Chilli con carne

Chilli con carne

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(997 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 (1018)

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!

jamiesmith25's picture

Lovely if you add chocolate drops in and certainly one I will be making again soon

donnauniacke's picture

i made this the other night and i thought it was very scrummy. the chilli powder i have is very hot so it was too hot for my 3 year old so next time i will use less. we had lots left over so we had burrios the next night whick was even scrummier!

yappy_kelly's picture

This is a delicious chilli, everyone I’ve cooked it for has commented on how tasty it is – which is surprising as I figured it was only another variation of the same old chilli! I use dark chocolate instead of the sugar. Really yummy.

333333's picture

We changed the tomatoes, instead we used the plum tomatoes. It made it a bit watery but still tasted yummy!

333333's picture

We did enjoy the recipe. I added plum tomotes instead of the chopped. I think this might of watered it down a bit but otherwise was delicious!

shnook15's picture

I tried this recipe because it was so highly rated. I was quite disappointed. The chilli powder does not add heat to the meal - a small, freshly chopped chilli adds much more flavour and punch.
Also, I prefer to use braising steak as opposed to minced meat. I cut the steak into small 1-2cm pieces and use that - I find it is much tastier and the larger chunks of meat give you more to bite into!

The best part of this recipe was the chocolate substitution, I love that idea and it did add depth. I will use that from now on, but stick with my tried and tested Chili con Carne recipe.

cath0912's picture

Loved it I make my hubby make this all the time

whitty999's picture

beautiful the whole family loved it,ideal to make extra for another meal in the week as it is freezable.

vhoracek's picture

Turned out great, the sour cream really complements the spicy chilli taste.

dollydawood's picture

I just love it. I used to make it without following any particular recipe and never had leftovers but, by following this recipe I am sure to get demands to make it more often.

greengarden's picture

yummy! I made this for a potluck party and it all went with lots of lovely comments. Have made some more for tonight! Made it up then put in slow cooker

claymason's picture

Tasted fantastic, but it made my stomach hurt. Will have to use fresher ingredients in the future.

hunterm's picture

Very tasty - I would nadd a little less fluid next time - it was a bit runny.

arc01160's picture

Nice recipe I added another 1/2 tsp of hot chilli powder and some mushrooms

nessa025's picture

absolutely gorgeous!!! will be making again

inkyskin's picture

i can't believe how easy this was to make! much time and money wasted on jars when it was this easy!

i'm adding a fresh chilli next time because i love hot food.

pose83's picture

I loved this recipe. I used sugar, not chocolate and it was very tasty. Would definitely make it again.

peskypeeza's picture

Love this chilli! My OH was the first one to try it -not normally a great cook, but this was fab. I've made it loads of times since, normally with cocoa powder rather than chocolate. Last time I did a big batch in my slow cooker - was the best ever for depth of flavour.

Comment to Tracy - maybe you just don't like chilli con carne and it's time to give up?!


Questions (32)

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