Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of eleven books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.
When Father’s Day rolls around celebrate with something fun, hearty, and a little decadent. The part you can keep secret from dad? This burger-inspired chili is actually pretty healthy.
Instead of putting chili on a bacon cheeseburger, I put the bacon cheeseburger flavor right into the chili! And since it’s a slow-cooker recipe, it leaves you with plenty of pre-dinner hangout time with your father. (And that’s what he really wants anyway, right?)
‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!
Bacon Cheeseburger Chili
Makes 7 servings
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
½ cup ketchup
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 lb. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon
7 tbsp. shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Optional topping: chopped pickles
1. Spray a slow cooker with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Mix until uniform. Add beans, diced tomatoes, onion, and pepper. Stir to coat.
2. Place raw beef in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic, chili powder, and cumin; mix well. Top with saucy veggie mixture, and thoroughly stir, breaking up the meat as much as possible.
3. Cover and cook on high for 3 – 4 hours or on low for 7 – 8 hours, until beef is fully cooked and veggies have softened. Stir well.
4. Cook bacon until crispy, either in a skillet over medium heat or on a microwave-safe plate in the microwave. (See package for cook time.)
5. Top each serving with 1 tbsp. cheese. Chop or crumble bacon, and sprinkle over each serving (about 1 tbsp. each).
1/7th of recipe (about 1 cup): 237 calories, 6g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 677mg sodium, 24g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 10.5g sugars, 22g protein
Active time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 – 4 hours or 7 – 8 hours, plus 5 minutes