Chris has been making this chilli con carne recipe for 15 years. It’s one of the most tried and tested recipes on the blog and its always on our recipe rotation.

The perfect blend of spices, beans and extra veggies, means you can make a pound of minced beef feed 8 people!

Check out the full recipe including step-by-step photos and a video below.

Hands holding bowl of Bowl of chilli con carne with rice and blue corn chips
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We love this belly-warming dish of meaty, spicy chilli. It’s a regular on our dinner table.  You can pretty much guarantee there are at least a couple of portions of it in our freezer at any one time and that we’re never more than 7 days away from our next bowl.

It’s a classic. Only this one is better 🙂

Today’s beef chilli recipe comes from my husband Chris! Who – although he is a really great cook (thanks Chris’s mum!) – usually sticks to BBQ feasts and cauldron size vats of Chilli.  This chilli is his baby, and it’s taken me forever to get him to write it down for me.

In the 15 years, we’ve been together, I think I’ve made chilli 5 or 6 times.  It’s been made clear to me that this is not my domain, and I’m only allowed in the kitchen to swoon over the pre-dinner taste-testing or to clean up.

Fair enough.  I know my place.  Note: that’s the only time you’ll hear me saying that!!! erm unless the tyre needs changing or a particularly welded jar lid needs unscrewing.  That’s it though.  We’re definitely equal in all other things!

How to Make It

Garlic being added to a pan with onions

Starting by cooking onions and garlic with a little oil in a large pan until softened.

Minced beef, onions, garlic and red wine simmering in a pan

Add the minced beef and cook until browned – breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Then pour in the red wine and simmer for a few minutes.

Chris pouring beef stock into a pan for chilli con carne

Next, add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and a little honey.

Chopping board with chopped red bell peppers on

Then chop two red bell peppers and add those in too.

Tinned tomatoes being added to a pan of chilli con carne

Add in four tins of good-quality chopped tomatoes and stir.

Spices being added to a pan of chilli con carne

Next is the spices. We have smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder (more or less depending on how hot you like it), ground ginger, salt and pepper and mixed herbs. Chris also adds in a freshly chopped red chilli at this point too.

Tomato puree and ketchup being added to a pan of chilli con carne

Then add in tomato puree (paste), tomato ketchup and chipotle paste.

chilli con carne simmering with lid on

Bring to the boil, stir, then turn down the heat and loosely cover with a lid. Simmer for about an hour, giving it a stir every 10-15 minutes.

chilli con carne simmering in a pan

After an hour, add in some tinned mixed beans and kidney beans, stir, and cook for a further 20 minutes, uncovered (this is a good time to put your rice on to cook too).

Coriander being sprinkled into a pan of chilli con carne

Right before serving, stir in a big handful of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro).

Bowl of chilli con carne with rice and blue corn chips

Then serve with boiled rice. If you like you can also serve with soured cream, homemade guacamole, tortilla chips (we love the blue corn chips) and an extra sprinkling of fresh coriander and finely chopped red chillies.

I know it seems like a long list of ingredients, but most of it gets thrown in together, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard already.

Although we often serve it with rice, it’s also great with pasta, on tortilla chips or jacket potatoes.  I even sometimes use a portion from the freezer to make a quick, spicy lasagne.

Bowl of chilli con carne with rice and blue corn chips, sprinkled with coriander (cilantro)

More Mexican Inspired Recipes

Love cooking Mexican food? Why not take a look at our other Mexican inspired recipes:

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4.93 from 68 votes

Chilli Con Carne

Our favourite chilli con carne recipe – packed with flavour! One pound of minced beef can easily stretch to 8 servings in this recipe – making it healthier and cheaper too.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 large onions peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and chopped/crushed
  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) minced beef
  • 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) full-bodied red wine
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) beef stock hot water plus 2 stock cubes is fine
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 red bell peppers chopped
  • 4 x 400 ml (4 x 14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 chopped fresh chilli more if you like it hotter
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree paste for US
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 2 chunks dark chocolate 80 or 90% cocoa
  • 2 x 400g (2 x 14 oz) can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 420g (1 x 14 oz) can mixed beans drained and rinsed
  • small bunch chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

Serve with (optional):

  • cooked rice
  • fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • sour cream
  • chopped fresh chillies
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  • Heat up the oil in a very large pan. Add the onions and cook on medium/high for about 5-6 minutes until they're soft and translucent.
    2 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 large onions
  • Add in the garlic and cook for a further minute. 
    6 cloves garlic
  • Add in the mince and cook until just browned. Break any large pieces up with a wooden spoon. 
    500 g (1.1 lbs) minced beef
  • Add in the red wine, bring it to the bubble and simmer for 3 minutes.
    360 ml (1 1/2 cups) full-bodied red wine
  • In a jug, mix together the stock, Worcestershire sauce, and honey. Pour it into the pan and give it a stir.
    180 ml (3/4 cup) beef stock, 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp honey
  • Add in the red peppers and cook for another minute. Then stir in the tinned tomatoes.
    2 red bell peppers, 4 x 400 ml (4 x 14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • Add in the smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, ginger, mixed herbs, salt, pepper, and the chopped fresh chilli pepper. Give it all a mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    1 tsp smoked paprika, 4 tsp cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp hot chilli powder, 3 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp mixed herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 chopped fresh chilli
  • Add in tomato puree (paste), tomato ketchup, chipotle paste and dark chocolate. Stir and bring to a simmer, then loosely cover and simmer for one hour.
    3 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tsp chipotle paste, 2 chunks dark chocolate
  • After an hour, add in the kidney beans and mixed beans, Give them a stir and allow the chilli to simmer for another 20 minutes (this is also a good time to put your rice on if you're serving it with rice).
    2 x 400g (2 x 14 oz) can kidney beans, 1 x 420g (1 x 14 oz) can mixed beans
  • Finally, stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.
    small bunch chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • Serve with rice, coriander, soured cream, and chopped fresh chillies if you like.
    cooked rice, fresh coriander (cilantro), sour cream, chopped fresh chillies



