The 10 Best Canned Chili in 2020

Chili or chili con carne is a classic dish that originated from Texas and was created by Mexican women. It is nutritious, delicious and made with ingredients that are easy to find and inexpensive - allowing many people to enjoy it. Chili is typically made from kidney beans, meat (usually beef), chili peppers and some additional seasoning or ingredients such as garlic and tomatoes.

Though this tasty meal is easy to make and cheap to prepare, it can take some effort in the kitchen. You can easily find yourself cooking away for forty minutes or more trying to prepare this classic dish. Investing in canned chili can reduce the amount of preparation that needs to be done, offering healthy and convenient meal options for those of you who don't or cannot cook for various reasons. In this article, we will offer some of the best canned chili so you can find a great option that meets all of your needs.

Best Pick

Amy's Organic Chili with Vegetables

The best pick is Amy’s Organic Chili with Vegetables in Medium. If you’re very conscious of your health, this product is the best option for you as it is made with organic ingredients and even comes in a BPA –free can so you won’t find unwanted chemicals in your meals.

Budget Pick

Campbell’s Chunky Chili, Hot and Spicy Beef and Bean Firehouse

The best budget is the Campbell’s Chunky Chili. This product in the Hot and Spicy Beef and Beans flavour only takes a few minutes to prepare and is great for those of you who enjoy spicy food.

Quick Comparison: Top 10 The Best Canned Chili

1. Amy's Organic Chili with Vegetables  

Let's start with Amy's Organic Chili with Vegetables. We understand that when most people think of canned food, they may connote that with unhealthy and processed food. If you are one of these people, you'll be happy to know that Amy's Organic Chili is made with Organic ingredients, does not use insecticides, includes no GMO products and is made from BPA-free packaging.

If you have certain dietary requirements, it may be difficult to find canned food that fits your needs. This particular can of chili is free from gluten, lactose, dairy, soy, corn, tree nut and is conscious to not include too much sodium. It is also suitable for those who eat a kosher diet and is vegan.

This product is made from organic red beans, organic onions, organic bell peppers, filtered water, organic corn, organic carrots, organic sweet rice flour, organic spices and garlic, jalapenos and some sea salt.

In each can there are 210 calories, 1450mg of sodium, 5g of protein and 25g of sugar. Be mindful of your portions otherwise, you could easily intake a large amount of sugar and salt without intending to.

To serve, simply heat the contents of the can and enjoy. You can either use the stovetop or the microwave - making this can of chili easy to prepare and hassle-free. This chili also comes in a variety of flavours including medium black bean, spicy, low sodium medium, and low sodium spicy. This is great for those of you who prefer specific flavours or are wary of how much sodium you intake.

Pros

  • Is made with organic ingredients.
  • The can is BPA-free and safe.
  • Does not use genetically modified ingredients.
  • Comes in low sodium options.
  • No insecticides or other forms of harmful chemicals are used on the ingredients included in the can.
  • Is kosher and vegan.
  • Is free from soy, gluten, dairy, lactose and dairy.

Cons

  • Can be quite high in sodium and salt.

2. Campbell’s Chunky Chili,  Hot and Spicy Beef and Bean Firehouse  

If you adore spicy food, the Campbell's Chunky Chili may be perfect for you. This canned chili is made from cooked beef, kidney beans, pork crumble and seasoning.

It also includes tomato puree, green and red peppers, paprika, dehydrated garlic and onions, caramel colour. This product may also contain or have come into contact with wheat, so if you or someone you will be serving chili to is intolerant to gluten, please be very careful.

You can use either the stove or the microwave to heat this chili up. Be mindful to stir the contents during both methods until the chili is hot. If you choose to use a microwave, be careful as the chili can cause some splattering while it is heating up. It should not take more than 3 minutes to heat up all the way through.

With 250 calories per serving, 870mg of sodium, 14g of protein and 5g of sugar, this product is great for those who are trying to contain more protein. This can of chili also is not too high in sodium per serving, so this is also a great option for those who watch their salt intake. Be careful not to eat more than the serving size, however, as you can easily consume much more sodium if this is the case.

