Traditional recipes

Chilli con Carne with Chocolate recipe

Chilli con Carne with Chocolate recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Slow cooker beef

This was my mother's recipe. You won't taste the chocolate, but it will add a special dimension to the dish. Since it's made in a slow-cooker, it's fully transportable.

59 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 450g extra lean minced beef (5-10% fat)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 250ml hot water
  • 2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes with garlic, undrained
  • 1 (410g) tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (410g) tin black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (198g) tins sweetcorn niblets, drained
  • 55g plain chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:2hr30min ›Ready in:2hr45min

  1. Combine minced beef and onion in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until beef is browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer cooked beef and onions to slow cooker. Stir in water, tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, sweetcorn, chocolate, chilli powder, cumin, oregano and salt. Cook on High until chilli begins to bubble, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to Low, and cook until thick, about 2 hours.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(52)

Reviews in English (35)

Wonderful chilli recipe, have made it three times now. Becoming a firm family favourite !-03 Jul 2012

by artist

I have already made this dish twice and everyone loves it! The second time I made it I added a little more chili powder and a little more cumin. Other than's perfect!-08 Oct 2009

by Principalgail

It was too mild for our family's taste so I doubled the chili powder and added some red pepper flakes. I used dark chocolate chips and really liked the suble taste the chocolate gave, life a mole. I'd definitely make it again. Very easy!-19 Sep 2009

Chocolate Chilli Con Carne

Chilli was something we had quite a lot at home when I was growing up, but they were nothing like this one! I did very much enjoy my mum’s chilli, but I wanted to do a different take on it and add some more ingredients.

Dean has always said chilli is boring! I have to disagree on that one – chilli can be an amazing meal if made well. He likes variety when it comes to food, so chilli has to come with some of the extras in our house – add in guacamole, sour cream, rice or tacos and he is happy!

Dark chocolate is something I’ve recently gotten into and have been reading and researching about its benefits. It’s actually very good for you, when you eat it little and often (not a whole bar a day it’s all about moderation!). Dark chocolate has a lot of nutrients if you buy good quality with a high cocoa content. It contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals.

It may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure plus consuming dark chocolate can improve several important factors of heart disease. But of course this doesn’t mean we should all go out and eat lots of chocolate every day, it’s still got calories and is easy to over eat on. Maybe have a square or two after dinner or in this case add it to the meal itself. To get the benefits of eating dark chocolate you need to choose quality organic chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. Dark chocolate will often contain some sugar but the amount is usually very small. The general rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate the less sugar it will contain and the less of it you need to be satisfied.

Pin with me!

So what better a way to add chocolate to your tea time meal than to add a few squares to your chilli! The taste of the chocolate is very mild but it adds great flavours along with depth and colour. I would definitely recommend trying it!

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.25 kg good-quality beef mince
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 red or green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Mexican spice blend
  • 1 tbsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 250 ml of your favourite beer
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 230 g tub fresh tomato salsa
  • 410 g tin red kidney beans in water, drained and rinsed
  • soured cream and chives or sliced spring onions, to serve

Heat a little of the oil in a large pan. Brown the mince in batches, moving it to a bowl as you go set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the onions and pepper and cook, uncovered, until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the spices, the black pepper and a teaspoon of salt and cook for another minute or two, stirring.

Return the mince to the pan and add the beer, 300ml water, the tomatoes, tomato purée and salsa bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, stirring now and then. Add a little more beer or water if it looks dry. Add the kidney beans for the final 15 minutes. Check the seasoning. You can cook it in the oven, too &ndash simply cover the chilli and pop it in the oven at 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4 and follow the cooking times above. To make this in a slow cooker, leave out the added water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Serve with soured cream topped with chives or sliced spring onions.

Get ahead: m ake up to 3 days ahead &ndash it freezes well too.

Kitchen secret: you can make this in a slow cooker too, just leave out the added water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Nigella Lawson reveals her secret ingredient for the perfect chilli con carne

Chilli con carne is the perfect midweek meal that can be whipped up in a flash, or left to bubble away in a slow cooker. But what&rsquos the trick to making the perfect one?

According to Nigella Lawson, there are a few things you can add that will lift the flavour and avoid any bland tasting concoctions.

Answering a fan&rsquos question on the subject during a Twitter Q&A, Nigella revealed that using different types of chilli, as well as some dark chocolate can really enhance the flavours of the classic dish.

&ldquoI think layer up the chilli. Use some fresh chillies, use dried chilli, use smoked dry chillies as well, and you&rsquoll get much more depth,&rdquo she said.

