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The Best Chilli con Carne Recipe In The World

Updated on January 14, 2010

Chilli con Carne Recipe, history, and more!

This lens is entirely dedicated to one of my favourite dishes - Chilli Con Carne. Here you can find Chilli recipes, the history of the dish, great things to have chilli with and much much more.

Chilli con Carne has to be one of my favourite dishes as its sooo tasty, cheap, healthy and easy to make! It literally ticks every box when it comes to food. You can also have chilli either on its own, with rice, potatoes, pasta, nachos, stuffed into potatoes...the list goes on (below!)

Check out my page anyway and don't forget to leave a message to let me know what you think.

The History of Chilli con Carne

Chilli con Carne recipes from the beginning!

The name "chili con carne" is a variation of the Spanish chile con carne, which means "peppers with meat." Chili con carne is the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas. It can be found worldwide in local variations and also in certain American-style fast food restaurants.

Some say that chili was invented in Mexico during the 1840s, possibly in Chihuahua, as a complimentary dish served at cantinas for outsiders, who wanted something spicy and cheap. Others contend it was born in Ensenada, Mexico in the 1880's as a way of stretching available meat in the kitchens of poor Tejanos. Many Texans maintain that it was the invention of Texas cowhands who ate it by the bucketful as the drove their herds across the plains. The most imaginative origin traces its roots back to pre-Columbian Aztec chefs.

What is known for a fact is that in the 1880's, colorfully-dressed Hispanic women called "Chili Queens" began to operate around Military Plaza and other high traffic public places in downtown San Antonio, Texas, where they would reheat cast iron pots of pre-cooked chili and sell it by the bowl.

Sanitation laws in the late 30's shut down the Chili Queens, but not the public appetite for this tasty Western dish. Chili parlors opened by hundreds. These small, family-run chili joints spread from Texas to the rest of the USA, and became a part of the pre-WWII American landscape. Even today hardly any American who claims to be able to cook doesn't have their very own secrete recipe for chili, whether it be hot, sweet, thick, soupy or just plain odd.

Red Pimento (Chilli Pepper), Spain Photographic Print
Strewe, Oliver
Buy at

Regional variations add a certain level of enjoyment for chili lovers. Traditional Texas style chili is thick and uses few to no vegetables. New Mexico chili is famed for it's thinner consistency and the use of green rather than red chili peppers. In the chili in Cincinnati, Ohio has a sauce like quality and is used as a condiment or topping for hotdogs or spaghetti.

White chili uses no tomato and relies on beans. Vegetarian chili (chile sin carne) is, of course, meatless. Health conscious chili ditches the suet and substitutes white button mushrooms for beans to lower the calories. In fact, chili is such a malleable dish that it can be hard to define. Still, most people know it when they taste it, and are all to happy to do so.

The Secret Chilli con Carne Recipe... - All secret Chilli con Carne Recipe Ingredients Included!

There is quite a lot going in to this but try not to miss anything out of this secret Chilli con Carne recipe! I have made the instructions as simple as possible and tried to keep the steps to a minimum.


Ground/minced beef 500g

1 Large onion chopped

2-3 Cloves of Garlic

2 Tins of chopped tomatoes 400g

2 sticks of celery

Squeeze of tomato puree

1 teaspoon of chilli powder or chopped fresh chilli (or to taste)

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

Dash of Worcester sauce (secret)

1 pinch of cinnamon (secret)

Sprinkle of salt and pepper

1-2 Chopped red peppers

1 tin of drained kidney beans 400g

1 small piece of DARK chocolate or sprinkle of cacao power (secret)

1 small bunch of fresh coriander and

Use a large pan (probably the largest you have) with a nice lid.

  1. Fry the onion in a hot pan with oil until nearly brown then add chopped garlic.
  2. Add all dried spices and seasoning and stir for a few minutes covering everything.
  3. Add all the vegetables and stir for a few minutes then add the mince and stir until brown - drain any excess fat if desired.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and reduce heat.
  5. Stir well and add tomato puree to thicken if needed and worcester sauce, then leave to simmer for about an hour with the lid ajar.
  6. Add the tin of drained kidney beans and cook for a further 10 mins.

If the chilli become to dry at any point just add a bit of water. Serve with coriander leaves sprinkled over.

See below for great serving ideas!

Don't be scared...

...of adding the chocolate! chilli and choc is a ancient Aztec food combination!

Chocolate or Not? - You Decide!

Should you add the chocolate to the recipe, have you tried it? Is it a good combo?

Chilli con Carne Chat - Chilli Chilli Chilli con Carne!...

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    • profile image

      Jelena 2 years ago

      Have an excellent t-shirt for you :)

    • profile image

      Dani 3 years ago

      So excited to try this, like everyone the dark chocolate is what I've been missing I think... Silly question though, when do you put this in?? Thanks :)

    • profile image

      Slave of best chili 3 years ago

      For over 40 yrs my wife made the chili con carne and I love'd it...

      When I came across your recipe, I convinced her finally to try «my new recipe»

      Without changing anything except green instead of red pepper, she3 loved it better than hers...

      Now I'm stuck with having to make chili at least once a month....

      If I only knew I was gone be enrolled......well...yes it's the best Robert(ths)

    • Catherine Frias 9 profile image

      Catherine Frias 5 years ago from Salem, Oregon

      This recipe looks absolutely delish. I can't wait to try it. I hope you don't mind if I print this out. If you do please let me know and I will not print it, I will write it onto paper. It is not easy finding a good recipe. Thank you in advance..


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well, with a boit of time on my hand I thought I would do another chilli concarne but this time look at all the recipes I could find on he web. The only secret i was missing out was the dark chocolate, so i just bought some and creating another delicious pot of chillie con carne, now with some chocolate. Hmmmmnnnn... it smells lovely already. Can't wait!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The Chilli is simmering right now. And I just can't abstract my nose from the pot.

      Thank you for all the secrets you shared with us.

      I already know this is going to be delicious.

      My Best from Poland!

    • wondertoti profile image

      wondertoti 5 years ago

      I can't wait to try adding some dark chocolate to my recipe. Thanks for the info. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very closely resembles my recipe.. Haven't tried with Worcester sauce, but i always poor a dark beer in to the sauce which works really good with chili con carne.. Some times i also put a little smoked bacon in, to add some extra meet flavor :) - In addition i always serve it with a little sour creme on the top

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      A thumbs up from Denmark. This is delicious :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      In no way does this dish claim to be an authentic Mexican version - you should read the history...

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This recipe is a far cry from my motherâs, her motherâs , her motherâs mother, or anybodyâs Mexican motherâs Chili con Carne recipe. This is nothing more than a recipe for Texas Chili, aka Gringo Chili. We NEVER use ground beef in our cuisine. we Mexicans prefer our meat in its original cut. So, whenever you see a recipe for Mexican-anything and they put in ground meat as an ingredient âthen you know itâs not a traditional Mexican recipe. Next, authentic Mexican Chili con Carne does NOT contain ANY beansâagain, thatâs Gringo Texas Chili. This link is the recipe for the most authentic Chili con Carne that I could find if you are really interested in making the real thing:

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is a far cry from the Chili Con Carne, my mother, her mother, and her mother's mother use to make. An American friend of mine tried to pass this on to me as the real thing, but it's just Texas chili

    • Joycevoice profile image

      Joycevoice 6 years ago

      I added an image of yours from Flickr and placed it on my Cowgirl Baby Shower page. Would you like me to link to this lens instead of Flickr? I can't wait to try your chilli.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank You !!

      This is the most delicious chilli con carne ever indeed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Absolutely amazing. I have cooked 3 other recipes from 3 very popular recipe/cooking sites, not one of them has the flavour that this has. I did add one more ingredient to the above, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika also added when the dry ingredients are added. But the base flavour of this dish as you have it is the best on the net, no wonder it has the title best of the world!!!

    • sebastian1234 profile image

      sebastian1234 6 years ago

      I'm gonna have to try this recipe. My husband does most of the cooking and he'll love this.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 6 years ago

      The title alone got me! Very fun, Blessed from the Squid Angel April Fools Tour Bus.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Loved it! Best Chilli recipe i've tried!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is definitely the BEST recipe for Chilli and it's exactly how I make it, tastes even better the next day... shove it in jacket potato and add a dollop of soured cream, drool. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I've read about 18 recipes and now and settled on yours...Great recipe! I've followed it to the letter and its simmering now...already delicious. Thanks for sharing it!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      First time I've ever eat Chili was back in 2004 - a friend of mine celebrated her birthday and cooked a Chili (she's Belgian but has a Portorican grand-father - memories of WWII). It was one of the most delicious meal! Will definitely try your recipe as I just bought beans!

      5 stars from me :)


    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow that chilli con carne recipe looks delicious! Wonderful lens ^_^ 5*

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 8 years ago

      I love chilli, adding chocolate, wow, defo going to try this, 5 stars, thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thanks man

      can i use this recipe in the local chilli cook of next week

    • jwblackwell lm profile image

      jwblackwell lm 8 years ago

      [in reply to BeerEasy] thanks man, please rate :)

    • profile image

      BeerEasy 8 years ago

      looks good. i like it :)