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The most comforting meal

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne is a wonderful family one-pot meal filled with spices, ground beef, corn, beans, and tomato paste. Great for meal prep too.

Chili con Carne
Chili con Carne is one of a very few dishes that I taught Jernej how to make and not the other way around. I love spicy food, and Chili con Carne is one of those excellent meals that allows enough freedom to play around with spiciness and spices in general. You can adjust the level of spiciness 100% to your liking. Make it super spicy or not spicy at all; that’s up to you. This recipe was first published in 2015, but since then, we have learned a few tricks and tips on making it more straightforward without compromising the texture or flavor. All the ingredients stayed the same; only the method changed slightly. Of course, making it easier to whip up in your kitchen. Feel free to use Instant Pot or Slow Cooker/Pressure Cooker for this recipe or a simple cast-iron pot.

Luxurious Mexican-inspired one-pot wonder

Chili con carne is a beautiful Mexican-inspired meal that's incredibly flavorful, rich, creamy, and delicious. The whole house will smell amazing while this deliciousness is cooking in the pot. These are the main reasons why we like this recipe so much.

  • thick, creamy texture and the perfect ratio of beef, corn, beans, tomato sauce, and spices
  • keeps well, and it's super convenient to freeze it
  • it's best to cook this in larger quantities, the more, the better with this slow-cooked meal
  • serve it as a main dish for lunch or dinner, or as a dip for chips
  • adjust the spiciness to your liking, but we recommend making it at least a tiny bit spicy
  • it's gluten-free and dairy-free

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

How to make beef chili con carne at home?

Chili con Carne is a simple one-pot dish. In this case, simple preparation doesn't mean simple flavors. Actually, it's the opposite. This is an incredibly flavorful, rich, cozy dish. You can find the whole recipe with the ingredient list below. Here's a quick overview for easier preparation.

  1. Pan-fry the meat until golden-brown and smell delicious. 
  2. Pour in the wine and cook for a few minutes. The alcohol will evaporate.
  3. Transfer the meat to a plate and add vegetables, spices, and tomato paste to the same pot. Saute.
  4. Pour in the broth or water and tomato passata. If the tomato passata is sour, add in 1/2 tsp of molasses or brown sugar.
  5. Cook for 2 hours in a pot or 45 minutes in an instant pot or pressure cooked.
  6. Add the cooked and drained beans, corn, and dark chocolate. Stir to combine.
  7. Serve with your favorite side.

PAN FRying beef for Chili con Carne

Sauteing vegetables for Chili con Carne

Adding spices to the pot for Chili con Carne

What to serve with this chili con carne?

Chili con Carne is a wonderful main dish that is great on its own. However, we like to serve it with one of these sides too.

Add tomato sauce to the Chili con Carne

Add water or broth to Chili con Carne

Add beans and corn to Chili con Carne

Storing and freezing 

There are two ways to store this delicious Chili con Carne.

Keep the chilled homemade Chili con Carne, in the fridge, for up to 3 days. Before serving, reheat in the microwave oven or using a pot.

Feel free to freeze the Chille too. Place it in a freezer-friendly container and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost at room temperature (or in the fridge overnight), then reheat in the microwave oven or using a pot.

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

Try these delicious Mexican inspired recipes too


Lets get cooking!

  • serves
  • preparation:
  • cooking:


  • Spice mix (optional)

    First, prepare the spice mix if you're using whole spices. Blend all herbs and spices in a spice (or coffee) grinder or use a pestle and mortar. Set aside until needed. Skip this step if you're using ground spices.

  • pan-fry the meat

    Place a cast-iron pot over high heat. Add three tablespoons of olive oil and the meat. Pan-fry the ground beef for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red wine and cook for additional 2 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate. Scrape the bottom of the pot to get all those juices. Transfer the meat to a plate.

    Feel free to use a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or Instant Pot for this recipe too.
  • vegetables and spices

    Peel the onion, garlic, and carrots, then dice finely. Clean the pot with a paper towel and place it back over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and chopped vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spices and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.

  • Cook

    Transfer the meat back to the pot, add tomato passata and beef broth of water. Stir, cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 2 hours. When the chili cooks, add the corn, beans, and dark chocolate and stir well to combine.

    If you're using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, cook under full pressure for 45 minutes.
  • serve

    Divide the chili con carne between six plates. Optionally sprinkle with jalapenos, diced onion, and cilantro. Serve with tortillas or rice.


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