Chilli Con Carne
Recipe video above. Everybody's favourite Chili, nice and saucy! Made with a from-scratch Chili Powder rather than a store bought mix. Make a quick midweek version though when you've got the time, it's well worth slow cooking. See notes for Serving and Topping options!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 5 - 6 people
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion , diced (brown, white, yellow)
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
- 1 lb / 500g beef mince / ground beef
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 800g / 28 oz can crushed tomato
- 14 oz / 420g can red kidney beans , drained (or other beans)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes , crumbled (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar (any type)
- 1/2 - 1 1/2 cups / 125 - 375 ml water
- Salt and pepper
Chili Spice Mix:
- 1 - 2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste) (Note 2)
- 4 tsp paprika powder
- 5 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder (or onion powder)
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- Rice, corn chips, tortillas (Note 5 for more)
- Sour cream, yoghurt, grated cheese, coriander./cilantro (Note 6 for more)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute, then add capsicum and cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
Turn heat up to high and add beef. Cook, breaking it up as you go, until mostly browned.
Add Chili Spice Mix. Cook until beef is browned all over. (This step helps release extra flavour from the spices)
Add remaining ingredients, with 1/2 cup of water for Quick Cook or 1 1/2 cups for Slow Cook. Bring to simmer, then adjust heat per step below:
Quick Cook - 20 to 40 minutes, uncovered, on medium low heat so it's bubbling gently; OR
Slow Cook - 1.5 hours to 2 hours, covered, on low heat so it's bubbling very gently. (Note 3 Slow Cooker)
Adjust salt and pepper to taste just before serving.
Serve over rice, or ladle into bowls and serve with corn chips or warm tortillas on the side with Toppings of choice (Note 6). See Note 7 for more serving options. My usual: Either over rice or with corn chips, always with sour cream, cheese and coriander.
1. Beef cube: You can sub the water with 2 cups beef broth and skip the bouillon cube but will need to ensure you cook for long enough to reduce down.
2. Spiciness - Chili is supposed to be hot! Use 1 tsp cayenne pepper for a warm hum, 1.5 tsp for a nice tingle, or 2 tsp for medium spiciness. Best way is to start with less then add more at the end.
3. SLOW COOKER: This is spectacular made in the slow cooker. Just follow the steps in the recipe up to Step 4 using only 1/4 cup of water then tip everything into the slow cooker. Cook it for 6 hours on low in the slow cooker. Even 8 hours will be fine.
4. Storage - even better the next day and freezes fabulously.
5. Serving suggestions: The two most common ways to serve as a meal are:
i) Ladle into bowls and serve with Toppings of choice, corn chips or tortillas for dunking (or try this Easy Soft Flatbread);
ii) Over rice with Toppings
Other ways (see in post for more details): Chili Dogs (makes around 20, highly recommend slow cook to break down the beef into fine pieces), Chili Fries, Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Sloppy Joes, Tamale Pie (use this recipe which I have since found out is an actual recipe called Tamale Pie, not just something I made up!), tossed through pasta, pasta bake, with corn bread (make muffin size or one big one).
6. Toppings: Sour cream and grated cheese (both mandatory in my world), coriander/cilantro leaves, sliced green onions, diced red onion, Pico de Gallo, Diced avocado, sliced jalapeño or other chillies.
7. Nutrition per serving assuming 5 servings. Chilli Con Carne only, no rice or toppings.
Originally published June 2016. Recipe improved slightly in August 2018 with more sauce, and slightly better seasonings. Photos and post updated, recipe video added and of course a new Life of Dozer! ↓↓↓
Chilli Con Carne
Amount Per Serving (280 g)
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2.9g18%
Vitamin A 1550IU31%
Vitamin C 83.3mg101%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Serving: 280g | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.5g | Protein: 39.6g | Fat: 10.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 1275mg | Fiber: 7.3g | Sugar: 7.2g | Vitamin A: 1550IU | Vitamin C: 83.3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 22.3mg