The Macro-Friendly Chili Recipe You’ve Been Looking For

By Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

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Ah, Fall. Cool, crisp air, hot coffee, warm sweaters, comfort foods… cozy vibes all around. As soon as fall hits, I’m so ready. I know I’m not alone on that one.

One meal that I get excited about making each fall is chili, but not just any chili, my macro-friendly. It’s made in your crockpot, so you can enjoy the delicious smells in your house all day long. Plus, it’s so easy to throw together, it’ll become a staple for busy weeknights scrambling to eat dinner between kids’ practices and weekend game day parties and get-togethers.

Macros in a diet can be very instrumental in transforming your body - from losing weight to a total body recomposition, learning how to count macros is one thing, but finding meals is a whole other challenge.

With just a handful of ingredients and very little prep or maintenance, this macro friendly chili is sure to become part of your meal rotation this fall and winter.

5 Reasons You’ll Love This Macro-Friendly Chili Recipe

chili recipe macro

1. It takes less than 30 minutes to put together.

2. You’ll be using a slow cooker, so you can set it and forget it!

3. Both kids and adults love this recipe (not too spicy and not stuffed with beans)

4. The ingredients are easy to come by and affordable.

5. It’s macro friendly, allowing you to maintain your balanced diet.

Why Use a Slowcooker?

Slow-cooking chili is the classic way to do it. For generations folks have been slow cooking chili, allowing all of the flavors, spices, and juices to marinate together and the meat to become tender and irresistibly tasty. You can slow cook your chili two ways; on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours – the choice is yours!

Do You Have to Use a Slowcooker?

Nope! The stove top works great, too. If you choose to use your stovetop, simply brown your turkey right in a large pan or Dutch oven, add all of your ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes with the cover on.

Can You Freeze It?

Absolutely! In fact, I will often freeze half and save it for another day as the amount this recipe makes is usually enough for more than 1-2 days for our family and we usually don’t eat anything for more than 2 days in a row.

What Can I Top It With?

topping macro chili with cheese

One of the greatest things about chili is that you can choose from all kinds of delicious toppings! Even the simplest of recipes can become a delightful masterpiece or a tasty concoction when you make it your own with your favorite toppers. Here are my recommendations:

  • Greek yogurt (macro friendly option) or sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (use the “less fat” version to better your macros)
  • Red onions
  • Jalapenos
  • Crackers or tortilla chips crumbled 
  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado

Ingredients For Macro Friendly Chili

macro-friendly chili ingredients

The following ingredients will be all you need to get your chili cookin’:

Ground Turkey

I recommend using either 85/15 or 93/7 for this recipe. To be honest, 85/15 will add a little more flavor, but if your macro budget is tight, go for the 93/7 to save yourself some fats.

Canned Tomatoes, tomato sauce and Tomato Sauce

There are a lot of options when it comes to canned tomatoes, brands like Hunt’s have a ton of variety, from Fire Roasted to Sweet Onions and Garlic. I recommend finding the flavor that sounds tastiest to you and those you’re serving. For reference, I tend to go with the Fire Roasted as it adds a ton of yummy flavor.

Beans

Kidney beans are a classic for chili recipes. Bonus, they’re very macro-friendly. However, feel free to choose any beans that you love or that you have on hand. You can also choose to omit the beans if you’re not a fan!

Onions

A generous amount of onions can add a ton of flavor to your chili, but they’ll be barely noticeable by the time they cook down throughout the course of the day in your slow cooker. 

Green Chiles

Want a dash of spice? Green chilies will provide just the right amount.

Chili Seasoning

You can purchase a packet of chili seasoning or make your own using a simple homemade blend of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.

How to Make Macro Friendly Slow Cooker Chili

fit healthy momma macro chili

Making your chili couldn’t be any easier, here’s how to do it:

Step 1

Saute the turkey and onion in a skillet until the turkey is no longer pink and the onions are looking translucent, then add your garlic and seasonings to the pan and cook until fragrant.

Step 2

Transfer your turkey mixture to your 6 Qt slow cooker.

Step 3

Add all of your remaining ingredients (rinsed and drained beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, green chilies, etc. to the slow cooker.

Step 4

Cover your cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Try not to lift the lid during cooking until the very end when you can give it a taste and determine if it needs a dash of additional seasoning.

Chili Hack

if your chili is tasting too spicy or acidic, add a dash of granulated sugar to it to neutralize it. Add as little or as much as needed per your taste preferences.

Ingredients List (Grocery List)

  • 2 lbs ground turkey (85/15 or 93/7)
  • ½ medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire roasted)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 can of diced green chilies
  • 1 15.5 oz can of beans, drained -  (I used kidney beans)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the turkey until it releases fat (4-5 minutes), breaking it up with a spatula or meat masher. 

cooking turkey for macro chili

Add onion to the skillet and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add in your minced garlic,, and seasonings: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 30 seconds stirring constantly. Transfer all ingredients to a 6 Qt slow cooker.

Add your remaining ingredients into your slow cooker: rinsed and drained beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, diced toms, and green chilis with juice and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Add more seasoning to taste, if needed, and serve warm with a heary slice of homemade bread, over top of rice, as a chili dog, etc. Don’t forget your favorite toppings!

adding ingredients slow cooker chili

Macros and Nutritional Information

  • Total servings: 10
  • Serving size: Approximately 390 grams
  • Calories: 240
  • Protein: 28
  • Carbs: 22
  • Fat: 6

Keep in mind that this information is based on your macro friendly chili without toppings. Be sure to measure, track, and log your toppings if you’re following a macro diet.

Conclusion

I hope that you find this macro-friendly chili recipe to be delicious and nutritious, while helping you reach your macro goals. It's really easy to make and is an awesome meal for fall, winter, or any cold / chilly day!

fit healthy momma with macro chili

About the author 

Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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