Be careful not to add any water to the chili as you heat it up. This chili also comes in other flavours including chili mac soup and chili with beans, so you can enjoy variations of the classic chili taste with ease.

Pros

  • Is high in protein and not too excessive in sodium per serving.
  • Is easy to prepare and can be heated with both a microwave and a stovetop.

Cons

  • This product contains pork so is not Kosher or suitable for Muslims.
  • Is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.
  • May contain wheat so is not gluten-free.
  • Contains caramel colouring which can be harmful.

3. Skyline Chili   

The next canned chili in our list is the Cincinnati Chili from Skyline. This chili is inspired by the founder’s mother’s traditional recipe which adds to the homely and comforting taste of this chili.

This product is made with beef, water, tomato sauce, spices, salt, dried yeast, garlic, paprika, dehydrated onion and natural flavours. There are no preservatives or added artificial ingredients so you can enjoy this product without feeling guilty.

If you are someone who likes to have a lot of options when it comes to your meals, this Skyline chili may not be too suitable for you as it does not come in any other flavour. With this being said, the flavour of the original canned Cincinnati Chili by Skyline is the same as the chili that is served in the Skyline restaurants, which is not only enjoyed by many but is also a familiar and traditional chili flavour that simply can’t go wrong.

In terms of nutritional information, this canned chili has 250 calories, 1060mg of sodium, 23g of protein and 1g of sugar. You may want to consider simmering this product on low heat for 20-30 minutes, even though you can quickly heat it up in the microwave or stove. This will ensure that the chili thickens up and really gets the ingredients to blend together deliciously.

Pros

  • This product is free from preservatives and any artificial ingredients.
  • Tastes exactly like the chili from the Skyline restaurant.
  • Has 23g of protein and a very small amount of sugar.

Cons

  • This product is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians due to the beef which is included.
  • Has a high amount of sodium per serving.

4. Wolf Brand Homestyle Chili with Beans  

Wolf Brand have a few types of chili including the Homestyle Chili with Beans, Beed and Pork with Beans, Lean Beef no Beans, Spicy with Beans, Turkey Chili with Beans and Turkey Chili with Beans.

The Homestyle Chili with Beans is easy to prepare for yourself and loved ones and is ideal on the days that you are feeling too lazy to cook but still want to eat something delicious and filling.

The Homestyle Chili with Beans is a classic Western chili that is made from all-natural beef and pork, diced tomatoes, prepared pinto beans, soy flour, sugar, spices, roller eats, dehydrated onions, corn starch, garlic powder, caramel colour and sodium phosphate.

Corn starch is used to thicken up the chili but it can be dangerous for those who have high blood sugar and cholesterol. It is an ingredient that is dense in calories but does not have much nutritional value. Sodium phosphate is used as a thickening agent, allowing this canned chili to have a hearty and comforting texture. However, this agent can cause fast ageing and other health issues if consumed in high doses.

There are 330 calories per serving, 880mg of sodium, 17g of protein and 3g of sugar.

Pros

  • This brand of chili has a big variety of flavours to choose from.
  • You can use both a microwave and a stovetop to heat this product up.
  • Contains no artificial ingredients and preservatives.

Cons

  • Contains soy so is not suitable for those with a soy allergy.
  • Contains beef and pork which makes this product unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Contains both corn starch and sodium phosphate.

5. STAGG Silverado Beef Chili with Beans  

The next item in our list is the STAGG Silverado Beef Chili with beans. STAGG was established in 1959 and use two different types of beans in their recipes for extra flavour and nutrients, making this product unique compared to many other brands of canned chili that tend to only use one type of bean.

This canned chili is made from tomatoes, beef broth, kidney beans, pink beans, dehydrated onions, jalapeno peppers, dehydrated red and green bell peppers, flavouring, salt and cornstarch.

Chili is usually versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways. STAGG Silverado Chili is no different as it can be used as a dip, in bowls as a meal or even over corn dogs to make a chili dog. There are 250 calories per serving, 860mg of sodium, 8g of sugar and 16g of protein.

Pros

  • Uses two different types of beans: pink beans and kidney beans.
  • Is a high source of protein and not too high in sodium per serving.

