Chilli con carne in 30 minutes that is balanced perfectly with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, chilli heat, cooling yogurt and my secret ingredient, dark chocolate that adds a hidden depth of flavour.
CHILLI CON CARNE WITH DARK CHOCOLATE
I love to add dark chocolate to my chilli con carne because the bitterness balances out the sweetness and sourness from the tomatoes. It doesn’t add any sweetness and it doesn’t make the chilli taste sweet. The dark chocolate brings all the flavours of the chilli together. It adds another depth of flavour and highlights all the other flavours too creating a party in your mouth with each bite.
WHAT TYPE OF DARK CHOCOLATE SHOULD I USE
You can use 70%, 85% or 90% dark chocolate in your chilli con carne. The darker the chocolate the more savoury and meaty your chilli will taste because the chocolates bitterness brings out the umami in the beef mince.
You only need 15g of dark chocolate to create a huge impact and change the flavour dynamics of your dish.
CHILLI CON CARNE IN 30 MINUTES
This chilli con carne is great to make on a week night because it is so quick and simple to make. I mean it is ready in 30 minutes. All you need is one pan. Ok, well one pan for your meat and one for your rice. Click here for more 30 minute meal ideas.
There are no onions in this chilli con carne so no time wasted peeling and chopping onions. The tomato sauce is not watery or thin or too thick. It is the perfect consistency to coat your rice. You don’t need to eat it in a bowl to stop the sauce dripping out. You can eat it on a plate with a fork and none of your chilli con carne will fall or drip off.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CHILLI CON CARNE
I make this chilli con carne for the whole family. All my girls started eating it from when they were toddlers. The first time I made it for them I added less of the spices but still added all of them so they could get used to the flavours. When the chilli con carne was cooked I took their portion out and season the rest with more spice so we could eat ours as spicy as we like it. When they had it a few times I would increase the amount of spice I added each time and now we all eat the same spicy chilli con carne.
CHILLI CON CARNE TOO HOT!
If you find chilli con carne too hot don’t worry. The amount of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and chilli flakes I use leave a little hot kick at the back of your throat. If you don’t like it too hot use half the amount I use and taste your chilli. When you taste your chilli and the spicy heat is nice write down the amounts so you know for next time. If it isn’t hot enough add more of the spices and if it is too hot add a little water to dilute the hot flavour.
Also don’t forget if you serve your chilli con carne with some Greek yogurt or yogurt of your choice it will cool down the heat with each mouthful too.
It is perfect for the whole family.
CHILI CON CARNE WITHOUT BEANS
I have on a few occasions made chilli con carne without beans and also the wrong beans. Do you want to know why I made it without beans? I forgot to buy them and only remembered when the meat was cooking in the pan and I reached up into the cupboard to get them and they weren’t there. This didn’t stop me making my chili, or changing the recipe. I just carried on with the recipe and it still tasted delicious.
The beans don’t actually change the chilli con carne’s flavour, they add more texture to it. I wouldn’t recommend doing it without them but if you don’t have them at home and you want to make it, make it. Just put them in next time.
I have also substituted kidney beans with other beans when I haven’t had kidney beans. The beans that work well are:
- Cannellini beans
- Butter beans
- Black beans
The bean or legume that doesn’t work well in this chili because of it’s nutty flavour is:
- Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans
DON’T LIKE BEANS IN CHILLI CON CARNE
If you don’t like beans then that is a different story, You can follow my recipe and still have a delicious chilli, it will just be missing a little texture.
CHILLI CON CARNE WITH RICE
I like to serve my chilli con carne with rice because it cools down the spicy heat and gives a bit of relief. My go to is brown basmati rice because it adds an earthy flavour that compliments the umami you get from the chilli and because it is better for you.
Sometimes I make white basmati rice just because I want no extra flavour. What I mean is the brown basmati rice brings a nuttiness to the dish whereas the white basmati rice doesn’t have that much flavour and takes on the chilli flavour. I love to have it this way when I want real comfort food.
WHAT TYPE OF RICE SHALL I USE
You can serve your chilli with whatever type of rice you like. As long as you like it make it. Here is a list of a few I have served with my chilli con carne:
- Brown basmati rice
- White basmati rice
- Jasmin rice
I haven’t used easy cook rice but I am sure if you like it, it will taste great.
