Try This Southwest Chili Recipe for Some Amazing Health Benefits

  • 2 Minutes Read
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

Are you looking for ways to spice up your life while still meeting your New Year's weight loss resolutions? Read on for a delicious and nutritious Southwest Chili recipe.

Southwest chili

Looking for a healthier twist on chili for the New Year? Try this Southwest Chili! This delicious and nutritious chili recipe will make your kitchen smell like you have taken a vacation in a warmer and sunnier place. This healthy and tasty recipe uses chicken instead of ground beef and Southwest spices of fresh cilantro, cumin, oregano, green chili peppers and red cayenne pepper. You will enjoy tantalizing your palate while still sticking with your New Year's weight loss resolutions at just 329 calories per serving.

Switch up your traditional recipe to this Southwest Chili for some amazing health benefits

You have probably heard the age old adage that "variety is the spice of life". However, did you also know that eating a variety of spices can protect your cells from damage? The antioxidants in spices can keep you healthier throughout your whole life. After attending a cooking class provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on the health benefits of spices and herbs, I started doubling and sometimes tripling the amount of spices in all of my recipes.


As we age, sometimes the arteries in our heart become hardened with fatty deposits of cholesterol which build up on the inside walls of our arteries. As the blood vessels narrow, there is less room for the blood to flow and you are at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. Not only can garlic help keep your blood vessels flexible, it can also help decrease the buildup of cholesterol.


There have been a lot of anecdotal claims about the benefits of the spice cumin. Studies are still underway to explore its effects on weight loss, blood sugar and cholesterol. What we do know is that cumin contains the naturally occurring antioxidants of apigenin and luteolin, which can help protect our cells from damage.


When we think of antioxidants, we often think the only source is bright colored fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, pomegranate juice and kale. However, spices and herbs are also rich sources of antioxidants. Did you know that just one teaspoon of dried oregano contains about the amount of antioxidants as one whole cup of sweet potatoes?

Planning ahead for leftovers

This recipe makes four servings, so if you are expecting a crowd or want some leftovers for easy lunches, you can double or triple the recipe. My philosophy is as long as you have a mess in the kitchen, plan ahead for nutritious and delicious leftovers. This is much faster to put on the table than going to a fast food restaurant.

Southwest Chili

Nutrition facts per serving (1 serving = 506 grams)
Calories: 329, 9.6 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 43 g protein, 5.1 g dietary fiber



  1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot on the stove and cook chicken and chopped onions until chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients except for green onions.
  4. Heat to a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Chop green onions.
  6. Before serving, top with green onions.

This recipe (found under the name: Southwest Chili) is one of 200+ dietitian approved recipes that is now available with the Premium membership.

Foods & Recipes->"Beans, Peas, & Soy" Foods & Recipes->Chicken & Turkey
Jan 8, 2020
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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