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Mixed bean chilli con carne recipe

Mixed bean chilli con carne recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef mince

This chilli is made with tinned beans of different colours (black, white, and red kidney beans) and two type of mince, beef and pork.

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IngredientsServes: 6

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 350g pork mince
  • 350g beef mince
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (400g) tin diced tomatoes
  • 4 (400g) tin beans of various colours (white, black, kidney beans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 6 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, minced

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:50min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. In a saucepan heat oil. Brown the mince whilst stirring. Add onions, green onions, celery and carrot and fry till softened whilst stirring, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chilli powder, cinnamon, cumin and salt and pepper. Fry for 1 minute then add tomatoes and beans. Add tomato puree and stock cubes and 300ml water. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve with cream cheese and minced coriander.

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Easy Chilli Con Carne (with cannellini beans)

Published: Jun 16, 2017 Modified: Oct 14, 2020 / by Debbie Jones / This site uses cookies. This post may contain affiliate links. Privacy policy in footer. All opinions are my own. This site generates income via ads.

Easy chilli con carne recipe with a rich tomatoey sauce full of warming spices and both fresh and tinned tomatoes. This chilli recipe uses cannellini beans instead of kidney beans and is topped with soured cream and sliced, green chillies. Get the recipe for this delicious chilli con carne and find out about the extra secret ingredients I've added to really bring those Mexican flavours to life.

When it comes to easy recipes, chilli con carne is definitely top of my list. Its so quick to prepare and most of the ingredients are store cupboard or fridge basics. I usually find I can always cobble together some version of this recipe with whatever I already have in. Once prepared, this easy chilli con carne recipe always benefits from a long and slow cook, either in the oven or slow cooker. The longer you leave it the thicker and more flavoursome the chilli.

Three Bean Chilli Recipe – Vegan

Making a vegetarian or vegan chilli or ‘chilli con carne‘ is so easy that I think it is one of those go-to dishes for most people who are vegetarian or vegan. Usually ‘chilli con carne‘ uses some type of mince, even if vegetarian. This version however uses three different types of beans, and you can use any type that you wish, it will taste good. The secret is to use already cooked beans, that way you don’t have to spend forever cooking them!

Chipotle paste gives the dish a lovely heat, and the yeast extract (Marmite) gives it depth of flavour although you can’t taste this on it’s own. Beans are an excellent source of protein and mixing different varieties makes it more interesting. The flavours in this recipe will make anyone believe you have been slaving over a hot stove for hours when in fact it is the blender that has done most of the work! This is perfect for inviting friends over.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup bottled steak sauce
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package chili seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot over medium-low heat, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, carrot, onion, celery, wine, pepper flakes, bell peppers and steak sauce.

While tomato mixture is simmering, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Cook beef in bacon drippings until brown drain. Stir chili seasoning into ground beef.

Stir seasoned beef, cumin and bacon into tomato mixture. Continue to simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors are well blended.

How Do You Make a 5 Bean Chilli?

Chilli is such a simple meal, in all honestly, my 5-bean chili recipe is pretty much the same as my chilli con Carne recipe, just with less browning of the meat.

I cook the onions and peppers, simmer in wine, then add the beans, stock and tomatoes. Then, you just simmer it all together until the sauce thickens, and your vegan chilli recipe tastes fab.

If you prefer a spicier 5 bean chilli con carne by all means, add some extra chilli powder, chilli flakes, or fresh red chilies.

  • ½ x 600g pack reduced fat pork sausages
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g frozen chopped onion
  • 2 tsp frozen chopped garlic
  • 250g frozen mixed peppers
  • 420g tin mixed beans in chilli sauce
  • 390g carton Italian chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp spicy chipotle chilli paste (optional)
  • 100g frozen sweetcorn
  • 3 x 200g bags frozen microwaveable white rice
  • 20g lighter British mature Cheddar grated

Preheat the grill to medium and grill the sausages to pack instructions for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently until golden and cooked through. Remove and slice on the diagonal.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, turn up the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes until the onions are turning golden and the liquid has evaporated. Add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the mixed beans in chilli sauce, chopped tomatoes, chipotle paste (if using) and sweetcorn to the onions in the frying pan, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the rice bags to pack instructions on high for 8 minutes.

Just before serving, stir the cooked sausages through the spicy sauce. Serve the chilli with the rice and a sprinkling of the grated cheese if you wish.

