Whether you call it Chili, Chilli or Chilli Con Carne, this version captures those rich and spicy flavours we all know and love & takes them to new heights! This truly is THE best Chilli Con Carne recipe.
As one of my most loved and most popular recipes, I had to include this in my Debut Cookbook ‘Comfy’!
The BEST Chilli Con Carne
First things first, whatever we call it, wherever we believe its origins lie, can we all just agree that this dish is the ultimate comfort food? Okay good. Its warm and spicy flavours just act as a soul-hugging bowl of goodness and quite frankly it never gets old.
Alright, I’m gonna have to do some explaining here before you think I’m blowing my own trumpet for no reason. Here’s why you’re gonna love this chilli:
- Game Changers – A couple of game changing ingredients really turn this chilli up a notch. A glass of red wine adds a gorgeous depth of flavour, whilst a few tbsp of Worcestershire sauce adds a tangy background flavour!
- Easy – It’s so EASY to make! A no fuss, no nonsense recipe even for even the most beginner of cook to master. All in one pot too!
- Rich and Flavoursome – The perfect combo of seasoning and spices give this chilli a real punch of flavour!
In terms of making a chilli con carne, I promise it couldn’t be easier.
Making Chilli Con Carne
Chilli Con Carne Consistency
Because you’re simmering for quite some time, it’s important to use a pot with a heavy lid. This will ensure all the steam doesn’t escape as it simmers. If you left the lid off, the chilli is going to reduce down way too quickly; you need the steam to keep the chilli saucy as it simmers. You can then remove the lid and reduce it down to preference. As written, this recipe will give you quite a thick chilli, which I think is much more classic/preferable than the watery, soupy kind.
Homemade Chilli Con Carne Spice Mix
When it comes to chilli con carne seasoning, I of course highly recommend ditching the pre-made stuff and making your own. You don’t need any special ingredients, and hopefully, these seasonings should be familiar in your cupboards. If not, they’re all easily accessed at pretty much all supermarkets! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chilli Powder
- Ground Coriander
- Salt & Black Pepper
Process shots: brown onion, red pepper and garlic (photo 1), add ground beef (photo 2), break up with wooden spoon and brown (photo 3), stir in tomato puree, then pour in red wine and simmer, (photo 4), add chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and Worcestershire sauce (photo 5), add homemade spice mix and beef stock cubes (photo 6), give it a good stir (photo 7), pop lid on and simmer (photo 8).
Chilli Con Carne FAQ
How spicy is this recipe?
Chilli, as the name suggests, should be quite spicy. I’d say this recipe gives you a medium spice. There’s definitely a kick, but it’s certainly not overbearing. Having said that the spice level is completely in your control. If at all wary I recommend starting with a small amount of chilli powder and adjusting towards the end. Much easier to add more than take it out!
Do I have to add the red wine?
The wine adds a gorgeous depth of flavour and compliments the beef really nicely. Most, if not all of the alcohol will burn off, but if you don’t want to use it you can just sub the same quantity of beef stock.
Can I make this ahead of time?
You can certainly make this ahead of time! In fact, I think it actually tastes better after some time relaxing. It gives the flavours a chance to snuggle with each other. Just cook as instructed, allow to cool then cover and pop in the fridge. Reheat on the hob (may need to add a dash of water to loosen up).
Can I freeze Chilli Con Carne?
Sure can! Just allow to cool, then store in an airtight container and pop in the freezer for up to 6months. To reheat just bring to room temp, then either microwave or heat on the hob. Just ensure it’s piping hot throughout.
Serving Chilli Con Carne
What can I serve with Chilli Con Carne?
- Rice or Cornbread
- Tortilla Chips
- Sour Cream
What can I do with leftover Chilli?
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this Chilli Con Carne recipe shall we?!
How to make the best Chilli Con Carne in the world (Full Recipe & Video)
The BEST Chilli Con Carne
- Large Pot with Lid & Wooden Spoon
- Chopping Board & Sharp Knife
- Sieve/Colander (to drain beans)
- Ladle (for serving)
Ingredients (check list):
Chilli Con Carne
- 2lbs / 1kg Ground/Minced Beef (see notes)
- 2x 14oz/400g cans Kidney Beans, drained
- 2x 14oz/400g cans Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 cup / 250ml Red Wine, or sub beef stock
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 large cloves of Garlic, finely diced
- 2 Beef Stock Cubes (Beef Bouillon)
- 2 heaped tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
- 1 large White Onion, finely diced
- 1 large Red Pepper (Capsicum/Bell Pepper) finely diced
- 2 tbsp EACH: Paprika, Cumin, Chilli Powder (see notes)
- 1 tsp EACH: Oregano, Ground Coriander, Sugar, Salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- Olive Oil, as needed
Extras 'n' Optionals to serve:
- Grated Cheddar Cheese
- Lime Wedges
- Sour Cream
- Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)
- Add a splash of oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper & garlic and fry until they begin to soften and take on a tinge of golden colour.
- Add in the beef, break it up with your wooden spoon and continue to fry over medium heat until there is no sign of pink in the meat. If you've got fatty mince, drain away some of the fat here as needed. Stir in 2 heaped tbsp tomato puree then deglaze with red wine. Allow to simmer for a few mins to allow the meat to soak in the wine.
- Add the canned chopped tomatoes. Fill each can half way up with water, swill, then add that in too. Add in the drained kidney beans, 2 beef stock cubes, 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp cumin, paprika, chilli powder, 1 tsp oregano, ground coriander, salt & sugar, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Give it a good stir as you bring to a simmer, making sure everything is well blended. Once simmering pop on the lid, turn down the heat to low and allow it to bubble away for 1 hour 30mins, stirring occasionally. I know it seems a long time but it truly makes a difference.
- Take off lid and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency (5-10mins or so). Adjust seasoning/spice with chilli powder, salt, sugar and black pepper if needed.
- Serve over rice with cheese a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?
Hearty Ground Beef Dinner Recipes
- Epic Lasagne
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Traditional Cottage Pie
- Soft and Juicy Meatballs
- Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas
If you loved this Chilli Con Carne recipe be sure to pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!