Main Meals

Chilli Con Carne

Delicious and warming chilli con carne with a meat-free option included in this recipe. This family favourite is sure to impress anyone who tries it! Serve with rice, atop a jacket potato, nachos or with a side of homemade cornbread. 

I’m sharing another of my family favourite dinner recipes. Who doesn’t love a big, steaming bowlful of freshly homemade chilli con carne, it’s the ultimate Tex-Mex comfort! It’s only recently that I’ve started to make my own chilli con carne completely from scratch and after several attempts I’ve developed a great chilli spice blend. I make this spice blend all the time and keep in a jar in my kitchen store cupboard ready for whenever I want to make a batch of chilli – my secret for authentic chilli flavour is adding lots of cumin.

Below is a tasty vegan chilli sin carne I made using my original recipe.

I took a butternut squash (roughly 1kg) and it chopped up leaving the skin on and deseeded it – keep the seeds and bake those to make a nutritious crunchy snack. I roasted the butternut squash along with 4 bell peppers (use any colours you like) with a tablespoon of oil, salt and black pepper for approx. 40-45 minutes until they start to pick up colour and the veg is soft.

While the veg was cooking I had my sauce on the stove top cooking away. Once the vegetables were cooked, I transferred them to the sauce along with a can of kidney beans and simmered everything for a few more minutes.

We served our chilli with rice, salted tortilla chips, a spoonful of vegan sour cream/mayonnaise and a wedge of lime to squeeze over the finished dish.

This chilli recipe always gets great reviews from anyone who has tried it, whether a meat eater or not!

(Serves 4-6)


Spice Blend:

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander/cilantro

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Generous pinch of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon paprika (I use smoked for the best flavour)

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt/powder

1 teaspoon mild chilli powder – omit if using fresh chilli


2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 red or white onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

400-450g (approx. 1lb) lean minced beef (I tend to go for 5% fat) – you can use a meat alternative instead if preferred

2 tablespoons tomato puree

1-2 green or red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped (optional) – adjust depending on how spicy you want the chilli

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

400g (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

200ml beef stock (if making vegetarian/vegan you can use a meat-free beef stock cube)

Juice of 1 lime

400g (14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed – you can also use kidney beans in chilli sauce if you want


1. Sauté the chopped onion and red bell pepper until soft on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the minced beef and cook until browned and starting to colour – this will take about 10 minutes. Add the tomato purée, chopped chilli (if using), garlic and the spice mix. Cook for a further minute or two until fragrant.

2. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the sugar. Add the stock and the lime juice, bring the pot up to the boil and 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 until they’re heated through.

3. Serve the chilli piping hot with rice, atop a jacket potato, with nachos and your favourite dips or with cornbread.

Love Mexican food? Try this Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo) next!

Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread

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44 thoughts on “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!

  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.

  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.

  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

  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 🙂

  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 🙂

  7. This looks delicious Jessica! I love Chili con Carne and this is such a great recipe and perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo 🙂

  8. One of my favorite meals ever is chili. I love the sound of the spice mix, and serving the chili over rice with sour cream looks so delicious! Having cheesy nachos with it takes it completely over the top. 🙂

  9. 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!

  10. As I was reading this I got so hungry for chilli con carne, then BAM those churros! Now all I can think of is warm donuts and cinnamon! Mmmm they look amazing!!

  11. 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!

  12. 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 😀

  13. Yay for Cinco de Mayo! I am loving all the mexican recipes that everyone is posting right now! This looks fantastic!

  14. Yum, that looks amazing! I just had dinner but now I’m craving chili too. 🙂

  15. Gorgeous. Gotta love a homemade chilli con carne, so much better than the spice mix versions. Your pictures have me absolutely drooling Jess!

  16. I have to confess …. I do buy the Mexican spice mix in the sachets! I will definitely try your spice mix next time. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I don’t think I need to wait for Cinco del Mayo for this chilli con carne! Looks amazing and comforting!

  18. 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!

  19. Homemade chili is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. This looks delicious, Jess!

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