Easy Chili Con Carne

🍲 Get ready to spice up your dinner with my hearty Chili Con Carne! Packed with lean ground beef, kidney beans, and a medley of spices, this one-pot wonder is perfect for any night of the week. Simple ingredients, bold flavors, and a meal that’s sure to please everyone around the table. 🌶️😋
Chili Con Carne pinit

🌟 I’m super pumped to share my go-to Chili Con Carne recipe with you all today. This one’s a game-changer – perfect for a cozy night in or when you need to impress at a potluck. It’s packed with flavor, easy to whip up, and made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. So, let’s get comfy, grab our ingredients, and dive right into making some seriously delicious chili!

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Why you’ll love this recipe

Flavor Explosion: This chili is packed with bold, smoky, and spicy flavors that’ll have your taste buds dancing. The combination of chili powder, paprika, and cumin creates a depth of flavor that’s simply irresistible.

Hearty and Filling: With lean ground beef, kidney beans, and veggies, this chili is both hearty and satisfying. It’s the perfect meal to keep you full and warm, especially on those chilly days.

Simple Ingredients: No need for fancy or hard-to-find ingredients here. Everything you need is likely already in your pantry or easy to grab at your local grocery store.

One-Pot Wonder: Minimal cleanup is always a win! This recipe comes together in one pot, making both cooking and cleanup a breeze.

Meal Prep Friendly: This chili tastes even better the next day, making it perfect for meal prep. Cook once and enjoy delicious leftovers throughout the week.

Customizable Heat: Whether you like your chili mild or extra spicy, this recipe is easily adjustable. Just tweak the chili powder and jalapeños to suit your heat preference.

Crowd-Pleaser: This recipe serves 4 but can easily be doubled to feed a crowd. It’s a fantastic option for family dinners, potlucks, or game day gatherings.

Versatile Serving Options: Serve it with rice, over a baked potato, or with a side of cornbread. Top it with your favorite garnishes like sour cream, cheese, jalapeños, or fresh cilantro for an extra special touch.

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This Chili Con Carne is sure to become a favorite in your household. Give it a try and see why everyone loves it! 🌶️🍲✨

What you’ll need to make Chili Con Carne

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaped tsp. hot chili powder (or use mild if preferred)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1.1 lbs (500g) 90% lean ground beef
1 beef stock cube
10 fl oz (300ml) boiling water
14 oz (400g) can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
14 oz (400g) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
plain boiled long grain rice, to serve
sour cream, to serve
jalapeño pepper, slice to serve
coriander, to serve

Let’s talk ingredients for our Chili Con Carne! 🥣 We start with lean ground beef – it’s hearty and filling. Next, we add onions and red peppers for that sweet, savory combo. Garlic joins the party, along with chili powder, paprika, and cumin to spice things up. 🌶️ A can of chopped tomatoes and a bit of tomato paste give it that rich, tangy kick. Dissolve a beef stock cube in boiling water to make it extra savory.

Don’t forget the red kidney beans – they’re nutritious and add great texture. A touch of sugar, salt, and black pepper balances all those flavors. Serve your chili with plain boiled long grain rice. Top it off with a dollop of sour cream, a few jalapeño slices for some heat, and a sprinkle of fresh coriander. 🍛 This mix of simple ingredients makes a chili that’s cozy, flavorful, and super easy to love!

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What you’ll need to do

Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 1 hr

1| Heat Things Up: Grab a large pot and place it on the stove over medium heat. Drizzle in that olive oil and let it get hot for a minute or two. Once it’s shimmering, toss in the diced onion. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes until the onion softens up and turns slightly translucent.

2| Spice It Up: Add in the diced red pepper, minced garlic, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Give it all a good stir to mix those flavors together. Let it cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3| Brown the Beef: Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the ground beef. Use a spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Keep cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes until the beef is browned and cooked through. Make sure the heat is high enough to fry and brown the meat, not stew it.

4| Make the Stock: While the beef is cooking, crumble the beef stock cube into the boiling water to make your beef stock. Pour the stock into the pot with the beef.

