Publications

Accessibility


Steps to Reducing Sodium in Recipes (FN1688)

Let’s practice our food sodium knowledge by modifying a chili recipe.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D. Food and Nutrition Specialist

Tanya Lillehoff, Program Assistant (former)


Original Chili Con Carne for 50

Serving size: 1 cup

Per serving: 760 mg sodium

10 lb. ground beef

8 oz. onions, chopped

2½ qt. tomatoes, canned, diced

2 qt. tomato puree

1 qt. water

3 oz. chili seasoning

1½ Tbsp. cumin seed, ground

1½ Tbsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper, black

2 oz. sugar, granulated

9 lb. 8 oz. beans, pinto or kidney, canned

Step 1. Identify ingredients that likely contain hidden sodium. Keep an eye out for highly processed foods, canned vegetables or seasonings that contain salt as an ingredient.

  • If you guessed the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, chili seasoning mix and beans, you are correct!

Step 2. Substitute a “no salt added” version of canned, diced tomatoes or other vegetables.

Step 3. Check out your seasonings. Substitute a store-bought chili powder with no sodium added instead of using chili seasoning. Chili powder is a mix of common kitchen spices; you can make it yourself!

Step 4. Drain and rinse canned beans. Draining the liquid from the beans and rinsing them before adding them to the food reduces sodium by about 40 percent.

Modified Chili Con Carne for 50

Serving size: 1 cup

Per serving: 320 mg sodium

10 lb. ground beef

8 oz. onions, chopped

2½ qt. “no salt added” tomatoes, canned, diced

2 qt. “no salt added” tomato puree

1 qt. water

3 oz. chili powder (no salt added)

1½ Tbsp. cumin seed, ground

1½ Tbsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper, black

2 oz. sugar, granulated

9 lb. 8 oz. rinsed beans, pinto or kidney, canned

In our example, we were able to reduce the sodium content by more than half! And we accomplished this without adjusting the salt called for in the recipe.

*To reduce sodium farther, try starting with dry beans. For more information, see the NDSU Extension Service publication “All About Beans,” 

To learn more about sodium, visit this online learning module

Filed under: , ,
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.