Skinny Beef Chilli

There are times, especially in the run up the Christmas, when you may have eaten too much one day and need to rein things in a bit. It is a bit of a balancing act trying to maintain a healthy weight while still enjoying all the lovely party food at this time of year. However, this is a great recipe to have up your sleeve the day after a meal out or a party buffet when you might have eaten one to many sausage rolls! At the end of the day, we all want to fit into our skinny black party dress at Christmas! You can have your cake and eat it! Enjoy this lovely hearty and satisfying meal but feel smug knowing that it is a healthy low fat recipe.

The secret is to use a good quality lean 5% fat content beef or steak mince and add loads of healthy vegetables to bulk out the recipe. I usually add a drained can of kidney beans but sometimes add butter beans, borlotti beans or even baked beans as well!

You can also serve with courgetti which are simply spiralized courgettes, cooked for a few minutes in a wok in a few tablespoons of water so they effectively steam. Drain and serve.


Cauliflower rice is also another great light accompaniment made by throwing some cauliflower into a food processor and blitzing to a rice like texture, then cooking in the microwave or wok with a little water for a few minutes.


If you are too busy to make cauliflower rice or courgetti then most supermarkets sell both of these in the vegetable section, ready made.

For the non dieters or kids in your family, serve with plenty of rice, cous cous or potatoes and put some grated cheese on the table for people to help themselves.

This dish has such a lovely flavour that it is good enough to serve as part of a dinner party when you next have friends around. One pot meals are also easier to cook when catering for a larger number of people. Your guests would never know it was a Weight Watcher Recipe!

It is also the perfect recipe for a hot party buffet as you can leave it on low in a slow cooker for people to dip in and serve themselves. You coud provide some interesting toppings in little bowls to serve alongside such as grated cheese, sour cream or salsa and serve with tortillas if you prefer. Delicious!

My recipe makes 7 good sized servings as a main meal or could serve 10 to 14 as part of a hot buffet with some other dishes. I usually eat some immediately, have leftovers the next day and freeze a couple of portions for days when you are too tired to cook from scratch. This is just the kind of dinner you will feel like eating after an afternoon Christmas shopping as it’s both warming and tasty!

I cooked mine on the High slow cooker function of my Instant Pot for 4.5 hours and it came out perfect. I just chucked all the ingredients into my pot, stirred and cooked. It couldn’t be easier.


You can also cook in the oven in a covered casserole dish or on the hob in a covered skillet or pan.


For oven or hob cooking, check and stir frequently to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Add more water if necessary.

Here’s my recipe and I hope you enjoy making a batch of this lovely Skinny Chilli for your family and friends to warm everyone up on a cold Winter’s evening!


500g of lean beef or steak mince ( 5% fat)
1 can of drained kidney beans and/or any other canned beans e.g. butter beans or borlotti beans
7 fresh chopped medium tomatoes or a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 medium courgettes, chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
6 whole garlic cloves (add whole)
6 chopped medium mushrooms
3 sticks of celery and the leaves, chopped
1 green and 1 yellow or orange pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
1 tablespoon each of ketchup, tomato puree and BBQ sauce eg Tesco own brand
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
One and a half chopped fresh chilies ( I used a red and green one)
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
a sprinkle of freshly milled black pepper
Approx 200 ml of water (you may need to add more during cooking for oven or hob method)
Optional 1 to 2 teaspoons of cornflour mixed with a little water to thicken at the end of cooking (you may need for the slow cooker method)


Add all the ingredients to the pot and stir well to combine.
Cook on High in the Slow Cooker for around 4.5 Hours.
After cooking, if it needs thickening (as the vegetables will also release some water) then mix a little cornflour with some water and stir in.
Serve with courgetti, cauliflower rice, cous cous, baked potatoes or rice and sprinkle with a little mixed dried or fresh herbs as a garnish.



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