Can I make it gluten free?

Yes, use gluten-free beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Also make sure the tomato puree, ketchup, chipotle paste and dark chocolate are gluten-free versions.

Can I make it ahead?

Yes, we think it tastes even better when made ahead and reheated – as it allows the flavours to develop even further. Once cooked, cool quickly, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat in a pan or the microwave until piping hot throughout.

Can I freeze it?

Yes. Once cooked, cool, then split into portions if necessary, cover and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a pan or the microwave until piping hot throughout.

Can I make it in the slow cooker?

Yes. We find it needs a little less liquid in the slow cooker, so reduce the stock to about 90 ml (1/3 cup).  Cook in a pan right up until the simmer stage (right after you add the tomato puree and ketchup) then transfer to a slow cooker and cook for 6-7 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. Add the beans, then continue to cook for a further 30 minutes to heat them through. Then stir in the coriander (cilantro) and serve. 

Can I make an alcohol-free version?

Yes, simply replace the wine with the same amount of beef stock.
Nutritional Information Is Estimated Per Serving, excluding any rice or other serving suggestions.


Serving: 551g | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.5g | Protein: 25.2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 10.8g | Sugar: 20.3g | Vitamin A: 1500IU | Vitamin C: 88.3mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 5.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This post was first published in October 2014. Updated January 2019 with new photos, step-by-step photos, tips and a recipe video. Updated June 2020 with extra tips and for housekeeping.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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  1. Jane says:

    5 stars
    This is the best chilli I have eaten by far, sweet yet spicy. This will be my go to recipe from now on

  2. Andrew hinton says:

    5 stars
    Best recpie I’ve ever made truly a gem I’ve made traditional chilli and many other recipes and nothing compares not even near! the combination of spice and sweetness from the honey and Bell peppers are magnificent it will be my go to chilli recpie from now on and can’t wait to impress my friends what an amazing dish .

  3. marilyn lippert says:

    5 stars
    This chilli con carne recipe sounds amazing. I have it on my list to make for my daughter when she visits next week. Good one Chris. I am so grateful to have found Kitchen Sanctuary recipes. I don’t need any other recipe books. It ticks all the right boxes for me. Love love 💕 it.

  4. Jacqui says:

    5 stars
    This is the best chilli I’ve ever made and tasted. Takes a tiny bit longer than most chillis but it was lovely to make and really easy. Made it for hubby’s birthday and he just said to me, “This is a perfect chilli.” Thank you !!! xxx

  5. Nina says:

    Hi. Chris, this looks fab! I have never added red wine, honey or ground ginger to chilli before…I am worried it will start to become a cross between a ragu bolognese and chilli or end up with too many flavours fighting together. Do you cook the wine off completely off before adding other ingredients?
    If I make this in my Pressure Cooker (Sage slow, fast cooker) would I reduce the volume of wine, stock or canned tomatoes, it seems like a lot of liquid? I always add a very small piece of dark chocolate to my chilli, but think you have to be careful too much and it’s ruined. Thanks

  6. Vicky says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe, my go to chilli now. Always get asked to make it for family and friends when we get together!

  7. Graham Divers says:

    5 stars
    Been using this for a couple of years now and it’s a family favourite

  8. Keith says:

    5 stars
    This is now my Go to chilli very flavoursome and simple to make. Glad I found it as are my family and friends .
    I tried with and without the chipotle paste and find it better without.

    1. Peter says:

      I have used this recipe 5 times now and love it. For me good Chipotle paste is hard to find in the UK but it does improve the chilli if you find a good one. I do find I need more tomatoe puree but that’s probably down to the quality of the tomatoes but the chocolate doesn’t do anything for me and I prefer it without.

  9. Henriette says:

    5 stars
    Just such a winner! It truely has the best combination of flavours!
    It has become our favourite precooked meal to take frozen on camping trips! 😋🥰🌶❤️🌶❤️🌶 🇲🇽❤️

  10. Sue says:

    5 stars
    Thankyou thankyou thankyou! Your chilli Is the best I’ve ever tasted. My son in law always makes sure I get this when I visit (I live in Spain) . I asked him where he gets his recipes from … he’s a great cook …always buys his ingredients fresh on the day. Anyway … he showed me your kitchen sanctuary. I made the chilli for hubby the other week … and I’m just off shopping so I can make it for friends tomorrow. Thankyou again x