Love Wendy’s Chili? Here’s Our Copycat Keto Chili Recipe!

Wendy's Copycat Keto Chili

yield: 8 SERVINGS

prep time: 15 MINUTES

cook time: 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES

total time: 1 HOUR 45 MINUTES

Ingredients

Directions

1

In a large pot, brown the ground beef until just done. Drain most of the fat, leaving about two tablespoons.

2

To the pot with beef, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and chopped fresh tomatoes. Cook over medium-high heat for another five minutes.

3

Now add the tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, monk fruit, and all the seasonings. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

4

Uncover and remove from heat for 10 minutes before serving. If desired, top with shredded cheddar cheese and finely diced onions. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 cups, Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: 483 Calories | 34.9g Fat | 11.8g Total Carbs | 3.5g Fiber | 5.8g Sugar | 1.1g Sugar Alcohol | 31.3g Protein | 7.2g Net Carbs

Brought to you by Hip2Keto.

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62 Comments
5.0 / 18 ratings
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A low-carb keto chili copycat recipe that is similar to Wendy’s and total comfort food in a bowl.

bowl of copycat wendy's keto chili

If you’re a Wendy’s chili fan, you’re in luck with this recipe!

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!

Love Wendy’s but not sure what’s okay to eat? Check out our Wendy’s Keto Dining Guide!

copycat wendy's keto chili

I learned something unusual about Wendy’s chili recipe 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?!

Get a free Wendy's Keto Single Burger

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.

close up of Wendy's chili recipe in a bowl with shredded cheese

You’ll love the taste of our keto knock-off chili 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!

grilled hot dogs on the bbq

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’!

pot of keto chili

meat with peppers an onions in a large pot

adding tomato juice to keto wendy's copycat chili

adding spices to keto chili on the stove

pot of keto chili

spoonful of keto chili


Print

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 of Wendy's famous chili that really curbs the craving!

Ingredients

Directions

1

In a large pot, brown the ground beef until just done. Drain most of the fat, leaving about two tablespoons.

2

To the pot with beef, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and chopped fresh tomatoes. Cook over medium-high heat for another five minutes.

3

Now add the tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, monk fruit, and all the seasonings. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

4

Uncover and remove from heat for 10 minutes before serving. If desired, top with shredded cheddar cheese and finely diced onions. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 cups, Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: 483 Calories | 34.9g Fat | 11.8g Total Carbs | 3.5g Fiber | 5.8g Sugar | 1.1g Sugar Alcohol | 31.3g Protein | 7.2g Net Carbs

Brought to you by Hip2Keto.

bowl of chili with cheese and sour cream

Tips for making the best keto copycat Wendy’s chili recipe:

  • 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.
  • Think outside the bowl! 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, and add cheddar cheese and sour cream. Voila!
  • The chili is on the thicker side. If it’s too thick for your liking, simply add some beef broth to make it more of a broth-like soup.

wendys chili served

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 leftovers are versatile, and it’s an easy-to-fix, all-in-one-pot meal!

bowl of keto wendy's chili next to chili from Wendy's

Here’s what my teammate Lina had to say about my copycat keto Wendy’s chili recipe:

“I consider myself a chili enthusiast. I love a good chili cookoff, chili burger, chili dog, and anything chili related including the famous Wendy’s version. This recipe is so darn GOOD! I love the bit of sweetness it has. There’s lots of flavor without being too spicy and it’s ultra-filling with all the ground beef. I added cheese and sour cream and was a happy camper! You’ll love this Wendy’s copycat recipe so much!”


Try this Taco Bell naked chicken chalupa that’s totally keto-friendly!


About the writer:

Marley follows a ketogenic diet and loves to experiment with new and exciting keto-friendly meals when she's not busy with her 3 children!


Join The Discussion

Comments 62

  1. Helen in Meridian

    Actually Wendy’s hamburgers that are 12-15 minutes old are put in the chili. Who doesn’t have a hamburger on a plate at home that is 12-15 minutes old when we are frying them. They are not OLD OLD OLD. I think this is a good use of a product, rather than throw them out. Good for them to recycle ad not ad to the throw away nation. I would have posted this on Hip2 but couldn’t find the spot to reply.

    • Marley

      Hi Helen! I totally agree with you. I recycle food all the time, leftovers in my house NEVER go to waste! ?

  2. Arline

    I love their chili over a baked potato. I wonder how this would be over riced cauliflower.

    • Marley

      Good idea! Let me know if you try it. ?

      • Arline

        Will do.

  3. Maggie Hinz

    Hi! What is the serving size? Thanks a bunch!

    • Marley

      Hi Maggie. It’s 8 servings per batch. ?

      • Jenifer F

        I’m curious too… I understand there are 8 servings, but how much is in a serving? Is that like, 8 x 1 cup servings? Is a serving 1/2 cup?

        • Keitha

          We measured serving size to be 3/4 of a cup. There were 6 cups divided by 8.
          It was delicious! We Added some Cayenne pepper to give it some heat!

          • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

            Hi there! That sounds delicious ❤ I’m from Texas so we love a little kick too! I will have to try it your way. Thank you for the feedback.

    • Lou

      We have been on the keto diet for quite a few weeks. This Wendy’s keto knock off gets credit for part of our success. We absolutely love it. The only changes we made was to leave out the celery and green bell peppers, and we add a bit of beef broth to make it a bit more soupy. It tastes so close to Wendy’s that we feel like we are cheating! We don’t even miss the beans. Thanks for such a great resource.

  4. Karen

    Yummmm! Made this tonight and this is a recipe to keep.

    • Marley

      Yay!! So happy to hear that you enjoyed it! ??

  5. Kim Ealy

    One of the best chili recipes, period!!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Woohoo! Super glad you have been loving it as much as we do! Thanks for the sweet feedback!

