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.
Miss no more—Hip2Keto to the rescue!
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’!
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 erythritol, granular (I use Lakanto, Golden)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
In a large pot, brown the ground beef until just done. Drain most of the fat, leaving about two tablespoons.
To the pot with beef, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Cook over medium-high heat for another five minutes.
Now add the tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and all the seasonings. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and remove from heat for 10 minutes before serving. If desired, top with shredded cheddar cheese and finely diced onions. Enjoy!
Yield: 8 servings, Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 344, Total Carbohydrates: 11, Fiber: 2, Net Carbohydrates: 9, Total Fat: 21, Protein: 27
Brought to you by Hip2Keto.
1) 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.)
2) Use your leftover chili to make “loaded broccoli”—steam the broccoli, top it with this chili, add cheddar cheese and sour cream. Voila!
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 shot!
Marley (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a keto foodie that loves crafting and cooking unique recipes for Hip2Keto.com.