One-Pot Bodybuilding Meals: Stovetop Chili

alt="stovetop chili"

Often times, the things standing between you and a home-cooked meal are a daunting list of ingredients (half of which you don't have on hand), extensive prep time, and a painful clean-up process.

That's why I'm a big fan of simple, one-pot meals like this Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe and the recipe below for stovetop chili. This chili is one of the easiest of the bunch, with its minimal ingredients list, low level of cooking skill required, and speedy clean-up.

There are certainly fancier ways to make chili, but this one is so easy you'll actually bother to make it (and that's what matters, right?).


Not only is this chili extremely easy to make and delicious, it's actually great for anyone trying to make changes to their body. It's fairly low calorie, meaning you get to eat a ton, it has just the right amount of fat and fiber to keep you full until your next meal, and it's packed with protein to support muscle gains. The following nutrition content is calculated using 93% lean ground beef.

Serving Size – 2 Cups

Calories – 405

Fat – 14g

Carbs -33g

Fiber – 9g

Sugar – 7g

Protein – 40g


alt="stovetop chili"

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 (15 oz) cans light red kidney beans (or one can each of black and kidney beans)
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
  • 2 packets store-bought chili seasoning (bachelor method)


Recipe yields approximately 12 cups (6 servings).

Preparing Stovetop Chili

(Total Time:  Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 40 minutes+)

1.  In a large stock pot, cook diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat for a couple minutes. 

2. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Lightly season meat with a little sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, if you'd like.

3. Add beans, tomatoes, and seasoning to the pot and stir. No need to drain the liquid.

4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours to better develop flavor, stirring occasionally.

Tips and Modifications

 – You can substitute ground turkey to bring the cost down.  Add a little more seasoning to the meat as it's cooking when using ground poultry to pump up the flavor.

 – For a more luxurious meal, you can substitute ground steak or bison.

 – Great topping choices include cheddar or monterey jack cheese, sour cream, chopped red or green onion, hot sauce, and/or chopped jalapeños (depending on how much heat you like).

 – If you're a skinny guy looking to gain weight, enjoy this with a side of cornbread, saltines, or oyster crackers.

 – To sneak in extra veggies, add green and multi-colored bell peppers.

 – For extra thick chili, puree or mash one can of beans with its juices before adding to the pot.

 – Before opening the beans, shake the can to de-clump beans from the bottom.

 – If you feel compelled to drain and rinse the beans, be sure to replace the liquid with an equal amount of water.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    January 31, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Found this site through Bold and Determined. I really like this website man, keep up the good work! Keep at it and I can see this site going places.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2015 at 7:11 am

    I’m lazy as fuck, so thank you for this!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Nice recipe! I love to make different chilli’s to take for lunches during the week. Occasionally, I like to use TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) instead of meat. It soaks up the flavour of the chilli and gives you just as much protein as meat would. It is dirt cheap too, which is good if you are on a budget.

    Keep up the good work! I really like your site.

    • Reply
      February 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      I’ve had TVP in a few different dishes – it does taste pretty good and is definitely cheap. But for the purposes of bodybuilding, I gravitate toward using meat.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Hey Nate, is the meat 80/20 or leaner (it’s the cheapest of the ground beef)? Do you have to drain the fat out?

    • Reply
      April 1, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      I used 93% lean for the nutrition info provided in the post but you could absolutely use 80/20. If you’re trying to lean out and watching fat and overall calories you could drain the fat. It’s a fairly low calorie dish so it isn’t really necessary.

  • Reply
    Jacob S.
    April 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Nate,
    I found your site through B&D and I must say that your site Ian excellent. I think the layout is smooth and subtle, yet stylish.

    I really like this post and it definitely offers convenience which is big these days since everyone is trying to save time. I look forward to more of your posts like this.

    If I may make a suggestion, if one would like to use sour cream, try one to two scoops of plain yogurt. It is a somewhat different taste though. But you won’t get some of the fat content of sour cream and you can have added protein and probotics to make it leaner and better for the stomach.

    Cheers to an awesome post!

    • Reply
      April 6, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Always a pleasure to meet a fellow B&D reader. The only reason I don’t have more recipes up is it’s so hard to take appetizing photos of the food. My indoor lighting makes it look like prison food, haha. I’ll get a couple more easy bodybuilding recipes up soon.

      Using yogurt is a great idea. Less fat and more protein is always a welcome addition to bodybuilding meals.

      • Reply
        Jacob S.
        April 7, 2015 at 3:08 am

        Thank you, it is nice to connect with other B&D readers on a similar wavelength. I know what you mean about the pictures haha. I think we can be critical of ourselves but I do think they are good pictures. Especially the ingredients section.I do a little graphic arts here and there, maybe I could possible help with the lighting and get it to your liking.

        Anyway, you’ll reach that point with your site. You’re already on the right path!

        Glad my tip could help!

    Leave a Reply

    About Me

    Casual Style 101

    Free style guide