If there’s one meal we have been craving above all else lately, it’s warm and hearty soup recipes. I could honestly have soup every night of the week—OK, maybe every other night—it’s that good. So, of course, I’ve been on a mission to find the best chili recipes. It’s like a soup and a meal all rolled into one. (Plus a side of cornbread? Chef’s kiss.) Not only is chili delicious, but it’s also nutritionally-packed with veggies, protein, and spice to fire up your body from within and keep you cozy until spring.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
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17 Best Chili Recipes for Cozy Winter Weeknights
It also helps you stick to your health goals without sacrificing comfort or flavor. I’ve collected a few of my favorite chili recipes that you’ll love to have simmering away in your kitchen. One tip I’ve learned from Camille is to make extra to store in the freezer for those days when you don’t have time to cook dinner. You’ll thank yourself later!
Why We Love It: This sweet potato and black bean chili is foolproof and full of flavor. I always make enough for dinner, leftovers, and maybe even a batch to freeze. It’s packed with hearty black beans, flavorful veggies, and load of spices. You won’t even miss the meat!
Hero Ingredient: The sweet potato makes this vegetarian chili all the more nutritious, filling, and totally tasty.
Why We Love It: To make this Chicken and White Bean Chili happen, all you really need to do is chop up an onion and open a few cans. It really is that easy. Plus, after hanging out in the slow cooker for eight hours, it tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day.
Hero Ingredient: The green chiles gives this recipe a unique, warming flavor.
Why We Love It: From no-cook lunches to freezer-friendly options and sheet pan dinners, Danielle Walker’s recipes focus on getting healthy meals on the table with ease. And this turkey chili verde recipe checks all of those boxes and more. Plus, everything in Healthy in a Hurry is already gluten -, grain-, and dairy-free so you don’t need to make any swaps! However, this chili could easily be made vegetarian as well.
Hero Ingredient: The cauliflower adds some extra texture and health benefits, without taking away from the chili verde flavor. The perfect way to sneak in some veggies!
Why We Love It: This Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms is the easiest vegan recipe that works in tons of spicy flavors. The finely chopped mushrooms are super meaty, making this the ultimate satisfying and comforting meal. Instantly craveable!
Hero Ingredient: The buffalo-style hot sauce, of course! It adds a delicious tang and spice that makes this chili truly one of a kind.
Why We Love It: Warming spices, lots of veggies, and plenty of hearty beans make this chili comfort in a bowl. It has a smoky, rich broth that makes it good enough to compete with classic, non-vegetarian chilis. Like all the best chili recipes, it’s another great meal prep option that stores well in the freezer.
Hero Ingredient: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes add an interesting depth of flavor that you don’t get from lesser chilis.
Why We Love It: Get your comfort food fix with only a little effort and lots of veggies. This is a hearty, warming, smoky, spicy recipe that only needs a few minutes of hands-on prep. Does it get any better than that? Oh wait, it does. With all the beautiful toppings this chili calls for, the recipe is both delicious and an aesthetically pleasing addition to your dining table.
Hero Ingredient: The corn kernels add a colorful twist and a little crunch. I can’t emphasize it enough: this chili really is as yummy as it is pretty.
Why We Love It: This turkey and white bean chili recipe is a hearty, cozy dinner that you can feel good about eating. I’d consider it the perfect cold-weather dish to add to your winter dinner recipe rotation. Cooking the chili in the slow cooker is a total game changer, making this a great dinner idea for those busy weeknights.
Hero Ingredient: It might seem weird to use apple butter in this kind of dish, but trust. Its sweetness balances out the chili’s dominant spicy flavor.
Why We Love It: This healthy turkey chili recipe is classic in flavor, thick in texture, and ready for you to customize with all your favorite toppings. The lean turkey gives you added protein, but all the veggies ensure it stays plenty wholesome and nutritious.
Hero Ingredient: Bell peppers are a classic chili ingredient that never get old.
Why We Love It: This vegan chili is rich, velvety, and packed with flavor. It sounds intimidating to make your own chili powder, but I promise it’s worth the effort. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to make and you can save it to reuse for six months. This recipe definitely has the most unique ingredients, including cocoa powder, soy sauce, masa harina, and more. The result? Absolutely addicting flavor.
Hero Ingredient: Red wine intensifies all the aromatics, spices, and chili peppers in a way that vegetable broth alone could never.
Why We Love It: I’ll begin with a disclaimer: this recipe is definitely not the quickest nor the easiest. But it’s certainly worth the work. The sweet potato walnut chili on its own is so flavorful and satiating, but it becomes even more elevated by the corn dumplings. When you have the time, this is a must-make!
Hero Ingredient: The corn dumplings make this chili extra hearty. They were inspired by a love of corn muffins with chili combined with a passion for soup dumplings. The unexpected, perfect combination!
Why We Love It: Your new favorite family dinner or game day dish. Ready in less than an hour and made with simple ingredients. You can also save time and make this chili in an Instant Pot or crockpot. Easy made easier.
Hero Ingredient: Tofu crumbles makes this chili recipe the ultimate vegan choice.
Why We Love It: A soul-warming, cozy chicken chili soup that comes together in less than an hour. Did I mention that it’s also bursting with bright and bold flavors? Not your traditional stew, but definitely just as comforting. And for all of us who love a good freezer meal, this will keep for up to two months.
Hero Ingredient: Salsa verde. Add a full, store-bought jar to this soup for the easiest addition that makes the most delicious flavor.
Why We Love It: This loaded turkey chili is quick, easy, filling, and perfect for sharing with your loved ones. It’s a great foundational recipe that can be tweaked to your heart’s desire. Be sure to double it for delicious leftovers!
Hero Ingredient: All the toppings, please. Suggestions: red and green onion, bacon, avocado, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Customize to your liking.
Why We Love It: A crowd-pleasing vegetarian chili that even carnivores will enjoy. Somehow, the leftovers seem to taste even better the next day. And it’s dairy-free and vegan (if you choose your toppings accordingly). You can also serve this chili as a protein-rich topping on nachos, baked potatoes, or oven-back fries. The options are limitless.
Hero Ingredient: We love fresh cilantro, plus it makes a pretty garnish.
Why We Love It: A great dish to make for hosting (or for yourself to eat throughout the week). It’s made in one pot with simple ingredients—our dream come true! This chili is a flavorful, fiber-rich, gluten-free, and vegan meal that should become a staple in your dinner rotation.
Hero Ingredient: Coconut sugar balances out the chili’s spice to help make this dish a crowd favorite.
Why We Love It: An internet-famous recipe since 2015 for a reason. It’s super customizable and waiting for you to make it your own. This recipe is packed with spices, veggies, beans, and ground turkey for the perfect thickness and flavor. It can also be made in the slow cooker for an easy hands-free, delicious dinner.
Hero Ingredient: A special acknowledgment to the perfect combination of spices that will have your house smelling warm and delicious as soon as your start making this dish.
Why We Love It: Another super easy crockpot recipe, this veggie chili is perfect for big families and leftovers: it serves six and can be easily doubled! It’s so easy to prepare and the beans add both amazing flavor and heartiness. If you’re like me and trying to eat vegetarian meals more, this is a perfect addition to your meal plan.
Hero Ingredient: All those spices are absolutely crucial. They lend so warmth and comfort to this cozy dish.
This post was originally published on February 8, 2021, and has since been updated.
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