5| Add More Flavor: Toss in the chopped tomatoes, marjoram, sugar, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Stir everything together well.

6| Simmer Down: Bring the pot to a boil, give it a good stir, and then cover it with a lid. Turn the heat down so it’s gently simmering and bubbling. Let it cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. If it looks like it’s drying out, just add a couple of tablespoons of water. You want the mixture to be thick, moist, and juicy.

7| Add the Beans: Stir in the drained and rinsed kidney beans. Bring the chili back to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Let it cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Add a little more water if it looks too dry.

8| Season to Taste: Give the chili a taste and add a little extra salt and black pepper if needed.

9| Let It Rest: Put the lid back on, turn off the heat, and let the chili sit for 10 minutes. This helps all the flavors blend together perfectly.

10| Serve and Enjoy: Serve your chili con carne with plain boiled long grain rice and a dollop of soured cream. Don’t forget some sliced jalapeño and a sprinkle of coriander on top if you like a bit of extra kick!

Chili Con Carne

Try my Easy Beef Enchiladas Casserole recipe.

Enjoy your hearty, flavorful chili! 🌶️😋

Some possible substitution and improvisation ideas for the recipe

Here are some fun and tasty substitution and improvisation ideas for your Chili Con Carne:

Substitutions:

(i) Ground Beef: Swap with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version. You can even use ground pork for a different flavor profile.

(ii) Kidney Beans: Use black beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas if you prefer or if that’s what you have on hand.

(iii) Beef Stock Cube: Substitute with chicken or vegetable stock cubes, or use homemade broth for a richer taste.

(iv) Tomato Paste: If you’re out, you can use ketchup or a bit of tomato sauce instead.

(v) Chili Powder: If you prefer milder heat, use a mild chili powder or replace it with smoked paprika for a smoky flavor without the heat.

Improvisations:

(i) Add Veggies: Throw in some diced carrots, zucchini, or corn for extra nutrition and texture.

(ii) Spice It Up: Like it super spicy? Add a diced jalapeño or a dash of hot sauce for an extra kick.

(iii) Sweeten It: A touch of dark chocolate or cocoa powder can add a surprising depth of flavor. Just a small piece will do!

(iv) Make It Smoky: Add a teaspoon of chipotle in adobo sauce for a smoky, spicy twist.

(v) Herbs and Spices: Experiment with different herbs like fresh cilantro or a bay leaf during cooking for added aroma.

(vi) Serve It Up: Instead of rice, serve your chili over baked potatoes, pasta, or even nachos for a fun twist.

(vii) Top It Off: Change up your toppings! Try grated cheese, diced avocado, fresh lime wedges, or even crispy tortilla strips.

These substitutions and improvisations can help you tailor the chili to your taste and what you have available, making it a versatile and customizable dish. Enjoy experimenting and finding your favorite version!

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Chili Con Carne

Some useful tips for the recipe

Here are some useful tips to make your Chili Con Carne even better:

1| Brown the Meat Well: Take your time to brown the ground beef properly. This step adds a lot of depth and flavor to your chili. Make sure the beef is nicely browned before adding any liquids.

2| Fresh Spices: Use fresh spices for the best flavor. If your chili powder or cumin has been sitting in the pantry for too long, it might have lost some of its punch.

3| Simmer Slowly: Let your chili simmer for at least an hour. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors meld together. If you have time, let it simmer for even longer!

4| Adjust Seasoning: Taste your chili as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or spices to suit your taste.

5| Thicken the Chili: If your chili is too thin, let it simmer uncovered for a bit longer to reduce the liquid. Alternatively, you can mash some of the beans with a fork and stir them back into the pot to thicken it up.

6| Let It Rest: After cooking, let your chili rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to settle and deepen.

7| Make Ahead: Chili tastes even better the next day! Make it a day ahead and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The flavors will develop beautifully.

8| Customize Your Heat: If you like your chili spicy, add more chili powder, or throw in some fresh or dried chilies. For a milder chili, reduce the chili powder or use a mild version.

