Recipe Makeover: Guy Fieri’s Chili

Our healthy revamp of this celeb chef's recipe

Chili by Guy Fieri
You won't even taste the difference with our healthy substitutions.

February 18, 2021

As the temperature cools, it’s time to turn up the heat with lip-burnin’ chili. Here we share our better-for-you makeover of Guy Fieri’s Dragon’s Breath Chili by boosting the dish’s nutritional value (and improving the quality of individual ingredients), without sacrificing taste.

Swap the butter and bacon grease – both high in saturated fat – for organic, extra-virgin olive oil. Mediterranean cultures have long known this legendary oil protects against cancer and keeps your heart strong, skin smooth, and waistline slim. If eliminating bacon from a recipe feels sacrilegious, consider using nitrate-free bacon.

Lower fat and calories by substituting the boneless chuck, ground beef and Italian sausage for grass-fed bison to lower fat and calories, and increase your omega-3s. If bison is not available in your area, grass-fed ground beef and turkey are also nutrient-rich, lean options. Replace kosher salt with mineral-rich and toxin-free Himalayan crystal salt.

Use chopped, fresh organic tomatoes in lieu of canned tomato sauce to reduce sodium and boost antioxidants, especially lycopene, which is often lost during the canning process. If fresh tomatoes aren’t available, organic canned tomatoes can be substituted.

Choose a local and/or organic lager, if available. For those of you counting calories, considering skipping the beer entirely – lots of calories for little added flavor.

Reduce sodium by using no-sodium organic chicken broth.

Substitute fresh beans from your local farmer’s market for canned beans. If you’re short on time, choose organic canned beans with no salt added. And instead of kidney beans, choose antioxidant-loaded organic black beans. With as many free-radical-fighting properties as cranberries, they’re the most antioxidant-rich of any bean.

Garnish with fresh herbs, such as cilantro or green onions, instead of cheese, which can cause congestion and a runny nose. If you just can’t resist, choose raw (unpasteurized) organic cheeses, which boast more nutrients and aren’t filled with additives and emulsifiers found in processed versions.

Last but not least: enjoy! And be sure to let us know what you think.