Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili


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.

Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each


  • 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)

  • ½ cup bulgur

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (see Tip)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • ½ 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.


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 (per serving)

411 Calories
16g Fat
38g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size about 1 1/2 cups
Calories 411
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 14g 51%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 28g 56%
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Vitamin A 1786IU 36%
Vitamin C 4mg 5%
Folate 25mcg 6%
Sodium 660mg 29%
Calcium 113mg 9%
Iron 5mg 28%
Magnesium 93mg 22%
Potassium 6mg 0%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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