Recipe: Low Calorie Three Bean Chili

I used to be so bad at cooking…like…awful. I was so bad my brother would call me BURNice (Bernice). The past two years I have been determined to not only become a better cook but to live a healthier life by eating real foods that are high in nutrients. So I went online and looked up things that I really enjoy eating and found the recipes on how to make them.

This Three Bean Chili recipe came from “The Gorgeous Girl Guide” written by best selling author Karrine Steffans. She has several recipes on her blog that I have made and loved, but this one is by far my favorite! What I did to this recipe (which I do to most of them) is alter the ingredients to make it my own. This low calorie three bean chili gives you just about 10-15 portions which is good for someone that is trying to meal prep for fitness or efficiency during the week. I use about half the ingredients that “The Gorgeous Guide” recommends because you can feed a family of five with those portions, and I’m just cooking for me. *winks

Take a look at the ingredients I use, then I’ll tell you how I made it. I’ll also share the calories per item and per portion for your reference.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (240 calories)
  • 1/2 red onion (30  calories)
  • 1 red bell pepper (25 calories)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (25 calories)
  • 1 orange bell pepper (25 calories)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic in water (30 calories)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (98% lean) (640 calories)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium chili powder (30 calories)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin (24 calories)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (0 calories)
  • 3 oz tomato paste (90  calories)
  • 12 oz light beer (64 calories)
  • 21 oz diced tomato (148 ounces)
  • 1 canned reduced sodium black beans (315 calories)
  • 1 canned reduced sodium kidney beans (385 calories)
  • 1 canned reduced sodium garbanzo beans (385 calories)

Please note, I’m a Spanish girl so I was born with the taste of Goya in my mouth. It’s usually my “go to” but feel free to use whatever brands of any of these ingredients that you’d like. Today though, I had a lot of  these ingredients in my cabinet already. My suggestion is to don’t go with a particular brand. Go with inexpensive!

Here is where you start, so you turn the stove on…jk

  1. Dice up all of your veggies (red onion, bell peppers)
  2. Add your 2 tbsp olive oil to a large pot (be sure the pot you choose has a top)
  3. Heat the pot on medium heat
  4. Add your diced onion and bell peppers, stir, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes
  5. Add your 2 tbsp of minced garlic, stir
  6. Add your 1 lb of ground turkey
  7. Mash all of your ingredients together with a wire masher, stir, then cook for about 5 minutes or until the turkey is slightly browned
  8. Drain the contents of the pot (if needed). I have made this a million times and haven’t needed to so you probably won’t either.
  9. Add 1/4 cup of your reduced sodium chili powder, Stir
  10. Add 1 tbsp of cumin, stir
  11. Add 1 tbsp dried oregano, stir
  12. Add 3 oz of tomato paste, stir. You should have a thick mush once you add the paste.
  13. Add a 12oz light beer to the “mush” and stir it
  14. Smell it…it smells great, right??
  15. Bring the contents to a simmer
  16. Add your 21 oz of diced tomatoes
  17. Drain all of your canned beans
  18. Add all of your canned of beans, stir
  19. Let it simmer on medium to low heat for about 2 hours, stir whenever possible.


Here are some additional toppings that I love. I call them the “fat toppings”.

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Jalapenos
  • Corn

You can add these if you aren’t concerned about calories.
You can also add the reduced fat/low sodium version of these in moderation if you need some more “umph!” to the recipe and are concerned about calories.

I usually serve about 1 cup for myself each time I eat which is about 243 calories per portion without the “fat toppings”. The entire pot is about 2,426 calories.

The entire meal cost me about $30.00 and will last me about 3-4 days.


Please send me pictures on Instagram (@ladylauraco) if you end up making it and loving it. Also if you’d like more recipes on the site, just let me know.



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