Chilli con carne

Chilli con carne

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(1021 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 (1036)

v6en31's picture

Wonderful. Used a glass of red wine to add depth of flavour and also 3/4 of the tube of puree to perfect it.

alanwellfed's picture

I have prepared this many times and it is and excellent recipe but latelyI have tried it with brown rice. Although this takes 45mins to cook I find it provide a much better contrasting texture when using minced beef. White rice is, for me, better if using stewing beef cut into lumps.


frogstar's picture

Made this last week. Was always looking for a nice chili con carne recipe. This is perfect. It was spicy enough for me, I know a few people said it wasn't spicy enough-i thought it was perfect, though added a few chili flakes. Used the chocolate, not sure what difference it made but will use again, Very good to freezr again

sauerkraut's picture

loved this - used two squares of lindt 70% cocoa chocolate instead of sugar. tasted amazing on a baked sweet potato.

vivaves's picture

Pretty nice, but not all it's cracked up to be (given the number of high-ratings on this site)! It needed a lot more heat - the chilli powder (although labelled 'hot') just wasn't enough and I ended up chucking nearly half a bottle of Tabasco in at the end. I will add fresh chillis from the beginning next time I make it. It had reasonable depth of flavour - I used a small chunk of dark chocolate as well as the sugar. I added half a tsp of ground coriander along with the other spices as most other chilli recipes I've ever followed have this, so I wondered whether this was an accidental omission....paprika was new to me, so I went with it; next time I might try smoked paprika instead.
As I said, pretty good and tasty, but not enough to warrant its high standing on this site, IMHO.

cazwebster's picture

thought this was lovely made this for my friends, everyone enjoyed will definately make again

jo_c_d's picture

I made this last night for my boyfriend. I have my own chilli recipe but seeing the fantastic ratings and comments this recipe received I fancied giving it a go! We both loved it and agreed it deserved five stars. This will now replace my usual chilli recipe. Thanks Good Food!

margoleach's picture

Great texture and consistency. I think the amount of spice and seasoning is low. I couldn't taste any of the chilli powder or cumin, so I would suggest uping the amount considerably (tasting along the way of course!). As the recipe says, it takes a lot more seasoning than you think, so don't be shy with the salt and pepper. A very good base recipe though!

jessicafox's picture

Very good! even better with the chocolate :)

vfirth's picture

This is a great chilli con carne. I will make again and again. I also serve with "smashed" avocado and plain tortilla chips as well as rice and soured cream. I used chocolate rather than sugar and will continue to do this.

kellygodfray's picture

Forgot to rate it!

kellygodfray's picture

All the family loved this. A good basic chilli con carne recipe, although we do prefer it somewhat spicier. Will definitely be having this again.

lkacera's picture

easy, quick and it!

cookiegalore's picture

This recipe really is great. Well worth the effort. The best chlli i have ever made.

mrschuckbass's picture

Great, tastes even better the next day!

catherine31's picture

I have made this on numerous occassions and it's fab, it's my definitive chilli recipe. It's great for freezing too!

lisawalsh's picture

forgot to rate

lisawalsh's picture

great recipe no more jars of chilli sauce will be used in this house !!!! I know this sounds weird but try eating it with creamy colslaw its delicious !!!

dzaster's picture

Very tasty, the chocolate is a good extra. This is great when you are entertaining friends and don't want to leave the conversation too often.

taliie's picture

This recipe was awesome! I don't really like beans nor mince but this recipe was very tasty. I would definitely cook this again!


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