An Easy Chilli Con Carne recipe, perfect for the whole family. This slow cooked beef steak dish is also a great freezer filler. (Easily adapted to be Slimming World friendly too.)
Chilli con Carne (or Chili con Carne as the American’s spell it) is one of those family favourite dishes.
A great winter warmer, but also perfect for these British summer days where the weather tends to let us down a bit.
Eating this outside with a side of tortilla chips (and a margharita?!) makes me feel like perhaps we could actually still be on the way to summer, despite grey skies outside.
You’ll love this easy chilli con carne because:
✅ Warming, comfort food – and it’s even slimming world friendly.
✅ It’s a firm family favourite, mild enough for the children, but easy to add heat too if you fancy it.
✅ It freezes so well – a real batch cook hero.
Have I sold it to you yet?!
This is my tried and tested family version of easy chilli con carne. There is some debate about where it originated, Mexico or America, I have no idea how authentic my version is (perhaps not at all) but I’ve been cooking it for years and we all love it.
Which beef is best to use in a Chili Con Carne?
I always use chunks of beef rather than mince to make this easy chilli con carne. I saw it once many moons ago on a programme about cowboy cooking, true story, and I’ve never looked back. I think the texture is so much better than making chilli con carne with mince and it feels like a real treat.
Braising steak (also known as chuck steak), is my preference, but any type of casserole steak would be fine. The slow cooking lends its self to tender, melt in the mouth chunks of beef. I prefer to buy this type of meat from the butcher (or the butchery counter in your supermarket) as they will dice it for you! You could also use beef brisket, or mince (ground beef).
For more top tips for making this Easy Chili Con Carne – see the recipe notes section.
What is Chilli served with?
Chilli is such a versatile dish, it’s the perfect meal for large gatherings, easy to keep warm and people can serve themselves (it often features on our bonfire night menu!) You can serve it with:
- Any type of Rice.
- Use as a filling to Tacos.
- Over oven baked potato wedges, grilled and covered in cheese!
- Tortilla chips to dip, or over as chilli beef nachos.
- Topped with sour creme and chopped chilies (if you like the extra heat!)
- Crushed (or smashed 😆) avocado.
- Jacket Potatoes – makes a great hearty filling.
- Pasta (over pasta shapes or baked into a lasagne)
- If feeling really fancy, as a hot dog topping.
Fancy some other beef recipes?
Beef Enchiladas – a simple, midweek family favourite.
Beef Bourguignon – the PERFECT winter warmer.
Slow Cooker Beef Curry – a “fakeaway” without any guilt!
Beef Stir Fry Recipe with Sticky Sauce and Noodles – an easy 30 minute, one pan meal.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Chilli con Carne recipe. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ by the recipe.
Also, if you’d like to show me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.
How to make the Easy Chilli Con Carne Recipe:
Easy Chilli Con Carne Recipe
An easy chilli con carne recipe, perfect for the whole family. This slow cooked beef steak dish is also a great freezer filler.
- 2 tsp Olive oil
- 1 kg Braising steak or chuck steak, chopped into 2cm cubes
- 1 large Onion sliced
- 3 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 Red chilli finely chopped (or more if you'd like more spice - 1 leaves this mild for children)
- 1 tbsp Dark brown sugar
- 2 tins Good quality tinned tomatoes I use Cirio
- 500 ml Beef stock from a good quality stock cube is fine
- 2 x 400g tins of Kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 3 Peppers chopped into big chunks (red or green work best)
- Coriander rice, sour cream and tortilla chips to serve
Heat half of the olive oil in a large, deep, oven proof, pan. Pat the braising steak dry with kitchen paper and fry in batches until well browned.(See note 1)
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
With all of the browned steak out of the pan, add the rest of the olive oil, the onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, chilli and sugar. (See note 2) Cook gently over a very low heat for about 15 minutes, until the onions are meltingly soft and everything is sticky and fragrant. (See note 1)
- Add the meat back into the pan, along with the tomatoes and beef stock, stir. Pop the lid on the pan and put into the oven.
- After an hour and a half, give everything a good stir. The meat should be quite soft now. If it isn't, put back in for another 30 minutes.
- Add the kidney beans and peppers and pop back into the oven for a final 15 minutes.
Stir well and serve.
Note 1: Don't push the beef steak pieces around the pan too much as it fries, just let it sit and fry off, getting really caramelised.
Note 2: Really let the onions cook down slowly, this adds a lovely depth of flavour I think.
- If you want to add more heat to the adult portions of this chilli con carne when you serve it, just add more chopped raw fresh chilli or some Tabasco sauce.
- If you’re following Slimming World, replace oil with FryLight, and count the syns for the sugar (which will be negligible across the 8 portions), serve with yoghurt and boiled rice.
Can I make ahead?
This is a prefect make ahead recipe, you can cook and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days, or keep leftovers for lunches.
Can I freeze?
Yes, once cooked allow to cool, and freeze in an air tight container. I like to use individual containers like these.
Can I cook in a Slow Cooker?
Yes you can, simply brown off your meat and add all the ingredients to you slow cooker before cooking on HIGH for 5-6 or LOW for 7-8 hours.