A close up of cooked chilli con carne in the pan with chocolate melting on top

Chilli con carne recipe

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1076 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins - 1 hr, 10 mins

Easy

Serves 4

This great chilli recipe has to be one of the best dishes to serve to friends for a casual get-together. An easy sharing favourite that uses up storecupboard ingredients.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal387
  • fat17g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre6g
  • protein36g
  • salt2.32g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    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
    Paprika

    Paprika

    pa-preek-ah

    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
    Sugar

    Sugar

    shuh-ga

    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

Method

  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.

You may also like

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
PKaurK
22nd Jun, 2017
5.05
Very nice dinner, will be making again. The only changes I made were oregano for marjoram and sugar instead of chocolate. Seasoning was just right for me but some people may find it a little bland.
genericjanedoe
2nd Jun, 2017
5.05
I double the amount of this recipe and do this in the slow cooker after browning some really good quality steak mince. I then add 2-3 ready roasted red peppers (no skin), smoked paprika, replace the marjoram with a good helping of oregano, LOTS of crushed garlic and about a teaspoon or two of liquid smoke to give it that true smoky Texas chilli flavour. I also put in a generous helping of cinnamon instead of chocolate or sugar (adds a touch of sweet without the actual "sweet") and substitute the stock cube for Swiss vegetable bouillon powder. My "secret" ingredient added before I set the slow cooker on is about a tablespoon of fermented fish sauce. Yes, I know it sounds weird but you don't taste any fish - it just adds that "umami" depth to the flavour, especially as tomato based dishes tend to be more sweet than savoury.
TineLu
8th May, 2017
2.55
If you're unsure how to season this is not your recipe. Measurements given will leave you with a bland chilli. Seasonings need to be doubled at least . Also don't be shy with the chocolate- 3-4x as much to give the chilli more depth.
ndemelo
1st May, 2017
5.05
Super chilli, I've made it several times exactly as instructed using hot chilli powder and hot smoked paprika, and it always delivers.
TheFlyingPotato
26th Apr, 2017
5.05
My go to chilli recipe! I double the recipe and then freeze it into portions for work dinners, it reheats wonderfully. I add extra spices and simmer it for around 2 hours or so for it to thicken and the flavours to develop- I've never had an issue with it drying out, but I do add a little extra water at the sauce stage and check it regularly. I also add an extra can or two of kidney beans to bulk it out- it still tastes great and I can usually get approx 10 serves out of the doubled recipe!
eliselauren3's picture
eliselauren3
25th Apr, 2017
5.05
This is really yummy. I don't like it too spicy and so 1tsp of hot chilli powder was fine for me. I also added some cinammon, mixed herbs and kidney beans which are already in a chilli sauce, which just gives something extra to the dish. Served with baked potato and a squeeze of lime.
Guster
22nd Apr, 2017
Just my personal opinion, but I would say 1 tsp of paprika is not enough, you need at least a table spoon to get the flavour. Also, half a tsp of marjarom is hardly worth bothering with. Again, I'd say a table spoon, and use oregano instead. Without these changes a lot of people will find it a bit bland.
Tedsville's picture
Tedsville
21st Apr, 2017
Protip: Make this in a large cast iron casserole dish, then when it comes to the simmering stage, beforehand had a bit more stock (400ml) and a glass of red wine, put the lid on and put it in the oven at 170 for 2 hours. Check on it every half hour and give it a stir. Comes out so much nicer this way, and you don't have to worry about it catching.
pinksmitty
19th Apr, 2017
5.05
I have made this many times and know it off by heart. I add loads more chilli powder and also chopped red chilli as we love it much hotter. Perfect Chilli con carne and easy to make. Never lets me down!
Guestorz
11th Mar, 2017
2.55
At first I wasn't really sure if it was going to taste good because it looked like all kind of leftovers mixed together or should I say vomit, but in the end it tasted really good and i'm glad that I gave it a try! I sure do recommend this recipe.

