A hearty and comforting meal, this Easy Chilli Con Carne is deliciously smoky and packed with lean protein, beans and veggies for a meal the whole family will love. A simple one pot meal that is great for batch cooking, as there are so many uses for the leftovers.
Whilst there is much debate on how Chilli Con Carne is made across the world (some people will only use cubes of beef and would never use beans or canned tomatoes), this is the chilli we grew up eating. It's kind of like a bolognese, but with beans and plenty of spice.
You can adapt it to be as mild or as spicy as you like to suit your families needs, and swap out vegetables for whatever you have on hand, making it a great way to use up what you have.
Why you will love it
- Lean protein
- One pot meal
- Easy to pack with vegetables
- Freezes well
Step by step
One: Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, mushrooms, pepper and garlic and gently cook for 4 minutes until softened. Add the beef mince and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned.
Two: Add the rest of the ingredients (except the coriander/cilantro) to the pan and stir well.
Three: Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the chopped coriander (cilantro) before serving.
To get the spicy and smoky flavour of this chilli we added smoked paprika, ground coriander, mild chilli powder, cumin and cocoa powder. Yes - cocoa powder! Adding chocolate to your chilli will give it a depth of flavour as well as a nice colour. It will also help to balance out any acidity from the chopped tomatoes. Trust us on this!
What to serve it with
Chilli and rice is the obvious combination, but this chilli is great with so many other things. Try it on top of a baked potato or a hot dog to make a chilli dog. If you want to stick with a traditional chilli and rice combo, then why not add our Easy Homemade Flatbread or some simple tortilla chips to dip in?
If you take your chilli toppings seriously, then you have loads of choices. We just went with a dollop of cooling creme fraiche and a sprinkling of coriander. However, you have so many options. Why not add some slices of jalapeno, grated cheese, diced avocado or swap the creme fraiche for sour cream. Finely diced red onion or Pico De Gallo is a good choice too.
We always make sure that we have some leftover for the next day, as it makes an epic nacho topping. Also, stir some in to Mac and Cheese. AMAZING! Oh, or make a spicy lasagna with it. See, SO many uses.
You could use any ground meat in this recipe, so feel free to swap the beef for turkey, chicken, pork or lamb. You could even make a vegetarian version with tofu, extra beans or a vegetarian mince alternative.
This chilli recipe is the ultimate batch cook recipe that is just perfect for going in the freezer. This makes 6 portions, so feel free to double it if you want to keep lots in the freezer. Wait for it to cool and then portion it out and put in the freezer.
It will keep for 2-3 months and then once fully defrosted it can either be heated up on the hob or in the microwave.
Yes, this is a great recipe to make in a slow cooker because cooking it low and slow lets the flavours really intensify and the meat it deliciously tender.
Simply follow step one and then put everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. You will probably need less stock if making it in a slow cooker, so reduce the stock to 120ml instead.
This is a great recipe to make when you have a few different vegetables in your fridge that need using up. Just chop them all up and add them in. Courgettes (zucchinis) work well, as does aubergine (eggplant) and celery.
We also sometimes add some spinach or kale in at the end for a green veggie boost. Why not add some sweet potato or chunks of butternut squash as well?
• Chilli is supposed to be spicy, however if you can't handle the heat (no judgement), then use less chilli powder or none at all.
• If you don't want to make your own spice mix, you could just use fajita seasoning instead, however you wouldn't get the same authentic flavour.
• Why not load your chilli with toppings. Grated cheese, jalapenos and avocado work well.
• Make sure you make extra, as leftovers are great on a baked potato, stirred in to mac and cheese or used as a nacho topping.
• Any extra leftovers can be frozen for 2-3 months.
• Give a richer flavour to this chilli by swapping some of the stock for red wine.
More beef mince recipes
If you’ve tried this easy chilli recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Easy Chilli Con Carne
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Onion - peeled and diced
- 4 Mushrooms - diced
- 1 Yellow bell pepper - diced
- 3 cloves Garlic clove - crushed
- 500 g (1.1 lb) Beef mince
- 400 g (14 oz) Chopped tomatoes - canned
- 240 g (1.33 cups) Kidney beans - canned, drained
- 2 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 200 ml (0.75 cups) Beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Mild chilli powder - or more to taste
- 2 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 15 g (1 cups) Fresh coriander (cilantro) - chopped
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon Olive oil in a large pan and add 1 Onion, 4 Mushrooms, 1 Yellow bell pepper and 3 cloves Garlic clove and gently cook for 4 minutes until softened.
- Add 500 g Beef mince and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned.
- Add 400 g Chopped tomatoes, 240 g Kidney beans, 2 tablespoon Tomato puree, 200 ml Beef stock, 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon Ground coriander, 1 teaspoon Mild chilli powder, 2 teaspoon Cumin, 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper to the pan and stir well.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the 15 g Fresh coriander (cilantro) before serving.
- Chilli is supposed to be spicy, however if you can't handle the heat (no judgement), then use less chilli powder or none at all.
- If you don't want to make your own spice mix, you could just use fajita seasoning instead, however you wouldn't get the same authentic flavour.
- Why not load your chilli with toppings. Grated cheese, jalapenos and avocado work well.
- Make sure you make extra, as leftovers are great on a baked potato, stirred in to mac and cheese or used as a nacho topping.
- Any extra leftovers can be frozen for 2-3 months.
- Give a richer flavour to this chilli by swapping some of the stock for red wine.
This chili looks so delicious! It's very similar to the one I usually make, but I never added cacao or corainder - so I'm looking forward to trying your version!
This chili recipe looks like a winning combo!! Can't wait to try it this weekend!
I have never tried something like this before. Sounds interesting and the flavors you gave added.
Looks fantastic. Now I'm craving chili!
Definitely a healthy and a delicious meal in a Bowl. Full of flavors and I love it.
Comfort food at its finest. Thanks for the cocoa powder tip!
Everyone at my house really loved it! Such a great meal for weeknights!
This recipe is so good and comforting! Love all of the flavors of this dish! Thank you!
This is a great family meal and so versatile with the leftovers too. Thanks for the tips.
This is like the ultimate comfort food. The flavors were so delicious and it was easy to make!
This is one of my favorite Mexican dishes! Looks so yummy!