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.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2013


Recipe Summary

1 hr 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Add bulgur, Worcestershire sauce, ancho chile powder, regular chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  • Stir in kidney beans, then pour in broth and beer; bring to a boil.

  • 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.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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.

Nutrition Facts

411 calories; protein 28.2g; carbohydrates 37.5g; dietary fiber 14.3g; sugars 3.3g; fat 15.7g; saturated fat 4.1g; cholesterol 51.6mg; vitamin a iu 1786.4IU; vitamin c 4.1mg; folate 24.5mcg; calcium 112.5mg; iron 5.1mg; magnesium 92.9mg; potassium 6.2mg; sodium 659.7mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (6)

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6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This was really good! didn't have any ancho chile powder unfortunately so I used 2TB of regular chili powder and 1TB of Mexican style chili powder. I also chopped up a green bell pepper and added to it. This was especially tasty the next day almost better even. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent recipe. I highly recommend sticking with ancho chili powder if at all possible. It's not a deal breaker but it does give a whole new level of depth. I found some in the bulk section of my high end grocery store. I also give it a dash of cayenne pepper for some heat. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy &healthy Simple to prepare flavorful & even picky eaters like it. I'll definitely make this again. Pros: Flavorful simple to make picky eaters polished off the left overs. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great recipe! I'm always trying new chili recipes. This one turned out surprisingly good. I followed the recipe as written including cooking it for about an hour to reduce the liquids. Next time I plan on adding in some more vegetables including bell pepper. Pros: Easy tasty healthy Cons: None Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious Really good easy to make and perfect to bring to lunch at work. I used chicken breast pieces instead of beef and added red peppers and corn. When I reheated it I added a bit of beer to thin it out - and amp up the flavors. Will definitely be making this again! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Best chili ever! I've made this numerous times due to its low calorie and sodium. The spices are the real winner here...this chili just tastes incredible! Pros: Tastes great smells delicious and no one has ever turned it down. Cons: Could use some more salt. Read More