Mild Chilli Con Carne

Total Time 2 hours 2 minutes


  • 500 g mince beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic gloves diced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes in tomato sauce
  • 1 can black eyed beans in water
  • 2 cans taco mixed beans in spicy sauce
  • 1 can mixed bean salad in water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups of hot water


Recipe Notes

Slow cooker is a much easier way to cook this and you only have to stir occasionally. I didn't have 4 hours to wait so I cooked it on the stove but had to watch it and stir often. Up to you!

Chilli Con Carne

If you can open a few cans of beans and brown some beef then you can whip this together like anyone. It’s the perfect meal to throw together in a crock pot (slow cooker) and have ready for when you get in from work or have a few friends over for a hearty dinner party. I serve mine with my lovely cornbread (recipe to follow next week). It is sure to be a hit with everyone.

For my kids I throw it over rice or baked potato depending on what they want. Buba can’t have the cornbread due to allergies so I serve his with a side of sweetcorn. Why not try mixing in your sweet corn in the chilli if your child prefers. I do this for Missy Moo.

Chilli Con Carne is one of my favorite dishes especially when it’s paired with my equally as favorite cornbread. I like to crumble my cornbread on top and eat them together. Don’t have cornbread to go with it, try topping it with grated cheddar cheese or sour cream. I also like mine with crackers crumbed on top. There are so many different ways to eat this scrumptious chilli.

How to cook the ultimate chilli con carne

Despite its retro connotations (in the 1970s it was right up there with chicken chasseur and prawn cocktail), chilli con carne remains a popular evening meal.

At its simplest, it’s an economic feast: a cheap cut of meat with chillies. But we Brits have a nasty habit of transforming it into a Bolognese hybrid, unblinkingly throwing in inauthentic ingredients such as mushrooms, peas and, God help us, even Marmite.

To better understand this moreish Mexican-inspired dish, I dig into its origins. In 1959, the Diccionario de Mejicanismos defined chilli con carne as ‘detestable food erroneously described as Mexican but sold in the US from Texas to New York’.

Indeed, the dish closest resembling our ‘chili con carney’ appears to have hailed from San Antonio, Texas, not Mexico. From the 1860s until the 1940s, Mexican-American dames known as ‘chilli queens’ cooked spiced stews over open fires in the plazas of the city, selling their wares from makeshift stands.

Texas proclaimed chilli con carne as its state dish in 1977. Nowadays, fiercely competitive championships are held, with experts vehemently defending their version of the dish as they cook against the clock.

But I’m going slow today. I’m seeking a soothing heap of tender slow-cooked meat, hot, full-flavoured and faintly zesty with spice and chilli.

Beef is at the heart of it. Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham, in The Prawn Cocktail Years, suggest 700g of lean beef, cubed with 225g of pork belly. After two hours of slow simmering, the fudgy, fatty pork is a worthy component, lacquering the beef with an attractive sheen.

Heston Blumenthal goes for minced beef in his book Heston Blumenthal At Home. His spiced butter is interesting and the star anise exceptional but texture-wise it’s a bit like the version I ate on P&O Ferries as a child.

Next, I test beef shin, the cow’s shank. Because it’s a well-exercised limb, it’s muscly but deeply flavoursome cooked low and slow. I try Hopkinson and Bareham’s recipe again but with shin. It takes a few hours blipping away gently but the end result is flesh magically falling from the bone. It’s the best yet.

Most Brits include beans but this is a controversial addition. Grand dame Elena Zelayeta in her 1958 book, Elena’s Secrets Of Mexican Cooking, says: ‘Meat in red chile [sic] sauce is known as Chile con Carne in Texas. Add some beans and they call it Chile con Carne con Frijoles.’

There seems little point slavishly aping our Lone Star State cousins – we Brits have evolved this dish into our own, even spelling it differently. On trying it without beans, I sorely miss their robustness.

They equalise the moist, spicy beef. Flouting all the rules, I test black beans (beautiful, Mexican, faintly nutty), kidney beans (too large and mealy) and chickpeas from Jamie Oliver’s recipe in Jamie’s Ministry Of Food (too clunky).

The defining moment is when I sample borlotti (a variety of kidney beans that are pinkish brown with red streaks) and pinto (an orange-pink bean with rusty flecks) – the original cowboy beans.

Purists will howl from this point onwards so I’ll keep it brief. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall includes pork shoulder, chorizo and a cinnamon stick, Nigella uses ketchup, chocolate and cardamom pods.

The chorizo and savoury cocoa elements add depth. Alcohol appears to be near sacrilege to Mexican chefs too so, of course, I’m keeping it – I love the red wine in Hopkinson’s recipe.