9| Use Quality Ingredients: Using good-quality tomatoes, beans, and spices can make a big difference in the flavor of your chili.

10| Serving Suggestions: Serve your chili with a variety of toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onions, avocado, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro. Offering a variety of toppings lets everyone customize their bowl just the way they like it.

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These tips will help you create a delicious, well-balanced Chili Con Carne that’s sure to impress! Enjoy cooking!

Chili Con Carne

Some other serving suggestions

Here are some serving ideas to take your Chili Con Carne to the next level:

Serving Ideas:

1| Classic Style: Serve your chili over a bed of plain boiled long grain rice. This is a classic combination that balances the rich, hearty flavors of the chili.

2| Baked Potatoes: Spoon your chili over baked potatoes for a comforting and filling meal. Top with a little cheese and sour cream for extra deliciousness.

3| Cornbread: Pair your chili with a slice of warm cornbread. The slightly sweet flavor of the cornbread complements the savory chili perfectly.

4| Nachos: Load your chili onto a plate of tortilla chips, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until melted. Top with jalapeños, sour cream, and avocado for some loaded chili nachos. Try my 7 Layered Sheet Pan Nachos recipe.

5| Chili Dogs: Use your chili as a topping for hot dogs. Add some grated cheese and chopped onions for a classic chili dog experience.

6| Chili Bowls: Serve your chili in edible bread bowls. The bread soaks up the chili’s flavors and provides a fun, tasty way to enjoy your meal.

7| Tacos: Fill taco shells with your chili, and top with shredded lettuce, cheese, diced tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream. It’s a fun twist on taco night!

8| Over Pasta: Serve your chili over cooked pasta, like spaghetti or elbow macaroni, for a hearty and unique dish.

9| With Tortillas: Serve chili with warm flour or corn tortillas on the side. Use the tortillas to scoop up the chili or make small chili burritos.

10| Chili Pie: Make a chili pie by spreading your chili in a baking dish and topping it with cornbread batter. Bake until the cornbread is golden and cooked through.

11| Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and fill them with chili, then bake until the peppers are tender. Top with cheese for a delicious, veggie-packed meal.

12| Topped with Fritos: Add a crunchy texture by serving your chili topped with Fritos corn chips. This is great for a casual meal or game day snack.

Toppings:

  • Shredded Cheese: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend.
  • Sour Cream: Adds a cool, creamy contrast.
  • Chopped Onions: Red or green onions for a bit of bite.
  • Avocado: Diced or sliced for a creamy texture.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Adds a fresh, herbaceous note.
  • Lime Wedges: A squeeze of lime juice brightens up the flavors.
  • Jalapeños: Fresh or pickled for some heat.
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips: For added crunch.

These serving ideas and toppings will make your Chili Con Carne even more enjoyable and versatile, perfect for any occasion!

Storage Options:

1| Refrigerator:

  • Airtight Containers: Store your chili in airtight containers. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • Mason Jars: These are great for portioning out individual servings. Just make sure to leave some space at the top for expansion if you plan to freeze them.

2| Freezer:

  • Freezer-Safe Containers: Use sturdy, freezer-safe containers. Your chili will stay good for up to 3 months.
  • Freezer Bags: Lay them flat to save space and make thawing quicker. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
  • Portion Control: Freeze chili in individual portions for easy, on-the-go meals. This way, you only defrost what you need.

Tips for Freezing:

  1. Cool Completely: Make sure your chili is completely cooled before storing to avoid condensation and freezer burn.
  2. Label and Date: Always label your containers with the date you made the chili. This helps you keep track of how long it has been stored.
  3. Thawing: To thaw, place the container or bag in the fridge overnight. For a quicker method, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.