Pages

Guestorz
11th Mar, 2017
2.55
Is this healthy when I leave out the sugar, sour cream, meat and rice?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
16th Mar, 2017
Thanks for your question. We have all our recipes nutritionally analysed and you can find how we do this here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/good-food-guide-healthy-eating You'll find a selection of our healthy recipes here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/category/healthy
caroleharding
3rd Nov, 2016
I love this recipe and have made it many times. Just one thing though, when I serve the chilli the sauce always separates a bit which is a shame. I don't really want to use a thickener as it is already a good consistency. Any suggestions?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
14th Nov, 2016
Hi there, it sounds like you could simmer the sauce for a little longer with the lid off to reduce the liquid. Also, give it a good stir before serving. Hope that helps!
ChuckLoyola
23rd Nov, 2015
Need to double (or treble!) the recipe. Any advice?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
10th Dec, 2015
This is a very easy recipe to double or treble, keep all the quantities in the same proportions, but the frying process will take you a little longer. You might find it easier to make in 2 pans at the same time unless you have really large ones. This is a great favourite for batch cooking and easy to portion into freezer bags too. For your info it will keep for 2 months in the freezer.
Jage
11th Oct, 2015
I've used lamb for a chilli bolognase and that was nice so I don't see why it wouldn't work with this
ooki
10th Sep, 2015
Hi, I'm not a fan of red kidney beans Can you suggest anything else for me to substitute?
Jage
11th Oct, 2015
I use a tin of sweet corn and add an extra green pepper it's particularly nice with the sweet corn. Hope this helps, let me know what you think.
Ian.w
21st Mar, 2015
Ok done this twice now each time watery and quite bland. Any ideas? Seems like the 300 ml of water and tinned tomatoes seem to be too much liquid?

Pages

AConcernedCookizen
14th Feb, 2017
5.05
Great recipe, however, the cooking time has to be vastly increased to yield a good consistency. I've found when doubling every ingredient, that given the amount of liquid I had to simmer for around 2 hours to get a thick chilli, otherwise it is insanely liquidy and not great. Other than that this is my standard recipe.
Mr Chewie
23rd Dec, 2016
Absolutely brilliant recipe, made this a few times now. However, as has been mentioned, it's useful to add additional spices as the mix can become bland, I also put a bit of ground coriander and a little bit of oregano in too. It's a brilliant recipe and if you find it's got a lot of liquid, simply boil without the lid to reduce the mixture down and then pop the lid on and simmer to allow the flavours to mix together. Towards the end I would definitely suggest adding a little more of the spices, but regardless, this remains an excellent recipe!!
whutom's picture
whutom
3rd Sep, 2016
5.05
I have made this about 5 times now but never made it hot enough ( my fault ) my tip is to to add chorizo and slow cooking the lot before adding kidney beans, then serve on top of nachos with cheese sprinkled oved and chopped jalapenos with a twist of pepper, i also added birdseye chilli to give it that extra kick,obviously not enough but still very tasty.
mrspinnywinny
16th Aug, 2016
5.05
Have made this recipe numerous times - husband sick of it! If freezing, I suggest not cooking the beans at all or they will be mushy when you defrost. However, do let your chilli stand in fridge for day or two before freezing so flavours develop. If you've overdone the chilli, add baked beans. The sweetness will balance it out.
David G
14th Aug, 2016
3.8
I have replaced the powdered chilli with 4 x Fresh Birdeye chillies and added two large Porterhouse mushrooms at the same time as the peppers. very nice indeed and the spice is not quite a raw.
paulascoble
10th Apr, 2016
3.8
I made this but left out the water as really didn't need it. I added a tin of baked beans swell as kidney beans. I felt there wasn't much taste to the chilli and as one daughter felt it was just right for her i portioned hers out then added a couple of fresh green chillies which added some heat. Recipe was easy to follow and will certainly make again .
JC1818's picture
JC1818
31st Oct, 2015
5.05
I omitted the salt when I made this,and used low sodium beef broth. It was still excellent. This could easily be a low sodium recipe, for those watching their salt intake.
Bad Ham
22nd Oct, 2015
5.05
To stop it drying up I added more water. Then it went a bit bland. So I added more Puree, Cumin and spice and it all tasted very nice!
mattb27
22nd Aug, 2015
I also find that this isn't that hot. I usually add 1-2 teaspoons of harrisa paste into it to give it a good extra kick.
geordielass78
21st Sep, 2014
For those who think this isn't hot enough I find chilli flakes are probably a bit better in that respect than chilli powder - a very heaped teaspoon gives it a good bit of "kick" without being overwhelming. I also use more tomato puree than the recipe (3-4 tbsp instead of 2 tbsp), otherwise it seems rather watery and has to be reduced and reduced and reduced to make the sauce reasonably tomato-y. Lastly, I add a half tsp of coriander along with the other spices. All of this just adds extra depth to the flavour.

Pages