Recipe

Healthy High Protein Beef Chili Recipe

by Heather

Have you been looking for an easy beef chili recipe? You’re in the right place! This high protein chili recipe will feed a crowd, is incredibly simple to make, and can be made either on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in the instant pot! Want to know the secret ingredient? A little cocoa powder is a great way to add more depth of flavor.

high protein chili recipe

Easy beef chili recipe

Chili has been a longstanding meal that we bring out when the weather cools down. It’s an easy recipe, is filling, loaded with protein and veggies, and is such a flavorful dish.

You can spice it up with homemade chili seasoning, or tone the flavors down if you’re feeding kids and they want nothing to do with heat.

Serve it with easy homemade skillet cornbread, over rice, with roasted sweet potato, or even tortilla chips.

Make it the perfect meal for YOUR family and it will quickly turn into a winter staple everyone looks forward to.

Love beef chili? I think you’ll also love my paleo turkey chili recipe!

Dinner made easy

This recipe comes straight out of the November Fit Mama Meal Plan. It is just such a good recipe, and I just needed you to have it here too! 

Within the meal plan, we simplify busy weeknights and transform the leftover easy chili into butternut squash chili mac – yum!

Definitely go check out that meal plan for the deets!

How to make beef chili

What you’ll need for this beef chili recipe

Scroll down to view the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, nutrition values, and step-by-step instructions.

How to make beef chili

How to make easy beef chili on the stovetop

  1. Heat a large dutch oven or pot to medium-high heat. Add ground beef and saute, breaking up big pieces, until beef is browned. Drain, remove and set aside for later.
  2. Add the avocado oil to the pot along with the onion and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, sea salt, pepper, cocoa powder, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, beef broth and cooked ground beef back in. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Serve the chili with your favorite cornbread recipe, over rice, or with tortilla chips!

How to make easy beef chili in a slow cooker

  1. Heat a large pot to medium heat. Add ground beef and saute, breaking up big pieces, until the beef is browned. Drain, remove and set aside for later. 
  2. Add the cooked beef plus all the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker and give it a good stir. Cook on low heat for 8 hours then serve with your favorite toppings like sour cream, green onion, and grated cheddar cheese.

How to make easy beef chili in an instant pot

  1. Press the saute setting on the 6 QT Instant Pot. Once it reads “hot” add the ground beef and let it saute for 5 minutes, breaking up the ground meat. 
  2. When the beef is fully cooked, remove excess fat. Press “cancel” to turn the pressure cooker off. 
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Cover with the lid, and seal (making sure that the valve on the lid is set to the “sealing” position).
  4. Select “manual” on the instant pot (or high pressure) and set it to 15 minutes.
  5. Once the 15 minutes are complete, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes, or if you need it sooner, use the quick-release method. Enjoy it with all the fixings!

How to store leftover chili

Once the chili cools, it can be stored in an airtight container, or your favorite glass food storage containers in the fridge for up to a week. Meal prep it to always have a great source of protein on hand!

Here is a list of my favorite earth-friendly food storage options.

Can you freeze chili?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze chili! It’s a really great option for a freezer meal.

Once the chili cools fully, add it to your freezer bag, remove all the air, label and date and freeze for up to 6 months.

To defrost, simply place the frozen chili in the fridge overnight and rewarm it on the stovetop. 

healthy beef chili recipe

Ideas for leftover chili

Substitutions for this high protein chili recipe

Below you’ll find a list of substitutions that will work well in this high-protein chili recipe. 

If you try something different out, please leave a comment below letting us all know how it turned out!

Ground beef – Ground bison, ground turkey, and ground chicken all make great alternatives to lean ground beef. To add more protein and fiber to your chili, feel free to add black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, or white beans into the chili. To make this a vegetarian chili, use a few different kinds of beans and lentils in place of red meat.

Avocado oil – Olive oil, ghee, butter, and coconut oil are all good substitutes for avocado oil.

