Classic Beef Chili Con Carne


This classic and hearty but simple Mexican beef chili con carne has a great flavor and is simple to make. It is flavorful but also still customizable to your spice and heat tolerance. The con carne in the title, simply means “with meat”. Mine is a slightly spicy version, but it can be amped up with the addition of your favorite hot sauce and extra jalapeno peppers if you like. I have one picky eater, who is not a fan of hot dishes, he does like spice aka flavor, just not heat. So I usually make this chili on the milder side if I know he will be eating it. The rest of us add extra hot sauce to our bowl, along with all of the extra toppings of course.


You can also add diced green peppers, however I do not, to put it simply, I don’t like the flavor of them. I much prefer the jalapenos. If you like peppers in your chili then by all means add whatever kind you like or have on hand, red, yellow, green or just jalapenos for that extra burst of heat.

This is a quick meal for a weeknight and if you have the time or energy, I highly recommend serving it with a side of freshly baked cornbread. You can find my sweet cornbread recipe here. We love fresh steaming hot cornbread alongside a bowl of chili con carne topped with grated cheese, diced white onions and a big dollop of sour cream (extra diced fresh jalapenos too, for those more adventurous ones).

What to Serve with Chili

  1. yellow or sweet onion: freshly diced
  2. Cheddar Cheese: freshly grated
  3. Sour Cream
  4. Cornbread: Fresh warm and right out of the oven is best. If you want a sweet cornbread recipe you will find mine here.

Beef Chili Con Carne

A comforting and easy chili that can be on the table in an hour.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 T oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • S & P
  • 4 Tbsp chili powder more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1 28 oz can stewed tomatoes large can
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies small can (I use Rotel)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz large can dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained (or 2 small cans)
  • 1 14 oz small can baked brown beans NOT rinsed and drained
  • hot sauce such as Frank’s
  • fresh cilantro (optional) for garnish
  • corn meal (optional) for thickening
  • fresh jalapeno optional (for extra heat)


How to Cook the Chili

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic
  • Saute the garlic and onion in your saucepan for 2-3 minutes then add the ground beef and scramble fry it
  • Add half of the chili powder and a bit of salt to the ground beef mixture and continue cooking until the meat is done
  • Once the meat is cooked, drain any excess fat if there is any
  • Add the remaining ingredients including spices and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  • Taste for heat and flavor, if you like you can add more chili powder or cumin
  • If you find your chili is not as thick as you like, you can add some corn meal to it. You will not need much as it will thicken as it absorbs the liquid.


This is a simple recipe, just add everything and let it go. if its too think you can add a dash of water, beef broth or passata. whatever you have. If it is too thin, you can add some cornmeal to thicken it.  It will not take much (1/4 cup) .
Garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serve with grated cheddar, diced fresh onions and CORN BREAD!! or a bun
Keyword breakfast, Chili, chili con carne, Christmas Eve Supper, comforting, easy, spicy

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