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Light chilli con carne recipe

Light chilli con carne recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef

A winter's classic, under 400 calories per portion! Sometimes it's difficult to fit your favourite meals into a diet plan, but with this recipe, it's quick, easy and tastes fantastic!

Sussex, England, UK

9 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 125g lean minced beef
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 100g mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red kidney beans or baked beans
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 50g uncooked rice

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:40min

  1. In a saucepan, heat the minced beef on a low heat until the fat starts to grease the pan.
  2. Add the chopped onion, garlic, chilli, herbs and salt and pepper to the pan. Stir continuously until the mince is browned.
  3. Next add the chopped celery, mushrooms and beans. Stir.
  4. Pour in tomatoes and leave to cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. While your chilli mixture simmers, boil salted water in another saucepan for your rice. Cook as directed on packet.
  6. Drain rice and pour the chilli mixture on top. Serve!


This chilli con carne can be made even lower calorie by draining the fat from the meat once it is browned. Another adaption could be using vegetarian 'soya mince' or Quorn® mince instead of beef mince.

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Low Calorie Chilli Con Carne with Cauli Rice for the 5:2 Diet

I&rsquom trying my best to lose a bit of weight again &ndash and back doing the 5:2 diet. Being sent a pack of meats from West Coast Foods which are part of their Skinni range and are very low fat is quite a help. I&rsquove used their 1% fat mince for this chilli con carne recipe &ndash something I haven&rsquot seen in a supermarket. It is just 105 calories per 100g &ndash that&rsquos a 20 cal saving per 100g on the leanest beef from Waitrose (5%). But, I&rsquove done the nutritional calculations based on what I normally buy &ndash the 5% fat mince.

There are three tricks with this recipe that help to keep the calories down. Firstly, there&rsquos a much higher ratio of beans and vegetables to meat than a conventional chilli &ndash in fact, I&rsquove allowed just 50g of meat per portion. Secondly, I&rsquove dry fried everything where necessary. So, there&rsquos no added fat to push the calories up.

Thirdly, I&rsquove served it with cauliflower rice, in my case from a packet but you could just as easily use home made cauliflower rice &ndash it&rsquos easy as you can see from my earlier recipe. A decent 100g portion of cauliflower rice is just 32 calories. The equivalent white rice would be 129 calories. So, I&rsquove allowed myself a dollop of low-fat creme fraiche!

I actually rather like the higher proportion of veg in my chilli. With vegetarian friends, I know they are happy enough to eat chilli sans carne &ndash but I prefer to have a little meat. And, while I sometimes find cauliflower rice unpalatable, used with a spicy dish such as chilli con carne it works very well.

Chili Con Carne: The Anti-Recipe

Chili con carne is perhaps the simplest single pot stew, the quintessential campfire cuisine and the original tailgate meal. Before the days of brats and beer koozies, 19th century Chili Queens of San Antonio stewed it in open air wagons while mariachi minstrels entertained stockmen, soldiers, rounders and prowlers. The rich history of chili bubbles with Americana. Yet the jury is still out on proper chili cookery. No chef, cowboy, historian or state legislature is going to mint the decisive recipe, try as they might. Worse, no matter how you cook chili there are plenty of pernicious pepper partisans who will tell you “it ain’t right.” Don’t let them stop you.

Behold, Chili Con Carne: The Anti-Recipe:

Slowly, Step Away From the Cookbook
Chili con carne is a frontier food: it’s made by shooting from the hip. Some cuisines call for rigid recipes, specific ingredients, exact measurements and expert timing. Chili is not one of those foods. Step away from the cookbook.

Just three ingredients are necessary and sufficient: a ragu of meat, hot chile peppers and cumin. That’s it. In practice, however, we build layers of flavor by introducing various elements to the dish. The following principles are a blueprint for chili con carne and a foundation for creating your own secret formula. Learn the blueprint and you can put another notch on your culinary musket.

Hardware: A big spoon and an even bigger pot.

Protein: Most meats make fine chili, so feel free to mix and match: beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, goat, jackrabbit, squirrel, opossum, rattlesnake, ‘gator. Choose tougher cuts that are high in connective tissue, which breaks down during cooking to tenderize the meat and grease the palate with gelatin, creating the perfect mouthfeel. Ground meats and sausage are also great choices, as are trimmings and leftovers. You’ll want your chili meat-centric, unless you’re going veggie, so start with a pound and a half for a medium-sized pot and up it from there as you see fit.

Step 1: Sear the meat until brown and fragrant (in batches, never sear in a crowded pot).

