Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe—A Keto Version That Curbs the Craving!
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A low-carb keto Wendy’s chili copycat recipe that is total comfort food in a bowl.
If you’re a Wendy’s chili fan, you’re in luck!
This killer keto knock-off hits the spot! Wendy’s chili is a menu staple that many adore. It feels almost within the low-carb reach with all that meaty goodness, but the beany badness really ruins everything!
Our keto test kitchen went into full swing to create a no-bean version that reminds us of the Wendy’s chili we love and long for… and it’s been a favorite ever since!
I learned something unusual about Wendy’s chili along the way.
While researching all the deets on the real Wendy’s chili ingredients, I stumbled upon some interesting information. Supposedly, the trademark flavor of Wendy’s beloved chili comes from… drum roll please… left-over, already cooked hamburger patties! WHAAAAT?!
In 2017, an employee reported that the ground beef used in the signature chili comes from leftover hamburgers. The patties are left on the grill until a burger order is placed. If the burgers aren’t used in a certain amount of time, they’re “discarded” and placed in a container to be refrigerated. Then they’re boiled down and chopped up to be used in good, old (pun intended) Wendy’s chili.
Wendy’s states that everything it does follows health and safety procedures and that using leftover hamburger meat cuts down on food waste. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being economical—after all, our landfills aren’t getting any smaller. Go, Wendy’s!
Old burgers or not, I honestly prefer the taste of our keto knock-off over the original!
Yep, that’s right, this Wendy’s copycat keto chili tastes fabulous, even without the added flavor of griddled hamburgers and carb-laden beans. Who needs em’!
I recently loaded leftover Wendy’s low-carb chili on top of an enormous hot dog covered with cheddar cheese, and I must say, I certainly didn’t miss the beans or the bun! Mmm, mmm… This is some serious, stick-to-your-ribs home-cookin’!
If you’re looking for a bit more oomph in your chili, take the heat up a notch by adding a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mix or spice up your individual bowl with a healthy splash of hot sauce. We love Merf’s! (My personal fave is Electric Lime.)
Think outside the bowl!
Sure we love enjoying this keto chili by the bowlful, but if you’re stuck in a dinner rut, you can get a little creative! Use your leftover chili to make “loaded broccoli”—steam the broccoli, top it with this chili, add cheddar cheese and sour cream. Voila!
Wendy's Copycat Keto Chili
yield: 8 SERVINGS
prep time: 15 MINUTES
cook time: 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES
total time: 1 HOUR 45 MINUTES
A low-carb version that really curbs the craving!
- 3 pounds ground beef (I use 85/15), drained, reserving 2 tbsp of fat
- 2/3 cups celery, finely diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
- 15 oz can crushed tomatoes in puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons monk fruit, granular (I use Lakanto Golden)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
If someone served you this at a Wendy’s drive-thru, I bet you wouldn’t realize it was missing the beans!
This Wendy’s copycat keto chili recipe has become a weeknight go-to in my house. The kids love it (they don’t realize it’s missing the beans either), the left-overs are versatile, and it’s an easy to fix, all-in-one-pot meal!