Skinny Chili Italiano

Most Americans love chili! It’s a one pot wonder that’s both hearty and satisfying. This however, is not your typical chili recipe…Not only will chili fans enjoy this, even people who don’t usually like chili seem to like this Italian inspired one.  Most chili is seasoned with chili powder but I’m using Italian dried seasoning, fresh garlic and adding a bit of a kick with dried red peppers flakes.  This chili is loaded with tomatoes and is rich in flavor due to the red wine and balsamic vinegar.  Besides kidney beans, I’m using a can of Italian style cannellini beans.  Most Italian style chili include sausage and pepperoni.  To keep this skinny I’m using a very lean ground beef, adding a 70% less fat pepperoni, and cooking the beef and onions with no oil added.  Each serving has 177 calories and 3 grams of fat.  Made with the usual fattening ingredients brings this chili to 391 calories and 27 grams of fat! This flavorful chili might just win you first place at a chili cook off!  It’s fantastico!
Skinny Chili Italiano

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Makes 12 cups (each serving, 1 cup)

Healthy Benefits

Beans are a great source of lean protein.  They are filled with fiber, low in calories, fat and contain no cholesterol.
Canned tomatoes (cooked tomatoes) are loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that’s been shown to help reduced the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

Shopping Tips

Look for the leanest ground beef available.  I used the 96/4 beef at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find extra lean beef, draining it after being browned, will get rid of most of the excess fat.
Hormel turkey pepperoni is available in most supermarkets in the packaged luncheon meat aisle.
When a recipe calls for wine, I use a inexpensive bottle.  For this recipe I used Trader Joe’s-Charles Shaw Cabernet.  The 2 buck Chuck!

Prep Tips

Always rinse beans before adding to a recipe. It will remove most of the sodium.
Add the beans toward the end of the cooking to prevent them from becoming mushy.
If you aren’t using a nonstick pan or pot, you might need to add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan when cooking the onions.

Weight Watchers
 (old points) 3
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup skinny chili
177 calories, 3g fat, 16g protein, 22g carbs, 5g fiber, 553mg sodium, 6g sugar
FAT FACTS: for 1 cup of a full fat recipe
391 calories, 27g fat, 15g protein, 23g carbs, 5g fiber, 1313mg sodium, 6g sugar


Skinny Chili Italiano

Skinny Chili Italiano

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 12
Calories 177 kcal


  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef, see shopping tip
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 34 pieces Hormel turkey pepperoni (70% less fat), sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes in juice (28 oz. each)
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can each cannellini and kidney beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz. each)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasonings
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon both salt and pepper or to taste
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for topping, optional


  • In a large nonstick pan or pot, brown the beef over medium-high heat.  Drain into a colander in the sink to remove excess fat.  Add the browned beef back to the pan.
  • Add the onions, pepperoni and garlic; cook for about 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft.  Stir in tomato paste and sauté for one minute.
  • Deglaze the pan with wine and vinegar, simmer until almost evaporated.  Stir in tomatoes and broth. Bring up to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the beans, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for about 5 minutes more until heated through.
  • Garnish each serving with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 16gFat: 3gSodium: 553mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gPlus Points: 4
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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