Aromatic Vegetables: Aromatics build flavor through fragrance, and vegetables in the onion family are the classic choice for chili. The yellow onion is traditional, but also consider the subtle but sweeter leek. Add generous quantities of garlic for an authentic punch, or shallots for garlic undertones without the social consequences. For a vegetable-heavy chili try carrots and celery. Finally, make sure to add plenty of chile peppers. Use a variety to create well-rounded, full-bodied spice that evolves from the beginning to end of each bite. Remember, smaller chiles usually pack a heftier punch.

Step 2: Add the chopped vegetables into the same pot with the seared meat and sweat the vegetables in oil until soft (low heat). Just remember not to crowd the pot.

Spices & Seasonings: If you have a favorite chili powder, now is the time to use it. If not, consider pairing a base powder like ancho with a powerful partner such as cayenne. Cumin is a hallmark of traditional chili, adding a sharp, earthy and somewhat nutty flavor. Dried oregano is popular, but other dried herbs like parsley, cilantro and basil make nice additions as well. Brown sugar, molasses or honey will add a sweet character to the dish. Make sure to season to taste with salt as you cook.

Step 3: Stir in the spices to season everything up (you can always add more later).

Liquids: Stock, beer, cider, milk and water are all fine cooking liquids, but you can cook chili in just about anything you would drink alongside it. Consider adding a small amount of more potent choices like Worcestershire sauce, whiskey and wine. Use a few dashes of vinegar or lemon juice to add acidity. Of course, combing a few liquids together will help layer on flavor. Use enough of whatever liquid(s) you choose to keep the pot simmering throughout the cook, refresh as needed and reduce down at the end to achieve desired viscosity.

Step 4: Add the cooking liquids and scrape any tasty bits off the pot.

Tomatoes: While they are by no means necessary, tomatoes are a great way to add flavor, color and acidity. Combinations of chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste (just a few dollops, as this is concentrated) are the best bet. Then again, your favorite salsa offers an easy shortcut that covers all the bases.

Step 5: Pour in the tomatoes.

Other Additions: The possibilities for other ingredients are endless. Beans are perhaps the most common addendum, though hotly contested by Texas purists. Other ingredients like corn, mushrooms, potatoes and squash can all add character to a pot of chili.

Step 6: Cook until the meat literally falls apart, the flavors meld and desired viscosity is reached. Add any final ingredients and cook thoroughly. Adjust the salt and seasonings.

Easy Peasy Chilli Con Carne

A quick and simple version of a classic, this Easy Peasy Chilli Con Carne is packed full of flavour, but ready in just 30 minutes. Serve with all your Tex-Mex favourites for a real crowdpleaser of a midweek meal.

Dinner in a hurry!

Many chilli con carne recipes advise long slow cooking for maximum flavour… and that’s lovely if you have the time… but there are days when there is just NO TIME for any such long slow simmering and loving attention… Like when I’m busy with work, the kids have activities after school, and juggling all our various comings and goings to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be at the time they are supposed to be there feels like a military campaign! (Please tell me you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about?!)

Well, this Easy Peasy Chilli Con Carne is for THOSE days. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s GOOD – packed with flavour and on the table in just 30 minutes.

Better still, this Easy Peasy Chilli Con Carne is a real crowdpleaser – I know if I make this, there will be NO complaints at the dinner table and my kids will wolf it down.

What to serve with Chilli Con Carne?

For a super easy and speedy dinner, simply serve the Chilli Con Carne with plain rice. But if you have more time, turn this dish into more of a ‘fiesta’, by serving the chilli with all your favourite Tex Mex sides, such as tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, grated cheese… whatever you love!

Alternatively, you could serve this easy chilli in tortilla wraps or tacos… or have it on a baked potato with a handful of grated cheese on top.

What to drink with Chilli Con Carne?

The bold flavours in Chilli Con Carne require a bold, flavoursome wine. A Cabernet Sauvignon, or Cabernet/Merlot blend from somewhere like Australia or South Africa is a brilliant choice here. Alternatively, try a Zinfandel from the USA or an Argentinian Malbec.

If you prefer beer, Chilli Con Carne goes great with a traditional brown ale.

Can leftover Chilli Con Carne be reheated?

Definitely! Make sure any leftovers are put in a plastic, lidded container and place it in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days.

To reheat, place the chilli con carne in a saucepan and add a splash of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until piping hot all the way through.

Alternatively reheat this Easy Peasy Chilli Con Carne in the microwave until piping hot all the way through.

Can Chilli Con Carne be frozen?

Absolutely! In fact, I recommend you make double the quantity and freeze half for some time in the future when you are super short on time, but still want to eat well!

Simply put the cooked and cooled chilli into a plastic, lidded container and place it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.

    Spice paste:
    2 tablespoons dark chili powder
    1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or use smoked hot paprika)
    1 tablespoon cumin
    2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 tablespoon cornmeal
    1 jalapeno, chopped
    3 tablespoons water

Place the spice paste ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until a paste forms.

