Chilli con carne is such a comforting dish - done right, it's filling, has a smokey intensity and can pack a good spicy kick.

Now, I know this recipe is a long way from a "proper" chilli con carne. I have made a pretty decent chilli with hunks of beef and 'real' spices/seasonings in the past, but I just don't have time for that in the day to day. This is a dish for when you want that chilli flavour, yet need an easier time putting it together. Chilli purists, please don't @ me!

This recipe was originally given to me by Dave's Stepmum, Gail - she makes this a lot when feeding a crowd and it always goes down well. I've made some slight tweaks, such as adding another pepper and celery. It's a great choice for batch cooking and will easily feed a large/hungry family for at least one meal. You may even have leftovers...but who are we kidding?

Prep time: Approx 30 mins

Cooking time: 4-8 hours

Tip: This recipe makes approx 8-10 portions of chilli and is great to pop in the freezer for later. Once defrosted, reheat in a saucepan, add your preferred toppings and serve with rice or (heaven forbid!) a jacket potato.
A slow cooker pot full of freshly cooked chilli con carne


  • 750g minced beef
  • 1 x large onion, diced
  • 2-3 x celery stalks, diced (depending on size)
  • 2 x peppers, diced (I like red and yellow ones for colour and sweetness, but use your preference)
  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 x garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 x 400g can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g can of baked beans*
  • A good glug of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 x Colman's 'Chilli Con Carne' seasoning packet mixes**
  • Either: 200ml beef stock OR a good beef stock jelly/cube + 200ml water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil (for cooking - I use olive oil for this)
  • Rice (to serve)

*if you don't like baked beans, you can use another can of red kidney beans instead - the original recipe used two cans of the latter, but I'm not a massive fan of them, so decided to swap them out

**you can swap one, or both, of these packet mixes for the hot version, if you wish; be warned, though - they're not for the faint hearted

Tip: This dish can be made vegetarian - swap out the meat for Quorn and the beef stock for vegetable. You can also just use more beans, if you don't like Quorn.

I would personally add a small can of sweetcorn to this, as well (I know, I know; many people consider corn in chilli as sacrilege, but it's another way to add vegetables and I like the texture). However, my family are distinctly of the "no sweetcorn in chilli" persuasion, so I refrain.


  1. Chop and prep your veggies - dice your onion, celery and peppers; mince the garlic cloves (unless using pre-minced/crushed garlic); rinse and drain the kidney beans.
  2. Fry the onions and celery in a little oil until softened (approx 5-7 mins), then add the garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Add the minced beef and cook until brown.
  3. Pop the cooked mince and veg into the pot of your slow cooker of choice, then add your other ingredients: the rinsed and drained kidney beans, can of baked beans (or both kidney bean cans, if not using the latter), diced peppers, both cans of chopped tomatoes.
  4. Add your seasonings: both Colman's chilli con carne packet mixes, the tomato puree, a good glug of Worcestershire sauce (it's pronounced 'Wuss-ter-sheer' sauce for all of you who struggle with this!) and the beef stock.
  5. Give it all a really good stir, making sure you mix in any dry spots - I recommend using a silicon spatula to really get into the creases of the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set to your preferred temperature on your slow cooker.
  6. My guide for temperatures is as follows: on most slow cookers, you can put this dish on the 'high' setting for 4 hours, if you're a bit short on time. Make sure to give it a little stir every now and then to check it's not drying out on the bottom. It can also be done on 'medium' for 6 hours or 'low' for 8 hours; if you're doing the latter, you may need to add a bit of water if it starts to get dry. If your slow cooker settings are different, follow your instruction manual!
  7. Once it's done, serve with rice on the side - you can also add guacamole and/or sour cream as toppings. Dave usually tops his with grated cheese.

I'm making a series of batch cooking recipes that I use on the regular to share with you all very shortly, so keep an eye out for those. It's so handy to be able to pull something out of the freezer and quickly reheat it for those nights when you just don't have time to make something from scratch. Also great for when you have no idea what to cook!

If you make the chilli, let me know how yours turns out - I'd love to see a picture.