top of page


Quick and Easy Chilli Con Carne

In Spanish, Chilli Con Carne means ‘Chilli with meat’, but don’t take this phrase too literally, because there’s a whole lot more than chilli and meat in this recipe.

This is a hearty meal perfect for mid-week dinners. You can serve it with rice or tortilla bread and dress it up or down with additions such as Greek yoghurt, guacamole or a fresh “pico de gallo” (salsa)!

So, what makes this recipe so fantastic?

1. It's so quick and cheap!

This is really easy to prepare and won’t cost a fortune! The ingredients are economically priced, the portion is satisfying and it’s essentially just tactically throwing a handful of components into a pot at the right timing and letting the magic happen.

Have a busy week ahead? Batch cook this and freeze portions for those days you just don’t feel like cooking.

2. It's an easy way to get veggies in.

This is a really easy way to get more vegetables in, which are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, everything your body needs to thrive. The beauty of this recipe is that you can pick what you want and tailor it to your preferences. While the base is tomatoes, the zucchini and capsicum are just a suggestion, you can get creative with choices like carrot, sweet potato, corn, green beans, peas or eggplant, the list goes on! Cut them up real small and even the non-vegetable fans won’t know what hit them!

3. Did someone say gains?

Meat and beans, are both an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and are also packed full of protein! While we all know meat is high protein, don’t forget that beans are a fantastic way to get more plant-based protein into your day!

For all our vegetarian or vegan friends out there you can just replace the meat with another can of beans for a satisfying, yet protein rich meal!

While I feel like I’ve made my case, don’t take my word for it. If you’ve never tried chilli con carne or thought it takes too long, I urge you to give this recipe a try and see for yourself!

Quick and Hearty Chilli Con Carne


  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 1 large onion finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves crushed

  • 500g lean beef mince

  • 2 400g cans of whole tomatoes

  • 1 red capsicum diced

  • 1 zucchini diced or grated

  • 400g can of kidney/black beans rinsed, drained

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tbs dried oregano

  • Optional: 1 fresh chopped chilli (to taste) OR 1 tbs chilli flakes, fresh coriander


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan then add onion, capsicum and zucchini (or any other vegetables you’re using) and cook for five minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.

  2. Add the minced meat, cumin, garlic, and fresh chilli (if using) browning for a further five minutes, while breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

  3. Stir in canned tomatoes, paprika and chilli flakes (if using). Rinse out each can with around a quarter full of water and add this water to thin out your chilli!

  4. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a low-medium and simmer partially covered for around twenty minutes.

  5. Add the beans and oregano, then simmer for a further five minutes.

  6. Add a handful of fresh coriander and serve warm with a bowl of brown rice, corn chips or toasted tortilla with a light sprinkle of delicious cheese!

Take this to the next level! Try some of the following options:

  • Add fresh guacamole

  • Roughly mash an avocado and combine with a squeeze of lime juice, salt and pepper, you can also add half a red onion diced and half a red capsicum diced for some extra flavour.

  • Serve with a zingy ‘Pico de Gallo’

  • Combine one diced red onion, one whole tomato diced and a handful of chopped fresh coriander with the juice of one lime, salt and pepper. Add some crushed garlic and/or a fresh chilli for more flavour

  • Make it creamy with Greek yoghurt

  • Packed full of calcium, protein and flavour, a table spoon of yoghurt will feel like a creamy cool breeze, over a delicious hot dish (especially if you’re opting for a very chilli, chilli con carne!)

Bon Appétit!

About the author:

Shabnam is an Adelaide based student dietitian with a passion for good food and health. From a young age, Shabnam was always interested in cooking, but growing older, she started appreciating how our eating can really dictate how we feel both inside and outside. So she is on a mission to learn as much as she can about nutrition, but also share how easy it is to live a nourishing and balanced lifestyle!

Featured Posts
bottom of page