Coat a large saute pan with nonstick cooking spray and place over moderate heat. When the pan is hot, add the beef. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is browned. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker and add the onions to the still-hot sautepan. Cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the spice paste to pan, cook one minute, stirring constantly. Transfer all ingredients to the slow cooker. If a "fond" (crust) is left on the bottom of the pan, deglaze the pan by adding some of the stock to the warm pan and stirring to release the cooked-on bits. Pour the stock and pan drippings into the slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and cook at the low setting for 6 hours.

Chili Con Carne

This recipe can easily be multiplied and keeps well for about 4 days in the fridge.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions (diced)
  • 8 ounces poblano chilies (seeded and diced)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced)
  • 16 ounces flank steak (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 &ndash 15 ounce cans no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 - 15 ounce cans no salt added kidney beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ounce (per serving) reduced-fat cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 6 large green onions (thinly sliced crosswise)
  • 1 1/2 medium avocados (peeled and sliced)

Place the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.

Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Stir frequently.

Add the poblano and jalapeno peppers and cook for about five minutes. Stir frequently.

Add the flank steak and cook until the meat has browned.

Add the tomatoes, beer, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, ground cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper and kidney beans with the water from the can to the pot and stir.

Cover and cook for over low heat for about 90 minutes until the kidney beans are soft.

Stir occasionally. Add water to the pot as needed to keep the chili a thick consistency.

Baxter’s Chili Con Carne Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 26 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 Servings 1 x
  • Category: Main Dish, Beef
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Chili with meat. Chili-con-carne literally means chili with meat. This may not be a true hand me down Taste of Southern recipe from my family heritage, but every once in awhile, you find a recipe that you just want to try out. You may not know exactly what intrigues you about it, you just know that you want to cook it and see what it tastes like.


  • 2 – lbs of Ground Beef, About 15% fat content if possible.
  • 1 – lb. of Ground Pork.
  • 1 – lb. bag of dry Light Red Kidney Beans, soaked and drained.
  • 2 – 8 ounce cans of Tomato Sauce.
  • 1/3 – cup of Olive Oil.
  • 4 – cups of Water.
  • 1 – medium Onion, diced.
  • 1 – Tablespoon of Chili Powder.
  • 1 – teaspoon of Garlic Powder.
  • 1 – teaspoon of Oregano.
  • 2 – teaspoons of Beef Bouillon Granules.
  • 1 – teaspoon of Salt.
  • 1 – teaspoon of Cocoa Powder.
  • 1 – teaspoon of Black Pepper.


  1. Spread the dry beans out in a dish or on your counter to sort through them. Remove any bad looking beans, sticks, rocks or other foreign objects.
  2. Place the beans in a colander and rinse them well under cold running water.
  3. Place beans in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water, let soak overnight.
  4. After soaking, pour the beans back into the colander and rinse again under cold running water. Set aside and let them drain.
  5. Dice your medium onion.
  6. Place a large pot on the stove, set heat to medium-high and let it warm up for a minute or two.
  7. Add the Olive Oil.
  8. Now, add the diced onions to the pot and stir them around. Let them simmer until they start to turn translucent.
  9. Add the ground beef to the pot, break it up and stir it into the onions.
  10. Add the ground pork, break it up and stir into the rest of the mixture. Let this simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
  11. Add the 2 cans of Tomato Sauce, stir well.
  12. Add the Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, and Oregano, stir into mixture well.
  13. Add 2 teaspoons of Beef Bouillon Granules.
  14. Add 4 cups of hot water.
  15. Add the beans and stir well. Raise the heat to about medium-high and let the pot come back up to a slight boil.
  16. Cover the pot….REDUCE the heat back down to medium-low and let simmer for about 2 hours. You’ll need to stir it about every 30 minutes just to keep an eye on it and make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  17. After the beans have cooked to your satisfaction, remove the lid.
  18. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of cocoa powder and one teaspoon of black pepper. Stir well.
  19. Cover again and let simmer for about 10 more minutes and then it’s ready to serve.
  20. Serve warm and Enjoy!


Top this Chili Con Carne with some shredded cheddar cheese and serve with cornbread or a hot toasted cheese sandwich.

Keywords: Baxter's Chili Con Carne Recipe, made from scratch, pork, kidney beans, warner baxter, southern recipes

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Healthy Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Chili con carne is Tex-Mex dish that is loved by families all over the world.

Chili con carne is Tex-Mex dish that is loved by families all over the world.

Our chili con carne recipe is loaded with protein and delicious flavours with only 300 calories per serving which makes it really easy to include as part of a healthy eating plan.

We've also added a couple of different ingredients into this easy chili recipe that give it a delicious rich, spicy taste. This high protein, one-pot meal is easy to cook, it's freezable and it makes healthy cooking for the week a doddle.