But of all the batches I make, it’s Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers’s take on the dish from her book, Mexican Food Made Simple, that stands out for its chilli prowess. With beef and chorizo she stews ancho and chile de arbol peppers.

Ancho is a dried poblano pepper native to the Mexican state of Puebla and is sweeter and smokier than the hot, faintly acidic arbol. I’m not sure whether it’s truly authentic but the smoky flavours are essential.


Ingredients (serves 6, allow 4½ hours for cooking)

800g shin, bone removed. Ask the butcher to slice it into six slices
175g pork belly, chopped
200g chorizo, sliced into ½cm circles
300ml red wine
100ml beef stock
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
2 x 400g tins borlotti or pinto beans, mixed and drained
1 star anise
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1tbsp oregano
1tsp cumin seeds
1 ancho chilli (dried), deseeded, available in Waitrose and M&S
2 chillies de arbol (£2.50 from, or 2 hot red chillies, finely chopped
20g bitter chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), grated
1tbsp honey
1-2tbsp chilli powder to taste, optional
To garnish: 1 large handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped, and 2tbsp sour cream

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 140C. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-based casserole pot on the hob over medium heat. Brown the shin slices on all sides. Remove the shin from the pan.

Step 2 In the same pan, over a low to medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until soft, add the spices and sizzle for a few minutes, then add the dried herbs, ancho, chillies de arbol and chorizo. Cook for another minute.

Step 3 Put the shin back into the pot and add all the other ingredients, including the wine and stock, apart from the beans. Cover and cook in the oven for two
hours, giving it a stir after an hour.

Step 4 After two hours, check to make sure the meat is not drying out. If it is, add a little more water and cook for another hour.

Step 5 After three hours the shin should be falling apart and easy to shred. With a fork, shred the meat in the pot, removing any lumps of fat off the beef shin – there will be a fair bit and most people don’t like it, sadly. Stir well.

Step 6 Taste to see if your chilli needs any extra salt or chilli powder, adding more according to taste. I usually add 1-2tbsp of extra chilli powder but you may not need it. It depends on how hot your chillies were. It’s not prescriptive, do it to your own taste.

Step 7 Mix in the beans. Uncover the pot – you may need to add 1-2tbsp more water – leave the lid off, return to the oven and cook for a final hour. When finished, remove the star anise.

Step 8 Serve warm with rice or, if you can bear to wait, it’s better the next day. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with sour cream.

With sugar now proclaimed as ‘the new tobacco’, it’s no surprise virtuous vegetables are popping up in unlikely places.

Blue Hill vegetable yoghurts ( are attracting much fanfare over the pond. The legumes du jour are beetroot, tomato, sweet potato, squash, parsnip and carrot, puréed and mixed with yoghurt made from the milk of grass-fed cows.

Hot chef Dan Barber (some critics say his Stone Farms eatery is ‘the most important restaurant in America’) has served savoury yoghurts for years but this is the first time they’ve been sold in stores.

The idea is a yoghurt that can be eaten solo or used as a condiment or ingredient, like sour cream. What do they taste like? The New York Times reports that they are ‘smooth and a little tart’.

Blue Hill is sold by Whole Foods in the US but there’s no sign of it on shelves here. So we’ll have to get our veggie fix from Britain’s first mainstream pure raw vegetable drink, Vegesentials.

The drink was launched by Dr Andrew Mugadu and his wife, Patience, in 2012 after Patience had a suspected brain tumour. Wanting to eat more healthily, she sought out vegetable drinks but found none on supermarket shelves.

The drinks are half-fruit and half-vegetable, with tempting combinations such as cucumber, pineapple and spinach and celery, apple and kale (my favourite).

How do I serve 5 bean chilli?

Here are a few suggestions – this really is the perfect week night after work supper.

  • A bowlful on its own topped with your choice of grated cheese (vegan if needed), sour cream and cubes of avocado or guacamole for creaminess. Add sliced chillies, chopped spring onion and sliced radishes for some extra heat and texture.
  • Topping a baked potato. Perfect for an outdoor winter lunch! Ideal for supporters at a sports event.
  • With rice. Use a long-grained version, such as basmati. We cook rice in the microwave, in a microwave rice cooker. It’s a foolproof method, easy and convenient. Quick too, taking just fourteen minutes for brown rice.
  • Add a little vegetable stock and whizz into a delicious soup.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (16 ounce) can navy beans, with juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) can red chili beans in sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef cook and stir until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, navy beans, chili beans, black beans, green bell pepper, celery, brown sugar, vinegar, chili powder, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until thick, at least 1 hour.


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