Chili con Carne

Everyone loves a good bowl of chili!

Few meals are as satisfying as chili con carne. This recipe has virtually no meal prep (just opening cans), cooks in 30 minutes, and makes the tastiest leftovers. Plus it’s really healthy! You can serve it right out of the pot, or get some hard or soft shell tacos and have Taco Tuesdays. Either way you can’t go wrong.



  • Ground beef, approx. 6 lbs
    • Try to get something around 90% lean
  • Black beans, 1 can (approx. 15 ozs)
  • Chick peas, 1 can (approx. 15 ozs)
  • Pinto beans, 1 can (approx. 15 ozs)
  • Red kidney beans, 1 can (approx. 15 ozs)
  • Sweet peas, 1 can (approx. 15 ozs)
    • Substitute with cut green beans if out of sweet peas
  • Whole kernel sweet corn, 1 can (approx. 15 ozs)
  • Crushed or diced tomatoes
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
  • Oregano
Cans of beans and bottles of spices lined up on a kitchen counter
Some of the spices and ingredients used in this chili con carne recipe.

The spices I use are either Tone’s or McCormick. While this recipe includes its own seasoning, my Homemade Taco Seasoning also works really well in this chili!

Here’s a link to the crushed tomatoes:

Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with Basil


Find one of the larger pots in your kitchen. I use this 8 Quart pot from Tools of the Trade:

Step 1: Set the stovetop burner to just under Hi/Max and add the ground beef

Step 2: Season and stir 3 times

Add an initial dose of seasoning, consisting of the oregano, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Season relatively liberally with the oregano, chili powder, and cumin (I use the “pour” flap on the seasoning bottle, not the “sifter shaker” flap). Season much more lightly with the black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir to mix the seasoning and meat thoroughly.

Once the meat has cooked enough where you need to stir again (a few minutes), season and stir once more using only the chili powder and cumin. If you want a little extra kick, you can add in another dose of cayenne pepper now too!

Wait a few more minutes until the meat cooks some more, then season and stir a third and final time, again using only the chili powder and cumin. If you really want to turn up the heat, you can add in yet another dose of cayenne pepper now, but you better be prepared for some super spicy chili!

With regard to the cayenne pepper, I almost always make the chili with only one dose of cayenne pepper. Most people find this one dose to be sufficiently spicy but not overwhelmingly hot. If you like a little extra kick like I do, then two rounds of cayenne pepper will do the job. I’ve never made it with three rounds of cayenne pepper!

Step 3: Occasionally stir until the ground beef is fully cooked

Let the meat cook, with occasional stirring so it doesn’t burn. It will take about 15-20 minutes from when you initially added the ground beef to the pot for it to fully cook. Once you don’t see any pink/red in the meat, you’re ready to move on to the next step. It should look like this:

Cooked ground beef in a chili pot
Fully cooked ground beef, ready for tomatoes, beans, and veggies.

While the meat is cooking during this step, you can open up all the cans of beans, veggies, and tomatoes. I pour the beans and veggies into a strainer and rinse them, like this:

Beans and veggies in a strainer in a kitchen sink
Rinse and strain the beans and veggies.

Step 4: Add the crushed or diced tomatoes, then add the beans and veggies

I add the tomatoes first to get a little extra liquid in the pot, which is probably getting pretty hot by now. Stir once until the tomatoes are fully mixed in with the ground beef. After stirring in the tomatoes, immediately add in the beans and veggies. It should look like this:

Ground beef with tomatoes beans, and veggies cooking in a chili pot
Add in the tomatoes, beans, and veggies to the chili con carne.

Step 5: Occasionally stir until the beans and veggies soften

This step will take about 10 minutes. Keep stirring every so often until the beans and veggies soften up a bit.

Step 6: Garnish and serve!

Chili con carne served on a bed of rice with avocados on the side on a white plate
Enjoy your chili con carne on a bed of rice and with avocado!

I usually serve the chili con carne on a bed of rice, and add avocados (or guacamole) and cheese (if we have some). While not pictured, this Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan cheese blend is absolutely delicious:

As I mentioned in the introduction to this recipe, you can also get some hard or soft shell tacos and have chili tacos. Close friends and family really enjoy the experience of making their own tacos!

This recipe is easily adaptable. Swap in your preferred beans and veggies and ditch any you don’t like.


Did you try this recipe? How did it turn out? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out more recipes at

Post content, images, and featured image © 2021 – All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply