How to Make Diabetic Chili


Having dietary restrictions can make finding appropriate dinner recipes challenging, but this hearty and diabetic-friendly chili is loaded with fiber. Some chili recipes call for the addition of sugar to add sweetness, but this chili keeps it diabetic-friendly by excluding sugar and taking the flavor a savory route. Adapted from Diabetic Living’s Hearty Beef Chili, this recipe offers a flavorful Tex-Mex twist on your average chili, calling for salsa, diced green chilies, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to kick up the flavor. And the best part is that the slow cooker does the majority of the cooking for you, slowly simmering away while you go about your day.

Start to Finish: Around 8 hours cooked on low, or around 4 hours cooked on high

Servings: Around 10

Difficulty Level: Beginner


  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 14.5-ounce cans of low-sodium diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped

  • 1 4-ounce can of diced green chilies

  • 1 cup light beer

  • 1 cup salsa

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced black olives and chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Step 1: Sear the Beef

Bring a skillet to medium-high heat and sear the beef cubes for one to two minutes on each side.

Step 2: Add Ingredients to the Slow Cooker

Add the seared beef along with the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker and stir to combine. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for around eight hours, or on high for around four hours.

Step 3: Serve and Garnish

Serve, garnished with shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced black olives or chopped fresh cilantro.

Substitutions and Variations

Tone down the heat. If spicy foods don’t agree with you, leave out the chipotle in adobo peppers and opt for a mild salsa.

You can use whatever beans or combination of beans you would like; use two cans of pinto beans or swap in garbanzo beans.

If you’d prefer not to use beer, replace it with beef stock or tomato juice.

Feel free to use another type of meat. Pork, lamb or chicken are excellent alternatives. Or make it vegetarian-friendly and exclude the meat; add another can of beans or toss in extra veggies such as chopped celery or bell pepper to beef it up.


  • Line your slow cooker with a **disposable slow cooker liner** before adding your ingredients for easy cleanup afterward.

    Purchase low-fat or nonfat cheeses and sour creams to keep the calories down.

    Look for low-carb breads, crackers and tortillas to serve alongside the chili, and avoid serving sides like corn bread and corn muffins that are typically high in sugar and carbohydrates to keep the meal diabetic-friendly.

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