Kidney Diet Tips

Chili for a Chilly Halloween Eve

Whether it is Halloween or any chilly evening, the inviting aroma of chili cooking is perfect for a fast, easy meal. Serve a crowd or make a smaller pot and freeze some for later. Chili is the perfect budget-friendly classic dish. With a little experimentation, one chili recipe will suit your needs, taste and skill level.

If time is short, try making chili in a slow cooker. This method is perfect if waiting on guests or looking for a warm meal when arriving home from a long day. This simplified cooking process will not only fill the house with delicious aroma but takes the thought out of meal planning.

Changing the meat offers both variety and flavor. Substitute ground or shredded pork, chicken or turkey for the traditional ground beef. This works well if there is leftover meat from another meal that can be added for additional cost savings.

Add a topping such as corn bread, tortilla chips, sour cream or green onions or a sprinkle of cheese. A little enhancement goes a long way in adding flavor!

Try a non-traditional chili variety such as pumpkin, white or vegetarian chili. White chili is typically is made with white beans and chicken. Pumpkin puree replaces tomatoes for a twist on flavor. Vegetarian can be meatless, tofu added or an array of vegetables such as corn, mushrooms or squash. With so many different recipes and flavors this becomes a new and exciting experience!

To reduce phosphorus content, substitute the beans with rice or small size pasta such as orzo, fiori or trottole. Add the rice or pasta to the chili pot or prepare separately and top each serving with a ladle of chili.

To reduce the sodium content, omit salt, use low-salt tomatoes, unsalted tomato sauce, unsalted beans and sodium-free spices.

To reduce the potassium content, cut down on the amount of tomato, tomato sauce and beans, replace beans with hominy or corn, or adjust the portion size.

Whatever your chili mood, enjoy this comfort food during the fall and winter seasons. Here are a few favorites my patients enjoy:

DaVita dietitians have submitted 6 additional chili recipes on Check them out and find your favorite!

Lynn Taylor MS, RD, LD

Lynn Taylor MS, RD, LD

Lynn is an avid kayaker. In her free time she loves trying new recipes, biking, gardening and traveling.