Chilli Con Carne - easy family meals

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Mar 6, 10:04 AM in . No comments.

According to the latest reports, one of the ways we can save our planet and improve our health is to include more plant-based meals. This doesn’t mean everyone has to go vegan, but it couldn’t hurt to try to cut down a bit on meat and to increase some of the plant-based sources of protein that we have readily available to us. I use a lot of pulses/legumes like chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, butter beans etc in my meals. Not only is this great for adding fibre and reducing the amount of meat the family eats but it’s great for meals on a budget. Tinned beans are absolutely fine and really cheap so using these to bulk up meals is ideal.

I haven’t made chilli con carne for ages so will be doing that tonight. As you can see, you don’t have to give up meat altogether. I must admit, I tend to use turkey mince more than anything but of course, chilli con carne is traditionally made with beef mince.

Most recipes for 4 will suggest 500g mince but you can get away with half of that if you add more vegetable and more beans.

Ingredients (4 serves)

• 2 medium onions, chopped
• 250-500g mince, (you could use Quorn if you prefer)
• 1-2 peppers, any colour- try to have a few in there, deseeded and chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1-2 tsp chilli powder
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp paprika (I use smoked)
• 400g can chopped tomatoes
• 1-2 × 400g can kidney beans (depending on which amount of meat you have used), drained and rinsed
• 500ml stock (beef usually)
• 2 tbsp tomato puree

*you can add other vegetables such as celery or carrot, finely chopped if you like
• Plain, boiled rice to serve
• Sour cream, to serve

Basic Method

1. Cook the onion and beef in the oil, in a pan on the hob over a medium heat

2. Add the garlic, red pepper, chilli powder, paprika and cumin.

3. Mix and then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the stock, kidney beans and tin of chopped tomatoes, as well as the tomato puree.

5. Simmer gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, stir, pop a lid on and reduce to a low heat for around 20 minutes- check occasionally to see if it needs added water. You can check the seasoning here too.

6. When cooked, leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving so the flavours work their way in.

7. Serve with soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice. You could even add sliced avocado or some corn tortilla chips if you fancy.

Tags: Budget Meals, Chilli, Chilli Con Carne, Family Meals, Plant Based, Quick And Easy Meals

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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