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A Chili Time of Year

sweet spicy chili recipe

Guilt-free version of the meaty classic

Becca Heflin calls her Sweet and Spicy Tomato Bratwurst Chili “a taste of Wisconsin to be enjoyed all year round.” The Appleton resident, who graduated from the food production program at Fox Valley Technical College, takes the connection between the appetite and the soul to heart…or should we say, tummy.

“Growing up in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin taught me early on to become a lover of foods that warm the body,” Heflin says.

Jean Wagner, registered dietitian at Mercy Medical Center, made a few simple revisions to reduce the calorie content and total fat while improving the nutritional quality of the chili. Wagner was conscious in keeping the sweet, spicy flavor intended in the original recipe.

“By choosing a turkey bratwurst instead of regular beef or pork for this recipe, you will have reduced the content of this recipe by 558 calories and 66 grams of fat,” Wagner says.

To reduce the total calories, substitute light or diet cranberry juice in place of jam/preserves. By doing so, the content will decrease by an additional 500 calories.

“You can compare brands of the diced tomatoes with green peppers and opt for the brand with less sodium,” Wagner adds.

Sweet & Spicy Tomato Bratwurst Chili Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil or use cooking spray for no additional fat and calories
  • 1 pound diced turkey bratwurst
  • 16 oz. jar Newman’s Own Mango Salsa
  • 16 oz. jar Newman’s Own Black Bean and Corn Salsa
  • 12 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn niblets
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion
  • 4 ounces light or diet cranberry juice


  1. In a large stock pot, add canola oil, onion, pepper and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.
  2. Add turkey bratwurst and cook until browned.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Makes 4-6 servings

Garnish with blue corn chips, low-fat shredded cheese and/or fat-free sour cream

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