Chilli con carne is a popular weeknight dinner. Serve this iconic Tex-Mex beef-and-bean chilli with white rice for a satisfying family feed.
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COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Leftover beef chilli mix can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Chilli con carne – quite literally ‘chilli with meat’ – is a rich and spicy tomato-based stew made from meat, chilli and beans. While you may assume chilli con carne is Latin American thanks to its Spanish name and Mexican-inspired flavours, it’s more of a Tex-Mex creation. There is debate over where this flavourful family favourite was first created. The most likely candidates are Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In these southern USA states, chilli con carne recipes are a main staple at competitive cook-offs. There’s some contention over what makes a ‘true’ chilli con carne, which is why so many variations exist. This versatile meat stew can be served with crunchy corn chips, on a bed of rice, stacked on baked potatoes or wrapped up in a warm tortilla. Whichever vehicle you choose, a generous dollop of sour cream and a few fresh coriander sprigs are the perfect complement to its bold flavours.
Mild chilli con carne makes a popular weeknight dinner for Aussie families. The most common ingredients of a basic chilli con carne recipe are meat, chillies, tomatoes, spices and beans. Beef mince chilli con carne is a popular choice due to its ease and affordability. As for the beans for chilli con carne, almost anything will do; we’ve used kidney beans as they’re a nutritious choice, but you could use black, pinto or even baked beans in a pinch. One of the big draws of this Tex-Mex classic is that you can adapt it to suit your own tastes. Add capsicum for sweetness and an extra hit of veg, or bulk it up further with lentils. You may want to add fresh chilli or jalapeños if you love spice, or reduce the chilli powder for less heat. Best of all, chilli con carne goes with a variety of toppings. Sour cream and coriander leaves are standard, but you could also top it with avocado like we’ve done here, extra sliced chillies or even cheese. This flexibility makes it a great dinner for families with fussy eaters.
Chilli con carne is the perfect meal to serve ‘family-style’ with a big bowl in the middle of the table and all the sides and extras out for everyone to help themselves. If you need ideas for what to eat with chilli con carne, look to other Mexican staples for inspiration. Try corn chips and the best-ever guacamole as an entree, or serve with a side of Curtis Stone’s charred corn salad with fetta-coriander crema. The serving options for chilli con carne are endless as this classic goes just as well on a bed of rice as on top of a baked potato. You can serve it with wraps one night, then enjoy leftovers as a quick and easy nachos for lunch the next day.
If you’re a massive chilli fan and have a little more time for a slow cooked version served with corn chips, try our chilli con carne nachos. For an all-the-trimmings version, give Michael Weldon’s beef chilli con carne a go. This chilli con carne tray bake is a great choice for the weekends. For more beefy family meals, check out our beef recipes collection.