Cons

  • This product contains cornstarch which can cause high blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Each serving contains 8g of sugar which is a quarter of the daily recommended amount for many people.

6. Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans  

This product comes in a variety of flavours including Light Red Kidney (with no salt added), Red, Spicy Chili, Black, Butter, Dark Red Kidney, Great Northern and Garbanzo.

Though all of these flavours have their own unique qualities, we recommend going for the Spicy Chili flavour especially if you are going for a more familiar taste.

The Spicy Chili version includes beans that are slowly cooked in brick ovens to enhance their flavours and are an excellent source of fibre. It is made from soaked pinto beans, tomato paste, chili powder, onion and garlic powder, wheat flour, soybean oil, spice and modified cornstarch.

This product has 120 calories per serving, 7g of protein, 500mg of sodium, and 1g of sugar - being a great option for those who eat diets that are lower in calories, sugar or salt.

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of flavours.
  • The beans are cooked in a brick oven slowly to enhance their flavour.
  • This product is a great source of fibre.
  • Is very low in calories, sugar and salt.

Cons

  • Is not gluten-free as it contains wheat flour.
  • Contains modified cornstarch.
  • Is not too high in protein.

7. Hormel Chili Microwavable Cup Chili With Beans  

We understand that quick and easy meals may be the most convenient for you, whether you’re looking to have a quick dinner at home after a long day or want an easy meal to enjoy at work, it’s always nice to have the option to opt for an effortless dish.

With this product, you won’t need to use any extra Tupperware or bowls which makes life even more convenient to most of us.

The Hormel Chili comes with a Microwavable Cup that means you don’t even need to pour the chili into another bowl to enjoy it. Simply remove the metal lid and plastic cover and gently stir the contents in the cup. Place the plastic cover back on the cup and heat in the microwave on high heat for a minute or until the chili gets hot. We recommend leaving the cup in the microwave for a further 1 minute after it has heated up so you don’t burn yourself whilst taking the chili out of the microwave. After your stir the chili one more time you can now serve and enjoy the meal.

This chili is made from water, beef, beans, crushed tomatoes, cornflour, textured vegetable protein (caramel colour and soy flour), salt, chili powder, flavouring, sugar, modified cornstarch, green chilis, spices, onions and jalapeno peppers. It also has 220 calories per serving, 770mg of sodium, 4g of sugar and 13g of protein.

Pros

  • Is very quick and easy to prepare - only takes 2 minutes and is cooked in the microwave in the packaging the chili comes in.
  • Makes for a good packed lunch option.
  • Provides a decent amount of protein per serving.

Cons

  • May contain pork which won’t be suitable for those who eat halal or kosher.
  • Has high salt content.
  • Contains flavouring and modified cornstarch which is not the best option if you want to eat as clean as possible.

8. Cattle Drive Gold Beef Chili with Beans  

A unique feature in the Cattle Drive Gold Beef Chili is that it is made with sea salt. Sea salt is minimally processed and contains a small amount of potassium, calcium and iron that could benefit the body.

This chili has 290 calories per serving and a large 20g of protein, 820mg of sodium and 5g of sugar. 

It is made from water, tomatoes and tomato paste, beef, kidney beans, dehydrated onions, chili seasoning, modified cornstarch, jalapeno peppers which contain vinegar, dehydrated bell peppers, salt and added flavoring.

To prepare, either heat in a pan on the stove or pour into a bowl and heat in the microwave until hot - stirring occasionally to distribute the heat evenly throughout the chili. This product has a classic chili taste, so if you’re not up for experimenting or going too wild with you dishes, the Cattle Drive Gold Beef Chili with Beans is a traditional option to go for.

Pros

  • Contains sea salt which is better for the body than other forms of salt.
  • Is gluten-free.
  • Is high in protein with 20g per serving.

Cons

  • Contains modified cornstarch and additional flavouring.

9. STAGG Chili with Beans Sampler Pack  

Though we have already mentioned a product by STAGG previously in this article, we also want to mention the available sampler pack.

We understand that some of you would like to enjoy different flavours and types of chili, whether that's because you like to experiment with new tastes or because you want to find the perfect can of chili and are unsure what to go for.