Reheating:

  1. Stovetop: Reheat the chili in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally until heated through.
  2. Microwave: Place chili in a microwave-safe bowl, cover loosely, and heat on high in 1-minute intervals, stirring in between until hot.
  3. Oven: If you froze your chili in an oven-safe dish, you can reheat it directly in the oven. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

Additional Tips:

  1. Add Fresh Ingredients: If your chili seems a bit dry after reheating, add a splash of water or beef broth to loosen it up. You can also freshen it up with some fresh toppings like cilantro, cheese, or a squeeze of lime.
  2. Don’t Overcook: When reheating, be careful not to overcook the chili as it can become too mushy.

With these storage options and tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your Chili Con Carne anytime, with the same delicious flavor as when it was freshly made!

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And there you have it – a big, hearty pot of Chili Con Carne! 🥳 I hope you love it as much as I do. It’s perfect with some rice, a dollop of sour cream, and a few jalapeño slices on top. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you. Plus, any leftovers are even tastier the next day. Thanks for hanging out with me in the kitchen today. Until next time, keep cooking, keep smiling, and enjoy every bite! 🍽️🌶️

Easy Chili Con Carne

🌟 Craving some comfort food? My Chili Con Carne is just what you need! It’s loaded with ground beef, beans, and the perfect blend of spices. This easy and delicious one-pot meal will warm you up and leave you wanting more. Perfect for family dinners or meal prep! 🍽️🔥

Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 1 hr Total Time 1 hr 10 mins Difficulty: Advanced Servings: 4 Estimated Cost: 15 Calories: 360

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the olive oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until onion has softened and is slightly translucent.

  2. Add the red pepper, garlic, chili powder, paprika and cumin and stir well to combine all the flavours. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Now turn up the heat to medium-high and add the beef to the pot. Use a spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, until the mince is broken down and cooked through. Keep the heat hot enough to fry and brown the beef, rather than stewing it.

  4. Meanwhile crumble the beef stock cube into the boiling water and pour the stock into the pan with the beef. Now add the chopped tomatoes, marjoram, sugar, salt, pepper and tomato puree, and stir the sauce well.

  5. Bring the pot to the boil, give it a good stir and place a lid on the pot. Turn down the heat until it is gently simmering and bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes.

  6. Check on the pot occasionally to stir it, ensuring the sauce does not catch on the bottom of the pot. If it looks to be drying out add a couple of tablespoons of water. After simmering gently, the mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

  7. Add the kidney beans to the pot, bring to a boil them turn down to medium and cook the chili, without the lid on, for a further 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.

  8. Taste the chili and season with a little extra slat and black pepper if needed.

  9. Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and set the chili aside for 10 minutes before serving, to allow all the flavors to incorporate.

  10. Serve with soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 360kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g25%
Total Carbohydrate 22g8%
Dietary Fiber 8g32%
Protein 32g64%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All:
Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

Absolutely! Ground turkey or chicken can be a great lean alternative to ground beef in this recipe. Just adjust cooking times as needed.

How can I make my chili less spicy?

To reduce the heat, use mild chili powder or omit the hot spices altogether. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or a bit of sugar to balance out the flavors.

Can I make this chili in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can! Brown the meat and sauté the vegetables first, then transfer everything to a slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

What are some topping ideas for chili?

Toppings can include shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onions, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, jalapeños, and crushed tortilla chips. Customize it to your taste!

Can I freeze chili con carne?

Yes, chili freezes very well! Store it in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

How can I thicken my chili?

If your chili is too thin, you can simmer it uncovered for a bit longer to reduce the liquid. Alternatively, you can mash some of the beans or add a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with cold water) to thicken it up.

What can I serve with chili con carne?

Serve it over rice, with a side of cornbread, or as a topping for baked potatoes. It also pairs well with tortilla chips, tacos, or a simple green salad.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Absolutely! Substitute the ground beef with plant-based ground "meat" or extra beans like black beans or chickpeas. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth for a vegetarian version.

How can I add more chili?

Experiment with adding different spices like smoked paprika, chipotle powder, or even a bit of cocoa powder for depth. Don’t forget to taste and adjust the seasoning as it cooks.

Can I adjust the spice level of the chili?

Yes! Control the heat by adjusting the amount of chili powder, using mild instead of hot, or adding fresh chili peppers to suit your taste buds.

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