Skip to main content

Wearing a chef hat and apron, Don pours drained beans into a large pot.

After winning the Unity Hospital Chili Cook-off, Don Toews, RN, made a large batch of his chili to share in the; Unity Hospital cafeteria. If you would like to share a non-copyrighted recipe with us send a message to the editor.

Nutrition information
Serving: 203 grams
Servings per recipe: 16
Calories: 160 (25 from fat)
Cholesterol: 20 milligrams
Fat: 3 grams (1 saturated fat, 0 trans fats)
Protein: 15 grams
Sodium: 780 milligrams 
Total carbohydrate: 20 grams (7 fiber, 2 sugars)

Receive a recipe each week via e-mail or RSS feed.

Don's cilantro lime and top sirloin chili

Some who sampled this chili cook-off winner liked it so much they made it themselves. They said it was simple to make and became a family favorite. Makes 16 servings.


2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Penzeys Adobo Seasoning
24 ounces beef top sirloin steak (cut into 1/2 or 3/4 inch pieces)
1 large onion, white or yellow, chopped
1 large chili pepper, seeded and chopped (You can use an Anaheim chili pepper or jalapeno chili pepper.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
2 to 4 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotles in adobo
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 16-ounce can of Old El Paso® Refried Beans Fat Free
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice


  1. In a hot pan, cook steak in olive oil and Penzeys Spice Adobo Seasoning until browned.
  2. Remove steak from pan.
  3. In the same pan, add the onion, chili pepper and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add browned steak back to the pan, plus 1 cup beef stock, canned beans, tomatoes, chipotles in adobe, adobe sauce and cilantro. Stir together.
  5. In a separate dish, mash together 1/2 cup beef stock, refried beans, chili powder, cumin, sea salt and lime juice.
  6. Add all ingredients together in the pan and simmer for 45 minutes.
  7. Serve with sliced limes on the side to squeeze into chili, if desired.*

Tips to reduce sodium (salt)*

These two steps can reduce the sodium to 568 mg per serving:

  1. Drain and rinse the canned beans for two minutes to remove extra sodium.
  2. Use salt-free canned tomatoes.

These two steps can reduce the sodium to 308 mg per serving:

  1. Use dried beans instead of canned beans. Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse.
  2. Use salt-free canned tomatoes.

If the chili needs more flavor, try some salt-free blends, other herbs and spices, or more of the spices already being used in this recipe.

Vegetarian option*

To make this meal vegetarian, simply don't include the steak. The nutritional information for this version will be:

  • Calories: 114 (11 from fat)
  • Fat: 1 gram (0 saturated fat, 0 trans fats)
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligram
  • Sodium: 759 milligrams
  • Total carbohydrate: 20 grams (7 fiber, 2 sugar)
  • Protein: 7 grams

To reduce the sodium, you can use the same tips listed above.

*Option not included in nutrition facts.

Related links


Source: Don Toews, registered nurse (RN), Unity Hospital Intensive Care Unit

First published: 01/03/2012
Last updated: 01/20/2012

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department