If this is the case, going for the STAGG Sampler Pack may be a great idea as there are 6 different flavours of chili to choose from. The flavours that are available include the Classic Chili, Country Brand,  Dynamite Hot, Silverado Beef and Laredo. They are all easy to heat up and can be done so both with a microwave or on the stovetop. They are all also very versatile and can be enjoyed on their own, as a dip with tortilla chips, on hotdogs or even over spaghetti or pasta as a sauce.

The Country Brand version has 330 calories, 1140mg of sodium and 15g of protein per serving. The Dynamite Hot has 340 calories, 800mg of sodium and 17g of protein. The Laredo has 310 calories, 1100mg of sodium and 15g of protein.

Pros

  • Offers a variety of different flavours of chili all in one pack.

Cons

  • They all have different amounts of calories, protein and levels of sodium which may be confusing to track.
  • There may be a possibility of not liking some of the flavours so it may be a bit of a risk opting for a sample pack.

Things to Consider Before Buying Canned Chili

Canned chili is not only convenient and easy to prepare which is great if you hate cooking or don’t have a lot of time on your hands, but it can be delicious and versatile too.

Because of its soupy and gloopy consistency, chili can either be eaten on its own as a main dish, as a side dish with tortilla chips or even as a sauce over pasta and spaghetti. It is very versatile depending on the flavour which makes it a safe and reliable option to keep in your pantry. You can opt for chunky chili which has big pieces of vegetables, meats and beans in it or smoother chili that can be more versatile.

Chili first originated thanks to Mexican women who were living in Texas in the early 1900s. This is why the chili we now know uses many spices, peppers and beans which are frequent ingredients used in many Mexican dishes. Since then, it has become a staple in many homes and is enjoyed all over the US and other areas of the world. It has many health benefits thanks to the nutritious beans and meat that is included in many types of chili and is a great source of protein.

In this section we will be going over some of the most important aspects to consider before purchasing your own canned chili, so you can ensure you get a can that doesn’t disappoint, won’t impact your health negatively and will also taste amazing.

Flavour

The first thing to consider is the flavour. Canned chili now comes in a variety of flavours that are all dependent on the ingredients used. There are some that taste meaty, some that tasty spicy and some that are saltier than others.

Ultimately, you won’t know how a brand of canned chili tastes unless you taste it, but going through the ingredients list can give you an idea of what a particular can of chili may taste like.

Consider who you will be serving the can of chili to and what sort of flavours you think you or your guests will enjoy. Most canned chili includes similar ingredients such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, garlic, onions and spices, so you can have a rough idea of what to expect even if you have never tried chili before.

Go for flavours that sound tasty to you and opt for flavours you already know you enjoy.

Ingredients

Another important factor to consider is the ingredients. Not only will this determine the flavour of the canned chili but it will also determine if there are any ingredients used that could impact your health or cause certain allergies to flare up.

Most of the ingredients that are typically used in canned chilis are beef and/or pork, kidney beans or other types of beans,  garlic, onions, tomatoes (either crushed or a tomato paste) and spices. Of course, each brand of canned chili differs from each other and may have a few other varying ingredients. Most notably, depending on how spicy the canned chili is, you may find that bell or jalapeno peppers are used in the ingredients of a particular can of chili. Regardless, we recommend going through the ingredients list of any product before consuming just to make sure it is safe to be consumed by you.

Though all of the ingredients that are used in any food product is checked by the FDA to see if it is suitable for consumption, there are some ingredients that we would tell you to look out for. Your health is important and one of the easiest ways to maintain it is by knowing what exactly you are consuming.

There are some ingredients such as modified cornstarch and sodium phosphate. Consuming these ingredients too regularly and in high doses can lead to health conditions such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol and can impact you especially if you have preexisting conditions relating to your kidneys and cardiovascular health.

Be mindful of any health conditions you may have and whether eating particular foods and ingredients have a positive or negative impact on you. The last thing we would want is for you to have a bad reaction to a meal because of the ingredients used.

Nutrition

Of course, nutrition is another key area to consider. This relates to the calories, protein, sugar and sodium levels and other minerals that can be found in food. Though you may not care too much about this aspect, we think it's important to know the energy and amount of salt, sugar and protein you will be consuming as this will help to monitor how food affects you and your body.

