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3-Ingredient Microwave Mug Chili

3-Ingredient Microwave Mug Chili

An easy lunch – or dinner for one – this hearty chili satisfies your craving for a steamy mug of chili – in just a minute or two. Pile on the toppings of your choice to go waaay beyond 3-ingredient! 

3-Ingredient Microwave Mug Chili | @TspCurry
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Now…onto today’s featured Healthy Kitchen Hack:

3-Ingredient Microwave Mug Chili

It’s been hard to wait til ‘soup season’ to post this healthy and super-filling chili recipe. I’ve been making this easy mug chili – often – for my lunch since last spring.

But here it is!

Microwave Mug Chili | @tspcurry

And the hardest thing is keeping the 3-ingredients in your pantry – because they are pantry staples that probably get used up fast for other recipes too. Here are the magical three:

  • Salsa – use a thicker-style salsa. A more watery pico de gallo doesn’t work as well. Use low-sodium versions if you wish. Salsa is a nutrition power-house with the heart-healthy nutrient lycopene. And 1/2-cup of salsa counts as 1-serving of veggies.
  • Chili beans – my kids’ favorite chili beans are actually black beans – and Bush’s makes the best in my humble opinion. But you could also use kidney beans or chili beans. Sometimes you can find a low-sodium version. Beans contain fiber and B-vitamins; and when fewer fruits are in season in winter, I find it harder to fit fiber into my and my kids’ meals; but it’s essential.
  • Optional: Refried beans – these are optional – but just a spoonful thickens up the chili nicely. Look for vegetarian versions or fat-free versions which don’t have a lot of added lard or fat.

3-Ingredient Microwave Mug Chili | @TspCurry

Now we have to talk about toppings. The sky is the limit – and this will make your lunch go way beyond three ingredients. But since they’re all add-ons, go for it! I like:

  • Avocado – more added nutrition in terms of antioxidants and good fats and fiber
  • Plain Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream – Greek yogurt has the most nutrition, and the most delicious tang
  • Cilantro – add lots of this herb for good greens in the chilly months
  • Cheddar cheese – I like Cabot low-fat Cheddar

Now grab a spoon, these three ingredients, and you’ve got lunch!

Easy lunch. Quick (healthy!) dinner: 3-Ingredient Microwave Mug Chili via @TspCurry Click To Tweet Print
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3-Ingredient Microwave Mug Chili

  • Author: Serena Ball


Just 3-ingredients and you’ve got an easy lunch or quick dinner for one. This recipe can easily be multiplied to serve more – or be warmed in a pot on the stove.


  • Half a mug-full of salsa (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 mug-full of chili beans (undrained)
  • 1 tablespoon refried beans
  • Toppings: chopped avocado, plain Greek yogurt, cilantro, shredded Cheddar cheese



In a microwave-safe mug, mix salsa, chili beans, and refried beans. Microwave on high for about 45-seconds to 1 minute, or until hot.

Top with toppings of your choice.

Mitchelle wright

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Wow! That's a quick healthy recipe.

Thanks for Sharing. I will definitely try it out.

Please Keep Sharing. I Love your Blog.


Serena Ball

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Thanks Mitchelle! I hope you get to make this for lots of quick lunches!

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