How Many Carbs In Wendy’s Chili? Is It Healthy?

Wendy’s fast-food chain is popular but if you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet you might be wondering how many carbs in wendy's chili. This is a classic chili recipe with beef, beans, and vegetables. The carb count is somewhat high though even for a small size.

Wendy's chili

Are you a fan of chili? This is a popular Wendy’s menu item from the fast-food chain founded half a century ago. The restaurant has become famous for its unique offerings include square hamburger patties, baked potato, and Frosty. Chili is another menu item that you can’t find at most fast-food restaurants. However, if you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet like Keto or Atkins you might be wondering how many carbs in wendy’s chili. Carb-counting is important for these diets. Fun Fact: It’s believed chili was invented in the American West and probably Texas. When you’re on a low-carb diet you have to watch each ingredient’s carbs.

Basic chili recipes include ingredients like beef, beans, and vegetables. The main ingredient with lots of possible carbs would be beans. Beans and peas are ditched from many low-carb diets even though it’s high in nutrients including protein and fiber. However, when you’re on diets like South Beach you can’t do guesswork so it’s critical to take a closer look at what’s added to the chili. This will tell you if it gets the green light for such diets. You’ll want to know if it could kick you out of ketosis and if so for how long.

What’s Wendy’s Chili All About?

In November 2019 Wendy’s will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. That’s when founder Dave Thomas opened the first branch in the USA state of Ohio. The restaurant chain was named after his daughter. Fun Fact: Wendy’s opened the first-ever drive-thru at modern fast-food establishments.

Chili is one of the popular hearty dishes that’s made Wendy’s popular. As with other dishes, there are some question marks about who “invented” chili con carne (chili with meat). However, food historians generally agree it’s American food that has Mexican roots.

One legend is that people from the Canary Islands who started going to San Antonio, Texas in early 1720 made the first chili. It’s claimed they combined different meats with wild onions and chili peppers.

The first written record is generally believed to be a man living near Houston, Texas named J.C. Clopper. It mentions meat that’s chopped up in a “hash” and combined with lots of peppers.

By the early 1900s Texas already had chili restaurants. They moved to the West USA. These chili joints were often small with a counter and stools for dine-in customers. These restaurants helped poor people during the Great Depression since chili dishes were cheap and bundled with free crackers.

Today chili has become a popular stew that’s popular at fundraisers and cook-off contests. There are even special recipes and traditions in some regions. For example, in Texas, stew meat and lots of cayenne pepper are often added but beans aren’t a popular ingredient.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Ohio there’s a “5-way chili.” It includes beans, cheese, and onions and tops some spaghetti. Some recipes have more tomatoes or spiciness.

Chili is made using different combinations of:

  • Meat
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Spices

There are often big debates about which ingredients should be added and avoided when making chili. The dish is named for the chili peppers that are usually included.

How Many Carbs in Wendy’s Chili

A small Wendy’s chili has 16g of carbs. This is about one-third of the total carbs allowed on the standard Keto Diet. Here are some of the key ingredients:


Wendy’s is known for its old-fashioned hamburgers so it’s not surprising that its chili has ground beef. The beef patties are usually providing a continuous supply of patties so customers get chili that’s super-fresh. The patties are chopped up then added to the hearty stew.

One of the main benefits for Keto dieters is lean beef has 0g of carbs. This is a plus since it will help you to stay in ketosis. Beef is also a good source of many nutrients including protein, iron, good fats, and a powerful antioxidant.


Beans are an excellent source of nutrients including protein, zinc, and fiber. Wendy’s reports its chili includes red kidney beans and small chili beans. The beans are cooked in water with seasonings/salt then recooked in the chili.

In terms of carbs, there’s a lot in beans. Kidney beans have 60g of carbs in one 100g of beans However, there’s also a lot of fiber for heart health.


Wendy’s uses a mix of celery, green pepper, and onions. These are added with the chili’s beans. The tomatoes are technically fruits since they include seeds.

The mix of onion, celery, and peppers is known in Louisiana as the “holy trinity” of veggies.  All of the vegetables in the dish besides the beans are also low-carb. It’s mostly the two kinds of beans that make the dish higher in carbohydrates.


Wendy’s reports there are small amounts of some additives. The company explains these are added for issues like texture and freshness. It points out that just small amounts are added to improve the food’s overall quality.

Top Benefits of Chili Pepper

1. Heart Health

Chilis also help to improve the system of blood circulation. They can also lower the risk of heart disease through benefits like lower blood cholesterol. This helps with issues like better blood flow and less blood clotting.

2. Anti-cancer

Keep in mind there’s a difference between fighting cancer cells and curing cancer. That said, there’s something in the peppers called “capsaicin” that can fight inflammation and oxygen’s negative effects.

Scientists are studying the effects of chili peppers on fighting cancer. Studies show it can slow down the growth of some cancer cells. Meanwhile, it doesn’t bother the healthy cells. The peppers seem to fight cancer cells in areas like the breast, prostate, bladder, and pancreas.

3. Boosts Metabolism

If you’ve ever eaten ones like Ghost Pepper you know that peppers can boost your body’s temperature. The process helps to burn extra calories. That can then help with weight loss. If you could eat chili peppers for breakfast, you’ll feel full for the whole day, which can also help with weight loss.

Hot peppers might also help to fight fat buildup by changing the body’s proteins.

4. Colds/Flus/Fungus

Studies show that hot peppers seem to help people who have influenza and colds. That’s due to stuff like antioxidants and beta-carotene.

Here’s how it works. It helps to boost the body’s immune system so it can fight flu/cold viruses. The peppers also fight 15+ types of fungus.

5. Digestive System

Studies show that hot peppers can help to boost a person’s digestive system. Researchers have discovered that chili peppers can help to treat ulcers since it’s caused by bacteria.

Chilis include chemicals like antioxidants that help with issues like upset stomach, LBM, and stomach cramps. This happens by lowering the digestive tract’s acid levels so it’s healthful like learning how many carbs in Wendy’s chili.

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