Chilli con carne

Chilli con carne

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(987 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins - 1 hr, 10 mins


Serves 4
This great chilli has to be one of the best dishes to serve to friends for a casual get-together

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal387
  • fat17g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre6g
  • protein36g
  • salt2.32g
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  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410g can red kidney beans
  • plain boiled long grain rice, to serve
  • soured cream, to serve


  1. Prepare your vegetables. Chop 1 large onion into small dice, about 5mm square. The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half from root to tip, peel it and slice each half into thick matchsticks lengthways, not quite cutting all the way to the root end so they are still held together. Slice across the matchsticks into neat dice. Cut 1 red pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and wash the seeds away, then chop. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Start cooking. Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot (a little longer for an electric hob). Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft, squidgy and slightly translucent. Tip in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Brown the 500g lean minced beef. Turn the heat up a bit, add the meat to the pan and break it up with your spoon or spatula. The mix should sizzle a bit when you add the mince. Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

  4. Making the sauce. Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. Open 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g can) and add these as well. Tip in ½ tsp dried marjoram and 1 tsp sugar, if using (see tip at the bottom), and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in about 2 tbsp tomato purée and stir the sauce well.

  5. Simmer it gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. You should check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

  6. Bring on the beans. Drain and rinse 1 can of red kidney beans (410g can) in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry. Taste a bit of the chilli and season. It will probably take a lot more seasoning than you think. Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving, and relax. Leaving your chilli to stand is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle and the meat.

  7. Serve with soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice.

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Comments (1012)

maria357's picture

Depends where you are.
In England the spice is spelt chilli, in the US it's spelt chile or chili.

africanqueen's picture

Wow! Delicious and so easy, will definitely be making this again :-)

Fawdreyy's picture

I'm new to cooking, and I followed this recipe to a T and this is hands down the nicest thing I've ever made. I'd recommend it to anyone!

Whizeecream's picture

This is such a good chilli recipe except it doesn't have enough spice! I don't even like spicy food but I've made this recipe many times now and it's much nicer with fresh chilli. Still the best chilli recipe I've used.

GiSora's picture

Yumm... Made this just now. Followed the recipe to the dot and served with protein whole wheat flat bread. Best chilli or chili or whatever.

prsb58's picture

Isn't chile spelt with one 'l' as in the pepper?

madmrsmonkey's picture

I have made this recipe many many times now, delicious! My fiancé says "this has everything I want from a chilli".
I cook mine in a slow cooker all day while I'm at work and also add mushrooms, sweetcorn and carrot to get a few more veggies in. Great recipe.

Greenockmist's picture

I cook this one in a low oven for three hours. Just lovely and easy to make.

Pamee's picture

Best chilli I have tasted, wow

LostMyMojo's picture

Wow I'm just sat here eating a bowl of this recipe, absolutely delicious! I was looking for a healthy chilli con carne recipe so I made a few tweaks to this, I left out the oil and used Quorn mince instead. I also left out the marjoram purely because I didn't have any, will try it with marjoram next time though. Such an easy recipe to follow and so tasty.

harveythecat's picture

This is sim-ply a-ma-zing! I made it exactly as the recipe demanded except I disposed with the peppers, added three carrots, a teaspoon of cinnamon, hot chocolate powder, some yoghurt and mild cheddar to serve, and left the pot to simmer for half an hour longer. Absolutely divine! The cinnamon adds a real kick. If I did it again I wouldn't add any sugar. Very disappointing. Five stars.

lizleicester's picture

Such an easy, tasty way to make chilli. We had ours with nachos and salad. Lovely.

clarecook's picture

I have made this many, many times and it is always an absolute hit. I double up all the spices as we like things nice and spicy!

lawoo's picture

Just had this for tea, delicious! Maybe add extra chilli powder if you like it hot, just the right amount of meat and beans to sauce. Great as burrito filling.

Jodysheff's picture

Will be making this again but with a lot more hot chili powder or some fresh chilies as there wasn't much spice to it. Added more powder before serving but think fresh chili would be nicer. Easy to do even with all the steps. Served on rice with warm pitta bread and none was left!

daddyscooking's picture

Lovely recipe. I always add a bay leaf or two and some fresh/frozen sweetcorn near the end. Delicious with rice and even tastier with pasta shells (but VERY filling). I could eat this every day. :)

Angelica Mercieca Ciantar's picture

I have been making this for a while now. It is an excellent recipe though I do add a few extra ingredients to it like some balsamic vinegar, a couple of carrots grated, chopped celery, red wine instead of the stock, ground coriander and coriander leaves (dried) as well as some oregano and a bay leaf. I also add a little bit of strong coffee and some habanero paste and cayenne pepper of course add this with caution depending on how hot you like your chilli. To finish off I do like to add a small square of dark chocolate too ;)

caz21b's picture

It is a great recipe but your comment did make me chuckle as all those additions make it a completely different recipe ;) - going to try the coffee though!

simjai's picture

This recipe was easy to make, as well as tasty I even had a request for more of it

Butterfly92xo's picture

This chili con carne is absolutely gorgeous. I used Quorn mince instead of beef as my partner is a vegetarian and it still tasted absolutely fab! I used coriander and chives instead of marjoram and chili kidney beans instead of red kidney beans. Was beautiful! Definitely making this again (and again, and again).


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