A typical can of chili will have around 200-400 calories per serving, and anywhere from 10-20g of protein and 3-7g of sugar. Oftentimes, the sodium content can vary greatly from can to can. You can have cans of chili with only 500mg of sodium per serving and other cans with 1200mg of sodium per serving.

Sodium is particularly important to be aware of as exceeding the daily recommended amount (which is 2300mg of sodium for Americans) can lead to raised blood sugar, further leading to heart attacks, strokes dementia and kidney disease.

The beef and pork that may be used are a great form of protein which is great for repairing muscles and keeps your skin and bones in great condition. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can opt for canned chili that is big on the beans instead. Beans are also a fantastic source of protein that you can enjoy without harming any animal in the process.

Tomatoes, which are another regular ingredient in many canned chili are a great source of vitamin C, and even if it is in low amounts, canned chili can offer some vitamin C that has antioxidants and can keep you looking and feeling youthful.

There are many health benefits to jalapeno peppers, garlic and onions too that are often used in canned chili recipes. Vegetables are a great way to have a balanced meal and add a lot of flavour to your dishes. Be mindful of whether fresh vegetables are being used or if dehydrated versions are being added into your canned chili instead. Dehydrated vegetables still offer a lot of the health benefits that they would have done if they were fresh, making them a great option as they don’t go bad as quickly as fresh vegetables do.

Preparation

When you buy canned food you are normally looking for two things. Firstly, you would want food that won’t go bad very quickly and secondly the canned food should be easy to prepare and use.

This is no different to canned chili. Most canned chili only takes a few minutes to prepare. Be sure to check the cooking directions and whether you can use a microwave and/or a stovetop to heat up the chili. Be careful to take into consideration the amount of time you need to heat up the chili so you won’t burn it.

One other aspect to consider about the preparation of the chili is to check if it is recommended that you stir the contents while it is in the microwave and whether it can be heated in the microwave in the packaging that it comes in already or if you need to pour the contents into a bowl. These may seem like small things to consider, but if you are a busy person or prefer to expend your energy on other tasks, such factors could be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing canned chili.

Dietary Requirements

We know that every food product or meal may not be suitable for every single person. Not only do we have to consider the flavour of a particular brand of canned chili, but we also have to check if it means the dietary requirements that you or your close friend/relatives may have.

Though many canned chili that is on the market today tend to have some sort of meat in it (as it is traditionally made with beef or pork), you may be vegan, vegetarian, Muslim or Jewish - disabling you from being able to enjoy that particular product. There are canned chili options that are halal and/or kosher and meat-free options that you could go for instead. A lack of meat does not equate to a flavourless product and don't be disheartened when it feels like most products cater to people who eat specific kinds of meat.

There are also some gluten-free and soy-free options. Though wheat is not a regular ingredient used in a lot of canned chili, unless it is in the form of wheat flour, some of the ingredients or tools used when cooking the canned chili could be cross-contaminated with wheat in one way or another. If this is the case, search for any warning on the packaging of any product to ensure safety to you and your loved ones.

Whatever your dietary requirements may be, please make sure to research whether a particular can of chili is suitable for you. This information could be found on the packaging or on the brand’s website in the majority of cases.

Conclusion

Canned chili is warm, comforting, versatile and delicious. It can be eaten in a variety of ways and makes for a great meal to have solo or to enjoy with friends and family. Thanks to its hearty flavour and texture, it is a family favourite that doesn’t need to be cooked from scratch thanks to the easily available canned chili present all over US markets today.

Not only can you choose from various flavours and variations of chili, you can also opt for canned chili that suits any sort of dietary requirements that you may have, meaning you could enjoy it is a spaghetti sauce or burrito filling or even on its own without any worry. In this day and age, finding vegan, kosher, gluten-free and other specific foods are only getting easier and this is no exception to canned chili.

We hope that through this article you now know the different kinds of canned chili that are available and what to look out for to get the best canned chili for you. Don’t forget to consider the dietary requirements, flavour, ingredients, packaging and the preparation to help you do this.

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