Everyone loves a Classic Chilli Con Carne – it’s a perfect recipe for feeding a crowd and tastes even better if made ahead of time.
This Chilli recipe contains dried chipotle chillies and smoked paprika for a wonderful smoky flavour.
I converted a life long Chilli hater with this recipe. My husband has never been a fan, but one day I persuaded him to try it. He now says he still doesn’t like Chilli, but he likes my recipe. Go figure!!
I always end up craving chilli in the colder weather so when the craving strikes, I usually order two packs of minced beef in my food shop – one for chilli and the other is reserved for a favourite with everyone in my house – mince and tatties.
chilli con carne recipe
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is the best chilli con carne recipe I’ve ever made.
Now I’m not claiming it’s an authentic Chilli Con Carne recipe, but I’ve been playing about with this recipe over the past few years and I think I’m finally happy with it.
It’s spicy, but not kill your tastebuds hot with a smoky background from the smoked paprika and dried chipotle chillies.
ingredients you’ll need to make chilli con carne
(Ingredient amounts and full instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)
Minced Beef – Or you can use stewing steak if you prefer for a chunkier texture.
Red Bell Pepper
Spices – ground cumin, ground coriander, mild or hot chilli powder (depending on your level of chilli tolerance), smoked paprika, dried oregano and dried chipotle chillies.
I like to add two dried chipotles, but everyone’s chilli tolerance is different so you might want to use just one.
If you can’t get or don’t want to use chipotle chillies, you don’t have to – the recipe still works very well without them.
cocoa powder adds a real depth of flavour to the chilli – don’t worry, you won’t taste it at all! It does make sense when you think about it though – dark chocolate and chilli really compliment each other.
A can of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and a squirt of tomato ketchup.
I hear you – ketchup in a chilli? Yes! It adds a nice tang – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! If it’s good enough for Nigella, it’s certainly good enough for me!
A tin of Kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
what to serve with chilli con carne
I like to serve this chilli with grated cheese, sour cream, avocado slices and crunchy tortilla chips.
I also love to spoon Chilli over a fluffy baked potato and top with lots of grated cheddar cheese.
Stuff Bell Peppers with Chilli, top with cheese and bake until the peppers are soft. Delicious!
Make Chilli Nachos – spoon leftover Chilli and grated cheddar over Tortilla chips. Heat until the cheese has melted and serve with sour cream and sliced jalepenos.
Make Chilli Cheese Dogs! Fill hot dog buns with hot Chilli and grated cheese. Place the buns under a hot grill to melt the cheese. Serve with fries or potato wedges.
I’m having a few friends over – can I double the recipe?
Definitely! You can easily double or even triple this chilli recipe without any problems.
Can I make this chilli ahead of time?
Absolutely! I do it all the time. It’s actually better if you do – making the chilli a day or two before you need it will allow all the flavours to develop. Just make sure to keep the chilli in the fridge in an airtight container and re-heat until piping hot.
Can I freeze Chilli Con Carne?
Yes – once the chill has been cooked, allow to cool completely, then divide into portions and freeze. Defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat until piping hot. I often make a big batch of this chilli to freeze for future meals.
Need a vegan chilli recipe instead?
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My take on the classic Chilli Con Carne is full of rich, smoky flavour from dried chipotle chillies and smoked paprika. This chilli is best made in advance to allow the flavours to develop.
- One tablespoon oil
- One large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- One red bell pepper, diced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 or 2 tsp mild/hot chilli powder, depending on your chilli tolerance!
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 500g Minced Beef
- One or two dried chipotle chillies, rehydrated in boiling water for 15 minutes then finely chopped (optional)
- 2x400 g cans chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 25 g cocoa power - NOT drinking chocolate! OR 25g dark chocolate (optional but adds a lovely depth of flavour to the chilli), 70% cocoa solids
- 200 g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Cook for five minutes then add the garlic, diced red pepper, all the spices including the black pepper and the tomato puree.
- Cook for another few minutes to release the flavours, then turn up the heat and add the minced beef, breaking it up with a fork as it browns.
- When the mince has browned, add the chopped tomatoes, tomato ketchup, cocoa powder, Worcestershire sauce, the chipotle chillies, the kidney beans, Tabasco sauce if using and the salt.
- Half fill one of the empty can of chopped tomatoes with water and pour it into the pan. Turn the heat right down to low, cover and gently simmer for 2-3 hours (the longer the better), stirring occasionally.
This chilli is definitely worth making in advance - it tastes even better after a day's resting in the fridge.
Not a fan of minced beef? Use stewing steak instead!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 589Unsaturated Fat: 0g