    • Danielle S

      So so good, even my kids love it. I’ve been craving Wendy’s chili and I’m thrilled to have this! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

      • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

        You’re very welcome! Enjoy!

  6. Brenda Mcdonald

    Love the recipes thank you

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yay! That’s great to hear, Brenda! You’re SO very welcome! Thanks for the feedback!

  7. Cheryl

    Great recipe. The spices are spot on! I will definitely keep this recipe!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Wow! That’s awesome that you liked it so much, Cheryl!

  8. Jacqui

    When it says *tomatoes* is that fresh tomatoes, or canned?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Those mean fresh, Jacqui!

  9. Cindy

    Can this be converted to a crockpot recipe?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes! You would have to do step one, and then add everything else to simmer on high for a couple hours in the slow cooker. Hope that helps!

  10. Beth

    I’d like to attempt this in my instant pot. Have you ever tried it instead of stove top?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      We haven’t tried the yet, Beth! You may be able to search for some tips for that online. Let us know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try!

  11. angiekelley

    This recipe is spot on!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yay! SO glad to hear that! Thanks for taking a moment to let us know what you thought of it!

  12. Courtney

    Thank you so much! We enjoyed this Chili SOOOO much!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Aww, You’re most welcome, Courtney! SO glad to hear it was a hit!

  13. LJENC

    Made this recipe and loved it. I played around with the spices a bit, added more Chili Powder for example, but easy to adjust to your liking.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Oh awesome! Good to know you enjoyed it with a bit more seasoning! Thanks so much for the feedback!

    • Jean Anderson

      I used less, because I used Rotella tomatoes for chilli

      • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

        Hi Jean! That sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Stephen Gray

    I made this in my InstantPot this evening and it was so easy! I browned the beef on sauté then added the remaining ingredients, set the InstantPot to Chili for 30 min and it came out prefect. This is a delightful and simple recipe.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SO awesome!! Happy this was easy to make in your Instant Pot! Thanks a TON for sharing with us, Stephen!

  15. Barbara Wojtowicz

    Hi…first how do you get your chop meat so fine and 2nd how can i cook this in the instant pot?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      We love using this tool to chop up the meat. if you’ve browned the ground beef, then you can combine everything and cook on high for 14 minutes in the instant pot.

    • Salemsuzyq

      We have always “boiled” our ground beef in just enough salted water to not quite cover the beef. As the pot starts to heat up I chop the beef into small pieces with either a frying pan turner, spatula or a Pampered Chef Mix ‘n Chop. I continue to do so as it cooks u til it resembles a very fine texture. When meat is fully cooked, drain and either discard or reserve “broth”. Makes for very moist and fine meat texture.

  16. Debra Black

    My recipe turned out dry. There’s no ‘sauce’, ‘juice’. It’s just seasoned ground beef. I added more tomato juice and more tomatoes. Neither helped. How can I fix this? Thanks.

    • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

      Hi Debra! Darn I’m so sorry to hear that. Did you use the can of crushed tomatoes as well? Is it possible you may have grabbed lower fat beef? I would suggest adding more crushed tomatoes to get it to the right consistency. Let us know if you need any more help❤

      • Debra Black

        I don’t know the fat content of the ground beef, as I used repackaged beef from my freezer. I added water and, because I didn’t have beef fat, I used bacon fat. It’s better. It’s a tasty recipe and I will try again, paying closer atttention to the beef. Thanks for your help.

        • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

          No problem ❤ Hope it works out better for you next time!

  17. Carolyn B. Tatulinski

    Totally delicious!

  18. marcellamrice

    In used more tomatoes rather than tomato juice–less carbs that way, I think. Delicious.
    By the way, this is NOT a pun : “good, old (pun intended) Wendy’s chili.”

  19. sbrown

    Wendy’s was my first job. The burgers start on one side of the grill and are flipped very few minutes. Once they make it to the other side of the grill they are ready to eat. If they aren’t used it’s chopped on the grill and added right into the chili.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks for taking a moment to share that with us!

  20. Heather

    Great chili!!!! I made a couple substitutions because I didn’t have any tomato juice or tomatoes on hand. I used canned petite diced tomatoes, and blended them because my kids don’t “like” tomato chunks. And I used Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix instead of tomato juice. Turned out GREAT!!!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Your substitutions were great! I love it!

  21. Charlie

    I haven’t made this yet but I love chili and I have eaten my share of Wendy’s and Steak and Shake chili. I consider both of them ok in a pinch but nowhere as good as the homemade stuff. I believe this version of chili will be better than Wendys.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hope you enjoy it!

  22. Rick

    So what do you do with the 2 teaspoons of fat reserved?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Rick! Sorry for any confusion. It seems you’d drain most of the fat, but leave about 2 tablespoons. Hope that helps!

  23. Tracy

    What brand of chili powder do you use? Thanks

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Tracy! Any brand will work!

  24. DC

    Holy smokes just made this today. It tastes identical. I decided to slow cook it on high for 4 hours in the crockpot.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s awesome to hear DC! Thanks for letting us know how yummy it turned out for you!

  25. Big Dawg

    This chili is great, this is the only chili we’ve made for over a year now and love it. Others have tried it and loved it too and didn’t even notice there wasn’t any beans, another great recipe!! Keep up the creativity, youre awesome!!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      YAY! SO happy to hear that you love and continue to make this chili recipe! ❤️

  26. Danielle

    I made this chilli and its great. I the nutrition content says “483” calories per 3/4 cup. I’m wondering where this is coming from? Considering the ingredients it seems a little high.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Danielle! SO glad you enjoyed it! 💖 We did check the values again and it seems the majority of the calories are from the ground beef.

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