Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili

September/October 2013

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Anything but dainty, this healthy cowboy beef and bean chili recipe is hearty with the addition of mushrooms and beer. To keep the saturated fat low, we use one pound of ground beef and add whole-grain bulgur to boost the volume and fiber in this chili recipe. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili

Makes: 6 servings

Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager-style beer


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add bulgur, Worcestershire sauce, ancho chile powder, regular chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Stir in kidney beans, then pour in broth and beer; bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and thickened and the bulgur is tender, about 50 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Ancho chile powder, made from dried poblano peppers, has a mild, sweet spicy flavor. Look for it in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets. Other mildly spicy chili powder can be used in its place.


Per serving: 393 calories; 14 g fat (4 g sat, 8 g mono); 49 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 15 g fiber; 593 mg sodium; 1044 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (37% daily value), Vitamin A (36% dv), Potassium (29% dv), (Iron 28% dv), Magnesium (21% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 2 medium fat meat, 1 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Super Bowl
Type of Dish
Main dish, meat
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

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