One of the meals I made to last most of the week for the low-budget food challenge was a simple chili. I was surprised I was able to pull this off without my usual poblano and jalapeno peppers, among other ingredients. This isn’t the best chili I’ve made, but it tasted good and it was quite filling.
I made this in the dutch oven, but it could easily be made in any large pot. It could also be made in a slow cooker after browning the beef.
Simple, Low-Cost Chili
- Soak beans per the instructions on the bag, either quick soak or overnight method. Do not get rid of the liquid!
- Preheat a large pot over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown, stirring occasionally and breaking up the pieces. (Note: Normally I would start with olive oil and cook some garlic and onions first, but being limited in resources due to the low budget challenge, I did not have olive oil to use, and I didn’t want to waste any of the butter. I decided the fat from the beef would be just fine for cooking the onions.)
- Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add beans (including the liquid from soaking), canned tomatoes, chili seasoning, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for at least 20 minutes. (Note: I let mine simmer for about an hour (stirring occasionally) because I was doing other things, but it would have been fine to eat after 20 minutes.)
Nutritional Information (per serving)
I estimated the nutritional information using the recipe builder on the USDA SuperTracker. If you’re on a low sodium diet, you can reduce the amount of sodium by about 78% if you don’t add the 1tbsp of salt to the recipe.
% of Daily Target or Limit
|Total Calories||165||8% limit|
|Protein||12 g||26% target|
|Carbohydrate||21 g||16% target|
|Dietary Fiber||7 g||30% target|
|Total Sugars||4 g||No daily target or limit|
|Added Sugars||0 g||0% limit|
|Total Fat||4 g||No daily target or limit|
|Saturated Fat||1 g||6% limit|
|Monounsaturated Fat||2 g||No daily target or limit|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1 g||No daily target or limit|
|Linoleic Acid||0 g||2% target|
|α-Linolenic Acid||0.1 g||10% target|
|Omega 3 – EPA||1 mg||No daily target or limit|
|Omega 3 – DHA||0 mg||No daily target or limit|
|Cholesterol||18 mg||6% limit|
|Calcium||68 mg||7% target|
|Potassium||563 mg||12% target|
|Sodium||1269 mg||55% limit|
|Copper||224 µg||25% target|
|Iron||8 mg||42% target|
|Magnesium||55 mg||17% target|
|Phosphorus||159 mg||23% target|
|Selenium||6 µg||11% target|
|Zinc||2 mg||27% target|
|Vitamin A||29 µg RAE||4% target|
|Vitamin B6||0.3 mg||22% target|
|Vitamin B12||0.6 µg||23% target|
|Vitamin C||16 mg||21% target|
|Vitamin D||0 µg||0% target|
|Vitamin E||1 mg AT||5% target|
|Vitamin K||6 µg||7% target|
|Folate||106 µg DFE||27% target|
|Thiamin||0.8 mg||75% target|
|Riboflavin||0.1 mg||13% target|
|Niacin||2 mg||17% target|
|Choline||34 mg||8% target|