Like many chillies and stews, this dish actually tastes better the day after you've made it as this allows more of the flavour to develop and be absorbed by the mince. If you really want a delicious chilli, cook it the day before, let it cool and keep it in the fridge before heating it up the following day. If you like this recipe, be sure to try our Brazilian Picadillo Recipe, it's a Brazilian chilli with olives and raisins and it tastes delicious.

BONUS: Download a free chilli recipe book with 5 of our most popular chilli recipes.

Serving Size 1 serving

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving Calories 301 % Daily Value * Total Fat 9g 14 % Total Carbohydrate 15g 5 % Protein 40g 80 %

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Recipe: Chilli Con Carne (Baby Led Weaning)

Looking for a chilli con carne recipe for baby led weaning? You’ve come to the right place! Chilli con carne. It’s one of my go-to meals regardless of the time of year it’s easy to make, filling, healthy and freezes like a dream. Best of all, it tastes even better re-heated when the flavours have had time to mingle even more. I call it chilli but it’s not a chilli in the strictest sense of the word. I guess a more apt name for it would be campfire chilli where there’s a bit of everything thrown in and lots of flavour rather than heat. Because of this, I don’t tend to make it super spicy but you can control that yourself with the heat level of the chilli powder.

Now, up until now we’ve only eaten it as the adults of the house and so things like bacon aren’t quite such an issue but if you’re cooking it for your baby too then you may not wish to give them salty processed food just yet. I’ve starred the bits that you’ll want to remove or swap for low-sodium or low-sugar versions if you want to make it more suitable for baby led weaning. We usually make our chilli con carne with beef but recently I’ve been using turkey mince as we’re on a freezer use up. I’m not normally a huge fan of the taste/texture of turkey mine but it actually works really well here, especially if you want a slightly chunkier chilli perfect for little hands!

Chilli Con Carne (Feeds 4 adults)

You will need:

  • 500g lean mince (turkey or beef)
  • 4 rashers of bacon, roughly chopped*
  • One chopped onion
  • One tin of chopped tomatoes
  • One tin of kidney beans (drained and washed)
  • One tin of baked beans*
  • Two beef stock cubes*
  • One pint boiling water
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic/garlic puree
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Seasoning
  • Fry-light
  1. Spray pan with fry-light and brown off mince, breaking it into small chunks as you stir
  2. Once lightly browned, add the onion and bacon. Crumble one of the stock cubes over the top, stirring at regular intervals to prevent catching
  3. When both onion and bacon looks lightly cooked, mix the remaining stock cube with the pint of boiling water and pour the water into the pan
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well
  5. Bring the pan to the boil before reducing the heat and allowing to simmer for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning
  6. If you’re planning to re-heat or freeze the mixture, leave it with a little excess liquid as this will cook off upon reheating. If you’re planning to eat it immediately, continue to cook until the liquid is reduced to a thick gravy consistency. You can always add additional hot water if required.
  7. Once thickened sufficiently, remove from heat and serve.
  8. Best served for adults with a side of rice or over a jacket potato and a generous dollop of sour cream/crème fraîche to stir through

To freeze this dish, allow to cool completely prior to freezing. When re-heating, you can always ‘pad out’ the recipe by adding extra tins of tomatoes, beans and stock then allowing it to simmer down until thickened again.

Light chilli con carne recipe - Recipes

Chilli Con Carne is a dish of Mexican origins with as many variations as there are people who cook it.

The words themselves are Spanish and mean simply ‘Chilli with Meat’. Adopted and Americanized by Texans as true cowboy food, cooked and eaten on the trail, Chilli Con Carne is terrific camping food.

The combination of ingredients in this recipe leans towards the Mexican style of chilli rather than the Texan version, cooked with beans and flavoured with cumin it’s simply delicious by a camp fire accompanied by a bowl of rice and a salad.

Recipe (serves 4)

2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or bacon lard.

1 Teaspoon of whole Cumin Seeds

1 large brown Onion, finely chopped.

2 large cloves of Garlic finely minced.

2 -3 Red Chillies finely sliced into rings. (remove seeds for milder taste)

2 cups or 400g tin peeled chopped Tomatoes.

1 400g tin of Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed.

½ Teaspoon of coarsely ground Pepper


In a heavy based saucepan heat the olive oil to medium high.

Add the cumin seeds and cook 30 seconds until they ‘pop’.

Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds – do not allow to brown.

Add onion and stir until it starts to turn translucent and pick up a little colour.

Next brown minced meat a tablespoon at a time, breaking it up and stirring. Once each portion of mince is crumbled and browned, add the next.

Stir in the chillies and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir.

Add the Red Kidney Beans, the salt and 1 cup of water.

Cook for 1 hour stirring occasionally making sure not to crush the beans.