Classic Chilli con Carne

With Cinco de Mayo just a few days around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share one of my favourite dinner recipes. Who doesn’t LOVE  a big steaming bowlful of freshly homemade Chilli con Carne with fluffy rice and chive sour cream AND cheesy nachos?! That certainly ticks all the boxes for me! It’s actually only recently that I’ve started to make my own Chilli con Carne completely from scratch and after several attempts, I’ve finally developed a great and fool-proof easy Chilli spice mix- so there’s NO need for shop-bought sauces or spice mixtures here, it all wholesome and fresh! This is just my take on a homemade Chilli, I think it tastes really great and makes the perfect dinner and it’s especially great for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations!

classic chilli at home

I’ve actually been meaning to share this recipe for ages now. But Cinco de Mayo brings the perfect time (and excuse) to cook this delicious and super tasty dish and indulge with lots of Mexican food! This dish is both easy to prepare, I have to be honest it does take a little while to bubble away and enrich the beautiful spicy flavour throughout, but it’s really worth it!

Ingredients- (Serves 4)

Spice Mix- (you can jar up this spice mix if you want to make it in advance)  

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp of ground cumin

1/2 tsp of ground coriander

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of garlic salt

Pinch of chilli flakes


1 tbsp of olive oil

1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 red pepper, I used romano- deseeded and cut into small pieces

1 large green chilli, finely chopped

500g of lean minced beef meat- I go for 5% fat

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

400g can of chopped tomatoes + a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes

Pinch of sugar

200ml of chicken stock

Juice of 1 lime

200g can of kidney beans

chilli base ingredients

chilli con carne easy


1. Sautee the chopped onion and red pepper until soft on a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes- season to your taste. Then add the minced beef, spices and chopped green chilli and break down into smaller pieces. Cook until browned- about 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute- this will stop the garlic burning and turning bitter.

2. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the cherry tomatoes and a small pinch of sugar. Then add the stock and the lime juice, bring the mixture up to the boil, then cover and simmer for an hour stirring occasionally. After an hour, remove the lid and continue to cook for another 30 minutes until glossy and all the stock has been absorbed. Finish by adding the beans and stir through fully.

3. Serve the chilli piping hot with fluffy rice and cheesy nachos- enjoy!

chilli con carne

And also, the perfect dessert to follow this amazing dish would be my BAKED Churros…you can find the recipe by clicking here.  

baked churros con chocolate





91 thoughts on “Classic Chilli con Carne

  1. Jessica, this honestly sounds like the best chilli recipe I’ve seen! I love the mix of spices you’ve used and the addition of the lime and the cherry tomatoes. Definitely bookmarking this one for future reference!

    • Hi Helen! Thank you- you’re always so kind! Really like adding the Mexican lime juice for acidity and of course extra flavour. The cherry tomatoes we’re added because I had some extra that we’re really ripe and needed using! Really hope you do try the recipe out, I know you’ll love it!

  2. This recipe looks delicious, Jess! No need to remind me of those baked churros–I remembered them instantly when I saw this beautiful bowl of chili con carne. A perfect pairing.

    • Thanks Ngan! Great that you like the Churros as well- I will definitely be making them again on Monday! Really pleased you like the Chilli recipe- it was great and very enjoyable!

  3. The chili looks so good. I love it! I also loved churro’s every time I see a street vendor with them I buy a bag, warm and sugary and delicious. I have never had them baked, thats great, less fat.

    • Thanks Suzanne- you’re always so kind! Aren’t Churros the best thing ever- especially with loads of chocolate sauce! Really recommend the baked Churros for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations!

  4. We love Chilli Con Carne at home and this recipe looks perfect! Pinning right now. I still have to try making your churros (I keep thinking about it but never get round to it!). x Mel

    • Thanks Mel! Cinco de Mayo brings the perfect time to make my Churros- you’ll love them! Really pleased you like my Chilli recipe as well- always a firm favourite with the family! Hope you’re having a great week! x :)

    • Thanks Kristi! My Mum always served it with fluffy rice whenever we had the dish- it goes really well, but I also love dipping Nachos in too! Really pleased you like the recipe!

  5. I only discovered Mexican cuisine when I moved to London. I feel in love with it! Now one of my favorite food is burrito. This chilli looks great, maybe I can try to make it vegetarian using some soy mince (I know, I know, it won’t taste the same…). I absolutely love the abundant amount of chopped onion :)

    • Hi Dani! Isn’t Mexican food the best- I actually only discovered it a few years ago after watching a TV series by the Chef Thomasina Miers. Ever since I’ve loved all Mexican recipes! A veggie version would be amazing, you could use lots of various beans instead of meat and make a Chilli full of vegetables if you prefer. Hope you do try it out! :)

    • Thanks Rosa! Chilli always ticks all the boxes for me- super indulgent! When it’s made well- you cannot beat it! You’re always so, so kind to me Rosa, the kind words always make my day and prove all my hard work is worth it! Really pleased you like the recipe, hope you’re having a great week! xx :)

  6. I love chili con carne et ta recette seems gorgeous! By the way, your plates are so beautiful!
    Churros I love it! When I go to Andalucia I eat them all the time :)

    • Merci beaucoup Eva! Really happy you like the recipe- Chilli is always a gorgeous meal! The plates are my favourite too- I got some of the bowls in Spain. Aren’t Churros super good- especially when you get them in Spain, I always LOVE it when I get to eat Churros from street vendors on holiday! :)

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  8. I am a huge fan of Mexican food and have never had chili con carne. I’m going to have to try this. Perfect timing for Cinco de Mayo. Oh and those churros…yum! Pinning!

    • Thanks Cindy- can’t believe you’ve never had chilli before! I’ve had a few over the years, but nothing compares to this recipe! You’ll LOVE it! The baked Churros definitely make a great dessert!

  9. oh my goodness, I love this! I’m totally going to try this! I am guilty of buying those already made spice packets so I love that you have a homemade version here!! Chilli con Carne, here I come!

    • Thank you! Really pleased you’re going to try the recipe out, that’s great! I used to always buy the sauce and spice mixes, but never any more after developing this recipe! Really hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know how you get on!

  10. This chilli con carne is just perfect for the coming holiday…I just need a margarita to go with it…yum!
    Hope you are having a great week Jessica :D

  11. Chilli con Carne is a weekly staple in our house Jess, so I think I will give your recipe a try next week, it looks lovely!

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