Go Back
+ servings
Best Chilli Con Carne Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

The BEST Chilli Con Carne

Whether you call it Chili, Chilli or Chilli Con Carne, this version captures those rich and spicy flavours we all know and love & take them to new heights! This truly is THE best Chilli Con Carne recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish, Texan
Servings: 8
Calories: 409kcal
Cost: £2 / $2.50


  • Large heavy top pot & Wooden Spoon
  • Chopping Board & Sharp Knife


  • 2.2lbs / 1kg Ground Beef (preferably lean)
  • 2x 14oz/400g cans Kidney Beans, drained
  • 2x 14oz/400g cans Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 cup / 250ml Red Wine
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 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 (or to preferred spice level)
  • 1 tsp each: Oregano, Ground Coriander, Sugar, Salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Extras 'n' Optionals to serve:

  • Lime Wedges
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)


  • Add a splash of oil over medium heat. Add your Onion, Red Pepper and Garlic and fry until they begin to soften and start to brown.
  • Add your beef, break it up into small pieces 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. Stir in 2 heaped tbsp tomato puree then deglaze with 1cup/250ml red wine. Allow to simmer for around 5 mins to burn off some of the alcohol.
  • Add 2 cans chopped tomatoes, 2 cans drained kidney beans, 2 beef stock cubes, 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp Cumin, Paprika, Chilli Powder (or to spice preference), 1 tsp oregano, ground coriander, salt & sugar (or to taste) and 1/2 tsp black pepper. If you're not sure with spice just start off with 1 tbsp chilli powder and adjust at the end.
  • Give it a good stir then pop on the lid, turn down heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour 30mins, stirring occasionally. I know it seems a long time but it truly makes the difference.
  • Take off lid and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens (5 or so mins). Adjust seasoning with chilli powder, salt, sugar and black pepper.
  • Serve over rice with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh coriander (cilantro) and a squeeze of lime juice. Also some cheese if you please!



a) Chilli Powder - In the UK/AUS this is just pure ground chilli, which is want you want. However from my understanding in the US 'chilli powder' sometimes means a concoction of various different spices, which is not what you want. If you can't get your hands on plain ground chilli powder, sub in Cayenne Pepper (careful though, this is often much spicier!).
b) Flavour Adjusting - The beauty of this dish is you can taste and tweak as you go. A chilli con carne, as the name suggests, should be quite spicy. If you're not too great with heat just start out with a small amount of chilli powder and adjust accordingly. For more of that iconic and powerful 'chilli con carne taste', ramp up the amount of cumin. 
c) Beef Stock Cubes - As mentioned in the recipe, it's only the cubes you want i.e NOT diluted in water. The juice from tomatoes will dilute the stock. Just make sure you crumble them in or if you're using jelly stock then make sure they're thoroughly mixed in.
d) Time - Allowing the chilli to simmer on a low heat for a long period of time is crucial in both the consistency and flavour of this dish. If the sauce isn't properly reduced, not only will it have a watery consistency, but the flavours won't have developed properly. Like I said, you're looking at around an hour and a half, if not longer.
e) Serving - Traditionally I'll always serve with rice, but serve with whatever you fancy! Baked potato and cornbread work great.
f) Leftovers - This dish also lends itself to the perfect leftover lunch. Pop in the fridge (or freezer for long term), thoroughly reheat and plonk on a jack potato for the perfect lunch the next day. Or use them for Leftover Chilli Garlic Dough Balls!
g) Updated - This recipe was updated on 21/10/19 with extra spices and longer cooking time. 
h) Calories - Based on a sharing between 8 people, using 1 tbsp of olive oil and 10% fat beef mince. This calculation is without rice or any additional toppings.


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.89g | Protein: 37.88g | Fat: 17.11g | Saturated Fat: 6.106g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.989g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.57g | Trans Fat: 0.467g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 913mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 5.26g | Vitamin A: 2800IU | Vitamin C: 39.6mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 5.9mg