Build a Healthy Meal

Katie Guedry, Gibson, Amanda

“Dollar Store” Four-Bean Chili

Dollar Store Meals - Four-Bean Chili

Louisiana Healthcare Connections and the LSU AgCenter have teamed up to produce the video series ‘Build a Healthy Meal.’ In this series, we show you how to prepare easy, healthy and tasty dishes using low-cost ingredients that can be found at your local dollar store or grocery store. Also, we show you how to “build” healthy meals that will save you time and money and that you and your family will enjoy!

In this video, Area Nutrition Agent and registered dietitian, Amanda Gibson, demonstrates how to make a four-bean chili using ingredients that can be purchased at the local dollar store. This recipe is easy to prepare and delicious! The best part – it’s done in minutes! It is a great weeknight meal that will keep you and your family happy, healthy and satisfied. Beans are low in cost but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and are a great source of protein!

Four Bean Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 15-ounce can refried beans
1 - 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 - 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 cups vegetable or beef broth
1 tablespoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
Créole seasoning, if desired
1 - 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15-ounce can chili (pinto) beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Rinse and drain each can of black beans, chili (pinto) beans and kidney beans.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.
  3. Add refried beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup of broth, onion powder and garlic powder.
  4. Continue to stir until the refried beans and tomato paste dissolve.
  5. Stir in the remaining broth, chili powder, cumin, pepper and creole seasoning (if desired).
  6. Add in black beans, chili (pinto) beans, and kidney beans, and bring the pot to a simmer.
  7. Simmer the chili for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chili is thick and well blended.

To add a serving of grains to this meal, pair with a side of crackers, rice or corn bread. You could also top your chili with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese (reduced- or low-fat if available) for some added dairy.

Finally, round out your healthy meal with a serving of fruit for some extra nutrients and a sweet treat!

Serves: 8 Approximate cost per serving: $.85 (chili only); $1.07 (with toppings and sides)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Source: Louisiana State University, Judy Myhand, Instructor
Food Safety Tips:

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze leftovers for 2-3 months.

Visit us at our website: LSU AgCenter Food & Health Page
About Louisiana Healthcare Connections Established to deliver quality healthcare through local, regional and community-based partners, Louisiana Healthcare Connections is a Healthy Louisiana Plan headquartered in Baton Rouge, La. Louisiana Healthcare Connections exists to improve the health of its members through focused, compassionate and coordinated care. Because Louisiana Healthcare Connections believes healthy is a way of life, its members benefit from programs and services designed for personal well-being. For more information, visit

2/18/2020 2:14:31 PM
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