Chili Con Carne

November 5, 2018 By Cathy — 6 Comments
Chili con carne is spicy, satisfying comfort food for the soul. Hearty beef, beans, peppers, and onions are slow simmered in a richly seasoned tomato sauce for a stick-to-your-ribs meal for the masses.

Overhead shot of Chili con Carne in a pot with a serving of chili alongside topped with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and scallions.

Chilly temps, clocks turned back, and boy do I have the meal for you. Rib-sticking, fiery, and nourishing food for your soul…chili con carne.

Chili was one of the first meals I learned to cook as a girl. We weren’t particularly adventurous eaters in my family and we typically stuck to either your basic American fare or Italian. But every now and then we’d bust out the Joy of Cooking and tackle something new.

One day we dogeared the page for chili con carne and got to work. Chili con carne means simply ‘chili with meat’ and there are countless variations based on taste and geography. My preference is a meaty, beany chili with a rich tomato base and some kick; loosely inspired by that Joy of Cooking recipe, but developed and fine-tuned over decades.

Overhead shot of Chili con Carne in a pot with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and scallions alongside.

Picture this…

…the work/school week is behind you

…there’s a crackling fire in the fireplace

…and you have a piping hot bowl of chili on your lap.

No need for the dinner table, just a spoon, napkin, and you can kick back and enjoy your dinner with your feet up. Throw in a bottle of beer and a hunk of skillet cornbread and now we’re really living. After all, it’s called comfort food for a reason.

Step by step photos on how to make Chili con Carne. Gather ingredients (1), saute peppers (2), add onion (3), add garlic (4), add ground beef (5), add spices (6).

Let’s make Chili con Carne

  1. Gather ingredients.
  2. Sauté green and red bell peppers until soft.
  3. Add diced onions and cook until golden.
  4. Stir in garlic and saute 1-2 mins.
  5. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
  6. Drain off the fat and stir in the spices. Cook until spices are toasted.

Step by step photos on how to make Chili con Carne. Add crushed tomatoes (7), add minced chiles and chipotle (8), add beans (9). add beer, cilantro and lime juice (10).

  1. Stir in the crushed tomatoes.
  2. Stir in the beer, minced green chiles, and chipotle pepper. Cover and cook for 20 mins.
  3. Add the beans and cooked, uncovered, for an additional 20 mins.
  4. Stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Serve!

 

Tips for success

  • While this chili can be on the table in less than 90 mins, the longer it simmers, the better it gets. Make it a day in advance and serve tomorrow – even better!
  • Serve this with All. The. Toppings. Herbs, cheese, sour cream, and even a handful of crumbled tortillas take this from so good to SO GREAT.
  • Use a dark beer for a deeper flavor.
  • Like it spicy? Stir in an extra chipotle or two!
  • Don’t stir in the beans too early, they taste best when they’re intact, not mushy.

Close up of a serving of Chili con Carne topped with sour cream, grated cheese, scallions, and cilantro.

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Overhead shot of Chili con Carne in a pot with a serving of chili alongside topped with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and scallions.
Chili Con Carne
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 4 mins
Total Time
1 hr 24 mins
 

Chili con carne is spicy, satisfying comfort food for the soul. Hearty beef, beans, peppers, and onions are slow simmered in a richly seasoned tomato sauce for a stick-to-your-ribs meal for the masses.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, chili con carne
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 551 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 onions, diced (medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef (80:20 meat-to-fat ratio)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 56 oz crushed tomato. (2 - 28 oz cans)
  • 4.5 oz minced green chiles (1 can)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely minced
  • 12 oz beer, I like a pale ale or stout for deeper flavor (1 bottle)
  • 38 oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed (2 - 19 oz cans)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime
  • shredded cheddar, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and sour cream for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven until hot.
  2. Add peppers and saute until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add onion and continue to cook 5-7 minutes or until softened and golden.

  4. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Crumble in ground beef and cook until browned, 10 minutes.

  6. Carefully drain off about half the fat, then add the spices. sugar, salt, pepper, and stir well. Cook for 2 mins.

  7. Add the crushed tomatoes, stir, and bring to a simmer.
  8. Stir in the chiles, minced chipotle pepper, and bottle of beer.

  9. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

  10. Uncover, add beans, and cook an additional 20 minutes. The chili should reduce a bit and have a nice thick consistency.

  11. Stir in cilantro and squeeze in the juice from half of a lime.
  12. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with garnishes if desired.

Recipe Notes
  • While this chili can be on the table in less than 90 mins, the longer it simmers, the better it gets. Make it a day in advance and serve tomorrow - even better!
  • Serve this with All. The. Toppings. Herbs, cheese, sour cream, and even a handful of crumbled tortillas take this from so good to SO GREAT.
  • Use a dark beer for a deeper flavor.
  • Like it spicy? Stir in an extra chipotle or two!
  • Don't stir in the beans too early, they taste best when they're intact, not mushy.
Nutrition Facts
Chili Con Carne
Amount Per Serving
Calories 551 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 1333mg 56%
Potassium 1369mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 45g 15%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 16g
Protein 30g 60%
Vitamin A 19.5%
Vitamin C 71.8%
Calcium 15.5%
Iron 39.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Update Notes: This post was originally published in January 2016 but was republished with step-by-step photos and tips in November 2018.

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Filed Under: Main Dishes, Recipe, Soup/Stew

Comments

6 responses to “Chili Con Carne”

  1. Wow Cathy this chili looks delish! With the weather getting colder here this will be the perfect dinner. My husband Tom is a huge chili fan, so this will definitely be an addition to my chili recipe stash! Enjoy your week!

  2. Happy New Year, Cathy! I don’t know why time keeps flying by like it does, but I’m starting to think I am going to fall asleep one night and wake up to be 65 years old. 😉 I don’t have any resolution to only eat salad, I made a goal of living a more balanced life. And devouring some chili is totally something I am going to do! Your chili con carne looks divine, my dear! This is THE definition of cozy, comfort food! Can’t wait to try it! Cheers! <3

    • Cathy says:

      I’m with you Cheyanne – moderation! Although that mantra flew out the window over the break and became excess. Time to find my balance again for the new year!

  3. Terese says:

    Hi Cathy!!!

    Happy New Year!!! So excited to make this recipe. I’ve been looking for a great chili and when I read the ingredients I thought hands down this is the one. Thanks so much for sharing !! Love the site and all the great ideas.
    Hope to see you guys soon!

    Regards,
    Terese

    • Cathy says:

      thanks terese! hope you enjoy. this is definitely one of my faves and perfect for cold january days. so glad you’re enjoying the blog and hope to see you soon!

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