Chili con carne

Chili con carne

Spiced with red chili pepper and ground cumin, chili con carne with beans requires few ingredients and is so quick to make. This popular Tex-Mex stew with kidney beans, ground beef, and carrots is perfect for busy weeknights when you are craving something spicy and savoury, but do not have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking a flavourful stew. Luckily, with our easy chili con carne recipe, there is no need to, and you can quickly whip up a delicious dinner!


  • Let the butter melt in a saucepan at high heat without browning it. Sauté the beef for about 3 minutes until it changes colour and becomes crumbly.
  • Add onion, garlic, cumin, and chili and continue sautéing for around 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, kidney beans, carrots, and salt and let the dish boil at medium heat for about 20 minutes with the lid on – stir occasionally. Season to taste – perhaps add a bit more chili.
  • Serve the stew in bowls with crème fraiche and warm flatbread.

Many say that this stew is a so-called 'second-day dish' that tastes even better after it has been left to infuse in the fridge overnight. Fortunately, there are many delicious uses for flavourful, leftover chili con carne if you want to mix things up a bit.


A popular choice is to serve the stew with spicy nachos. With chili con carne nachos, you get a lovely contrast in textures. The tender, spicy stew works great as a decadent dip for crispy, salty tortilla chips. Throw in a batch of homemade guacamole and you have yourself a winner.


You can also use your leftover chili con carne for hot dogs and make so-called chili dogs. Hot dogs topped with leftover chili stew, pungent onions, and perhaps some slices of tangy pickle make for a wonderfully quick and savoury meal. Find more inspiration for this dish in our recipe for homemade hot dogs.

Questions about chili con carne

Chili con carne is a wonderful dinner idea that is quick and easy and is bursting with spicy and warm flavours. To learn more about this irresistible stew, read our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about it below.

How to make chili con carne?
Making chili con carne from scratch is neither difficult nor time-consuming. Get started by sautéing the ground beef in butter until changes colour. Add cumin and chilli pepper as well as onions and garlic. After sautéing these for a few minutes, add kidney beans, diced tomatoes, cubed carrots, and salt. Stir the stew once in a while as it cooks and season to taste when it is done. Serve with warm flatbread and cooling sour cream.
Can you freeze chili con carne?
Freezing chili con carne with beef is a great idea if you do not plan on eating it within 3-4 days. It will last for 3 months in the freezer. Allow for it to cool before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags and putting it in the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy your leftovers, leave them in the fridge to thaw overnight before reheating them in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you are in a time crunch, you can pop the frozen chili con carne into a saucepan and heat it up slowly at low heat.
Is chili con carne spicy?
Chili con carne can be quite spicy. While the beef, tomatoes, and beans are not spicy in and of themselves, most recipes call for the use of fresh or ground chili as well as warming spices like cumin. This is also the case for our recipe, which we would describe as spicy. For this reason, we suggest serving it with crème fraiche for a cooling effect.
What spices to use in chili con carne?
The best spices for this spicy stew are chili and cumin. Either fresh or ground chili peppers are used to add heat to this Tex-Mex classic. The cumin is full of warming properties, too, and adds depth and delicious earthiness. Other popular spice options include smoky paprika, earthy cinnamon, and citrussy coriander.


Chili con carne:
10 g
Ground beef (approx. 6% fat)
500 g
Yellow onions (approx. 150 g), coarsely chopped
Small garlic cloves, finely chopped
Ground cumin
2 tsp
Red chili pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp
Diced tomatoes (approx. 800 g)
2 cans
Kidney beans (approx. 240 g), rinsed and drained off
1 can
Carrots (approx. 200 g), in small cubes
Coarse salt
1 tsp
Served with:
Sour cream, 18%
150 ml
Warm flatbread
240 g

Spicy chili con carne with beans

This stew with ground beef and beans is perfect for days and nights when you need a bit of warmth and a portion of genuine comfort food. Made with tangy tomatoes, meaty kidney beans, pungent onion and garlic, and ground beef it is an incredibly hearty meal.

It is flavoured with fresh red chili peppers and warming cumin for heat and flavour. The chilis provide most of the spicy flavour, and they can also bring sweet or smoky undertones to the dish, depending on which variety you go for. The cumin adds depth and a slight bitterness and brings a lovely earthiness to the stew that rounds it off beautifully.

The classic version with ground beef

We all know the look and taste of the stew, but what does chili con carne mean? The Spanish name of this popular dish simply means 'chili with meat'. While chili sin carne, that is, ‘chili without meat’, has also gained popularity in recent years, a ground beef chili con carne is packed with a meaty umami flavour that is hard to achieve without this, the main ingredient, ground beef.

Browning the beef before adding any additional ingredients brings forth these deep, rich flavours, and these, alongside the kidney beans, are the backbone of this popular stew.

Served with sour cream and flatbread

Because the chili con carne sauce is quite spicy, serving it with cold sour cream is a great way to reduce its spiciness a bit. The combination of the warming stew and the cooling, slightly tangy sour cream is wonderful, and it will even make the dish creamier.

The stew is also great with a side of bread. Try dipping pieces of soft and fluffy flatbread into the sauce and let them soak up the spicy goodness. If you would like to make flatbread yourself, we direct your attention to our quick and easy flatbread recipe.

Add your own touch

You can mix up our recipe by trying out different chili con carne spices. If you enjoy smoky flavours, you might like to add some paprika. Depending on which type of paprika you choose, the spice will also either give the stew sweet undertones or add more heat.

To enhance the dish's warming qualities, you can also add ground cinnamon. This aromatic spice will give your ground beef chili con carne wonderful, sweet, woody, and earthy notes.

You can also experiment with adding ground coriander. This citrusy spice is often paired with ground cumin to balance the pungent spice with its fresh, floral flavour, making it a delightful, contrasted spice for chili con carne.

No matter what seasonings you decide to go for, you can also experiment with adding dark chocolate (around 60-70 % cocoa) to the stew. Though it may sound strange to add chocolate to a savoury meal, the intense and slightly bitter dark chocolate gives it a wonderful depth that enriches its flavours.