Green pepper – You can choose from any color of bell pepper like red pepper or orange. If you are a fan of heat, feel free to sub in or add chili peppers or green chiles.

high protein chili recipe with ground beef

More healthy beef recipes you’ll love

easy beef chili recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

High Protein Beef Chili Recipe

Have you been looking for an easy beef chili recipe? You’re in the right place! This high protein chili recipe will feed a crowd, is incredibly simple to make, and can be made either on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in the instant pot! Want to know the secret ingredient? A little cocoa powder is a great way to add more depth of flavor.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef, chili, soup
Servings: 8
Calories: 471kcal
Author: Heather

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat a large dutch oven or pot to medium-high heat. Add ground beef and saute, breaking up big pieces, until the beef is browned. Drain, remove and set aside for later.
    how to make easy beef chili on the stovetop
  • Add the avocado oil to the pot along with the onion and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
    how to make easy beef chili on the stovetop
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, sea salt, pepper, cocoa powder, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, and cooked ground beef back in. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    How to make beef chili
  • Serve the chili with your favorite cornbread recipe, over rice, or with tortilla chips!
    how to make easy beef chili on the stovetop

Notes

See notes in the blog post for slow cooker and instant pot instructions.
Did you make this recipe?Be sure to tag me @fitmamarealfood or tag #fitmamarealfood!

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1262mg | Potassium: 1019mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1280IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 6mg
easy beef chili recipe

If you try this easy beef chili recipe, I’d love it if you left a star rating and comment below letting me know how it turned out!

XO

Heather

Originally published February 2011. Updated October 2022.

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19 comments

marla@familyfreshcooking.com February 8, 2011 - 5:49 am

Your vegan chili looks awesome – I would not miss the meat at all. Hope you guys had a fun Super Bowl weekend 🙂 xo

Reply
Get Healthy with Heather February 8, 2011 - 6:26 am

We did! I just noticed your updates on your website – I like the changes to your header! And your family picture is so cute too.

Reply
Faith February 8, 2011 - 8:10 am

The chili looks great Heather! I know Mike wouldn’t mind it without the meat! Great pictures.. You’re making me craving chili in this cold weather.

Reply
Andrea February 8, 2011 - 1:33 pm

That looks really delicious, Heather! I love every recipe of Isa’s that I’ve tried. And So Delicious coconut milk is my favorite non-dairy milk. We don’t use anything else anymore at our house, and our fridge is packed full of them! I can’t wait to try both of these recipes!

Reply
janetha February 8, 2011 - 1:37 pm

chili and cornbread NEVER lets me down. looks great!

Reply
Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner February 8, 2011 - 1:40 pm

Thanks for the chili recipe! Chili is one of my favorites, and your recipe is so easy — I can just put it in in the morning, and by the evening, I can have me a bowl of deliciousness!! 🙂

Reply
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 8, 2011 - 3:28 pm

I used to hate cornbread until last year, when I tried for it for the first time since I was a kid. I LOVED it! Especially crumbled over chili. Nothing better!

Reply
Get Healthy with Heather February 9, 2011 - 5:28 am

Mmmmm over chili is the best! I can’t believe my husband isn’t a cornbread lover. Just means more for me 🙂

Reply
Kristen (swanky dietitian) February 8, 2011 - 4:03 pm

This looks excellent! I am absolutely loving the cornbread. Can’t have chili without cornbread!

Reply
Can you say comfort? | Get Healthy with Heather February 9, 2011 - 5:43 am

[…] 1/2 cups vegan crockpot chili (a great use of the […]

Reply
Michelle @ Housewife in the Raw February 9, 2011 - 2:50 pm

This looks fantastic! I’ll admit, I often resort to making the cornbread in a box (usually Jiffy), but it is most certainly not vegan. I love making cornbread in an iron skillet – it makes such a difference in the crust texture.

Reply
Get Healthy with Heather February 9, 2011 - 5:21 pm

Skillet cornbread it so good with that crispy crust!

Reply
Erica February 10, 2011 - 8:16 am

Book marked! I love trying new chili recipes. And cornbread (or tortilla chips) is the perfect topping. Glad everyone enjoyed your creations 🙂

Sorry I’ve been MIA! I will finally have a post up tomorrow

Reply
Chili Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes | Get Healthy with Heather February 16, 2011 - 5:39 am

[…] made another batch of my crockpot chili, and because it’s just the 2 of us this time we have lots left over.  I plan to freeze some and […]

Reply
Build a better taco salad | Get Healthy with Heather February 19, 2011 - 6:09 am

[…] Corn bread […]

Reply
Lacey October 25, 2011 - 3:58 pm

Today I am making this chili for the 2nd time this month! 😀 Love having easy meals right now with the new baby and all. Thanks Heather!

Reply
Get Healthy with Heather October 25, 2011 - 4:05 pm

Yay I’m so glad you like it! Jason is so cute 🙂

Reply
Build a better taco salad | Fit Mama Real Food July 25, 2012 - 1:33 pm

[…] Corn bread […]

Reply
40+ comfort food recipes to get you through the winter December 13, 2020 - 9:01 pm

[…] Easy Beef Chili […]

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