Do you love rice? Then click here for more delicious rice dishes.
CHILLI CON CARNE WITHOUT RICE
When I want to be really healthy or in the Summer when I still want comfort food but it is either too hot to eat heavy food or I don’t want to feel heavy after I eat my chilli I serve my chilli con carne with orange sweet potatoes.
HOW TO COOK SWEET POTATOES TO SERVE WITH CHILLI CON CARNE
- I wash and prick my sweet potatoes with a fork.
- Drizzle them with a little olive oil an season with salt
- Wrap them fully with foil
- Bake at 180’C for around an hour or until they are cooked inside. You can check if they are done by piercing your sweet potatoes with a fork or a knife and if it feels soft and fluffy it is time ti eat
- Cut in half and add your chilli on top
- Optional, add some Greek yogurt or your fav yogurt on top to cool down the spice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley to give the dish some freshness
WHAT TO SERVE CHILLI CON CARN WITH
This chilli con carne has a little chilli kick to it which you can feel at the back of your throat. I like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt on the top to cool my mouth down and add some creaminess. Another creamy and cooling side I like to have is some avocado and home made tomato salsa.
I have eaten left over chilli con carne in a warm toast pitta. It is the perfect lunch and so quick to make. I have also eaten it the next day for breakfast topped with grated parmesan cheese. The saltiness and umami flavour from the parmesan changes the dish’s dynamics and makes it taste like a completely new dish. If you want to know how to reheat heat your chilli con carne keep reading.
CAN YOU REHEAT CHILLI CON CARNE?
If you have leftover chilli store it covered in the fridge and either reheat it in the microwave, in a pot on the hob stove top or in the oven.
REHEAT IN THE MICROWAVE
This is the quickest option, you don’t have to do anything special just heat it up in the microwave until your chilli con carne is piping hot all the way through.
REHEAT IN A POT ON THE HOB STOVE TOP
To heat your chilli in a pot on the stove top or hob add your chilli to a pot and add a little bit of water to thin out your sauce and heat on a low to medium, stirring every few minutes to make sure all your chilli con carne is heating. You will know it is ready to eat when your chilli con carne is piping hot all the way through.
REHEAT IN THE OVEN
Put your chilli con carne in an oven proof dish add a little water and stir it in well so the sauce isn’t thick but not too runny. Adding the water will stop your meat drying out and burning in the oven. Cover your dish with some foil and put it your preheated 180’C oven. Check on your chilli every 5 minutes and give it a stir to make sure it is all heating evenly and also to see if your sauce is drying out. If your chilli is looking a little dry add a bit more water, stir it in well, cover with foil and carry on reheating. This is the longest way to reheat your chilli and just like the other two ways, you will know it is ready to eat when your chilli con carne is piping hot all the way through.
- 500 g Beef Mince
- 2 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
- 380 g Kidney Beans (280g when drained)
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 500 g Tin Plum Tomatoes (Can also use passata)
- Salt (season to your taste buds)
- Pinch Sugar
- 15 g Dark Chocolate (70% or 85% or 90%)
- 1 Cup Brown Basmati Rice (or use your favourite rice)
- Greek Yogurt
- Parsley (chopped)
- 1 Frying Pan
- 1 Sauce Pan
- 1 Tablespoon
- 1 Teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon too if you have one if not use your teaspoon)
- Start cooking your rice. I usually cook 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water
- Add 500g of beef mince to your pan and mash it up with your spoon to break it up then leave it to cook until all your meat is brown
- When your mince is cooked add 2 1/2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes and stir all the flavour in so all your meat is covered
- Add 230g drained kidney beans and cook for 2-3 minutes or until your beans start to blister. Check my video below to see what they should look like
- Add 1 tablespoon of tomato pure, stir it in well and leave everything to simmer for 1 minute
- Add 500g tinned plum tomatoes and season with salt and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Now take a look at your chilli. If your sauce is looking a little dry add some water, stir it all in, add a pinch of sugar and stir it well again
- Add 15g dark chocolate, stir it in well and then leave everything to simmer until your rice is ready
- Add you your rice to our plate and spread it out flat so you have a nice even bed for your chilli to lay on. Put your chilli in the middle of your rice, add some Greek yogurt on top of your chill and then a sprinkling of parsley and enjoy