Last Updated on March 2, 2023
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My husband and I were driving past a popular chain fast food restaurant recently, and we noticed the marquee sign out front was advertising tortilla soup as “the ultimate winter comfort food.” I’ve got nothing against tortilla soup. I love making different variations of it in my slow cooker during the colder months, and I’d gladly try tortilla soup from a restaurant. My husband, however, jokingly debated that the fast food sign was wrong. He made the case that chili is the ultimate winter comfort food in terms of soup or stews.
He’s not wrong. I make chili in our slow cooker a lot more than I make other soups. It’s always a family and crowd pleaser, especially when I serve it alongside shredded cheese, diced onions, extra chili powder to sprinkle on, and crackers. I even like to set out a pot of cooked noodles for people to add to their chili, which some people might consider odd. But that might just be because I grew up in Indiana, and Indiana borders Cincinnati, Ohio, which is famous for its chili with noodles.
Anyway, I don’t buy ready-to-heat canned chili often, although it is good for specific situations such as making chili cheese dogs or for taking on camping trips. You can get canned chili at any grocery store, and you can even find it at dollar stores such as Family Dollar.
Chestnut Hill Chili with No Beans cost $2.00 for a 15-ounce can at Family Dollar at the time of publication.
That’s more than the house brand canned chili at Dollar General, and it’s more than the canned chili at Aldi. A 15-ounce can of Hormel Chili with No Beans cost $2.54 at Walmart the time of writing, making the Family Dollar chili a better deal than the name brand but not as cheap as some other store brands.
Chestnut Hill is behind the Family Dollar house brands, and it encompasses various food products such as ketchup, macaroni and cheese, and preserves.
The ingredient lists for this chili contains a few processed items. Ingredients are water, beef and pork, textured soy flour, oatmeal, chili powder (chili peppers, flavoring), modified cornstarch, and 2% or less of corn flour, sugar, salt, tomato paste, hydrolyzed soy, corn, and wheat protein, flavoring, yeast extract, spices, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and soy lecithin.
If you’re looking out for allergens, this contains soy and wheat.
This chili is pretty terrible for you and is the kind of meal you might want to limit to times when you don’t have much time to cook, or when you’re camping or travelling and need shelf stable food that’s easy to heat and serve. To be fair, I’ve rarely seen canned chili that was healthy. This one, like other canned chili, is loaded with fat, saturated fat, and sodium. Chili is actually very healthy when you make your own chili from scratch using ground beef (I buy it grass-fed from a local farm) or ground turkey, tomato juice and/or tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, seasonings, and beans if desired.
One can of this chili constitutes one serving, which has 450 calories, 25 grams of total fat (32% DV), 11 grams of saturated fat (55% DV), 1,780 mg of sodium (77% DV), 32 grams of total carbohydrates (12% DV), 4 grams of dietary fiber (14% DV), 5 grams of total sugars, 4 grams of added sugars (8% DV), and 25 grams of protein.
The can has a pull tab on top so you can get the lid off without a can opener. The can also has directions for heating the chili on a stovetop or in a microwave.
To heat on the stove, empty the chili into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until hot, stirring frequently.
To microwave, empty the chili into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely. Heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot, stirring once. Stir before serving.
I heated this chili on the stovetop. It starts to bubble pretty quickly, so it’s a good idea to stay close by and stir it often to ensure it heats evenly. It smelled good while heating.
I served it with some shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled Saltine crackers. It has good-sized chunks of meat that are very soft. The meat texture is a little odd, but it’s not bad for a canned chili. It is spicy, and my family ranked it as medium spicy or on the upper range of mild. We thought this had a good depth of flavors for a store-bought chili and enjoyed eating it for lunch on a cold, snowy day. While we still like homemade chili best, this one tastes good when you need chili in a hurry or if you need camping or emergency food.
Chestnut Hill Chili with No Beans is a private label product at Family Dollar. Like most canned chili, this is pretty unhealthy with lots of fat and sodium, but it tastes surprisingly good for a canned chili, especially if you top it with some crackers and shredded cheese. It is spicy and might qualify as medium heat. If you aren’t able to make chili from scratch, or if you need a quick, easy, and shelf-stable meal for travelling or camping, this might be worth trying.
I like to save no-bean chili for when I’m serving hot dogs, so that family members have the option to make chili dogs if they wish. Agreed that homemade chili is the best, though. (Although I have occasionally tossed a lonesome can of no-bean chili into the crockpot when I’m making a batch of the homemade stuff!)