I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting all year for this. Sweaters, movies, hot cocoa, and best of all, endless bowls of chili! It warms my heart (and stomach) just thinking about it. This meal can be prepared in the slow-cooker or on the stove. Regardless, the end result will be a nutritious, soul-nourishing meal to power you and your family through the week!

This recipe is versatile. Keep it classic. Skip the meat. Add some spice. Pair it with something sweet. While you’re at it, toss in those forgotten vegetables too. You can’t go wrong. Start here and customize to your liking.

Tip: Switch up the protein source and add a variety of vegetables to give your body a wider range of nutrients. Aim to add at least three different colors of vegetables to your chili to boost phytonutrient intake (plant compounds with beneficial health effects) and overall satisfaction. Remember, we eat with our eyes too! Makes 6-8 servings


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and diced (any color)
  • 1 lb. ground meat/meat alternative (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, tempeh, tofu)
  • ½ tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ – ½ tsp crush red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (recommended: Pacific Foods low sodium variety)
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire-roasted or no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) beans (any variety: black, kidney, pinto), drained and rinsed

Toppings (optional):

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Diced avocado
  • Yellow corn chips or tortilla strips
  • Shredded cheese

Serve with (optional):

  • Cornbread
  • Cinnamon Roll



  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the bell peppers, ground meat/meat alternative, garlic, and spices. Continuously stir, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces, until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, tomatoes, and beans and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Serve hot with desired toppings.
  5. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, or transfer to the freezer (after cooled) for up to 3 months.


Follow steps 1 and 2 from above. Place cooked vegetables and protein in the slow-cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

 Recipe adapted from Run Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook.

Amanda Montplaisir is a dietetic intern at the Mankato Clinic Diabetes Care Center.