Easy 20 Minute Chili

I was challenged by the Fraser Health Communications team to provide the following:

Share your favourite healthy dinner recipe. It has to be ready in 20 minutes or less, easy to make on a budget, simple for non-cooks and kid-friendly: Go! (No cheating with easy prep salads, there has to be some “cooking” involved!)

The FIRST thing that came to mind – chili! During my experience with the Welfare Food Challenge a couple years ago, this was one of the staple meals that week and was honestly the best meal I had during that challenge. It’s affordable, really easy to make, involves only one pot and it’s really delicious (I’m not kiddin’!)



  • 1 tbsp (15mL) oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb (454g) veggie ground round or beef (optional)
  • 1 can kidney beans (approx. 550mL can), drained
  • 1 can black beans (approx 550mL can), drained
  • 1 can (approx. 800mL can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can (approx. 150mL can) tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp (15mL) chili powder – add more for some more heat
  • 2 tsp (10mL) ground cumin – add more if you like a smokey flavour
  • 1 tsp (5mL) onion powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Add onions and garlic to a large pot with olive oil on medium heat. Cook until soft and transparent (approx. 2-3 min). If using veggie ground round beef, add to pot and cook until browned (approx. 5 min).
  2. Add beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and all seasonings to the pot. Stir until combined. Cover and simmer on low heat for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you have more time, simmer for longer!
  3. Portion into bowls. Garnish with your fav chili toppings (sour cream, grated cheese, green onions).
  4. NOM!​ Serves 4-6.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Got some extra time? I suggest using dried beans instead of canned. I really like the texture of dried beans and is much cheaper than canned (especially in bulk!) Just soak over night, add to the recipe, and let this chili simmer for about an hour or until the beans are tender. It’s DELISH!
  • Prefer your chili on the thinner side. Add some water to thin it out. Start with 1/2 cup (125mL) and work your way up per preference.
  • Need a freezable meal? Try this recipe! Make a big batch, portion into individual servings, and BAM! Easy, convenient future meals when you’re strapped for time but need a quick meal!

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