&ldquoAnd, I add a teeny bit of dark chocolate,&rdquo she added.

Meike Beck, Good Housekeeping's Cookery Director says that not only can dark chocolate add body, colour and depth, but it can also help balance out any acidity from the tinned tomatoes.

Adding a freshly brewed strong cup of coffee to the pot not only adds greater depth of flavour, but helps tenderise the meat.

And if coffee and dark chocolate really isn&rsquot your thing, you can't beat a good splash of Worcestershire sauce&hellip

Like this? Subscribe to the Good Housekeeping newsletter.

Our vegetarian and vegan chilli con carne

Our spicy chilli is the perfect veggie or vegan chilli and a great alternative to the traditional chilli con carne. Vegetarian chilli can have a variety of ingredients, those with vegetables only, those containing lentils and those containing meat substitutes such as quorn or tofu. Our full flavoured veggie chili has a red lentil base. and is cooked with onions, garlic, tomato, kidney beans and chilli and spiced with chilli flakes, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and oregano.

What makes our lentil Chilli the best

Red lentils are often over looked for a staple ingredient for a veggie meal, but while they have a milder taste than green lentils, they are perfect for a spicy dish like this. The secret ingredient that makes this dish extra special is the addition of a small square of dark chocolate it brings out the subtle flavours of dish perfectly.

How to serve our chilli with lentils

This mouth watering lentil chilli is the perfect quick cook winter meal, we serve it with rice but it would be just as delicious with a sweet potato jacket or a traditional jacket. This recipe is also ideal for freezing so cook double and stick some in the freezer for an extra quick dinner on those busy days

Absolutely! I do it all the time. It’s actually better if you do – making the chilli a day or two before you need it will allow all the flavours to develop. Just make sure to keep the chilli in the fridge in an airtight container and re-heat until piping hot.

Yes – once the chill has been cooked, allow to cool completely, then divide into portions and freeze. Defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat until piping hot. I often make a big batch of this chilli to freeze for future meals.


In a large frying pan, over a medium heat, cook the diced onion in a small amount of oil until transparent. Add the meat and cook until brown.

Add the sliced capsicum and cook until they have softened. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes and paste and stir to combine. Now add chilli powder and/or paprika, plus salt and pepper, to your own taste – you can make it as mild or as hot as you like.

Simmer over a low temperature for thirty minutes. Preheat oven to 150°C.

Stir chocolate through mix until melted and combined and place into the oven for an hour, stirring every twenty minutes.

Serve with rice, cornbread, tortillas, baked potatoes or whatever you prefer… Enjoy!

And for the rest of the week.

Experiment with the avocado salsa. I sometimes add half a diced granny smith when serving it with slow-cooked meat, or blitz it with 100ml iced water and triple the quantity of fresh chilli to make a spicy version. Chilli con carne is delicious piled into jacket potatoes and topped with lots of grated mature cheddar I’d serve that with a green bean salad dressed in a vinaigrette made with grated horseradish. I also love to serve the chilli with a Mexican slaw: shredded red and white cabbage, finely sliced red onion and radishes, pomegranate seeds and chopped fresh coriander, all tossed with freshly squeezed lime juice and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

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.

Chocolate Chilli con Carne Recipe by Susan-Jane White with Wine Pairing

If you are a feral carnivore, like my husband, this Chocolate Chilli con Carne is a good way of introducing more beans and veg to your diet without feeling oppressed. The overtones are there (what man won’t wolf down a Chilli Con Beast?), but so is the nutritional purchase. It doesn’t actually taste of chocolate, but rather, utilises cacao powder as another spice in the mix. By downloading some good podcasts at, you’ll prep this before you even realise it. Put your feet up, and enjoy the dance your nostrils will do over the next 2 hours. Serve with great big dollops of cultured coconut yoghurt, macerated red onions and exceptional company.


1 1/2 cups dried kidney beans, soaked overnight

2 onions
2 red peppers
1 large carrot
4 garlic cloves
extra virgin olive or coconut oil, for sautéing
2 tablespoons tomato purée (optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon sweet or hot paprika (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
good pinch of dried chilli flakes
pinch of coconut sugar (optional)
500g minced beef
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
just over 300ml vegetable or beef stock
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2–4 squares dark or raw chocolate (optional)

To serve:
1 small red onion
1 really juicy lime
1 tablespoon nam pla (optional)
fistful of fresh coriander (optional)
natural coconut yoghurt, like CoYo

1. First off, soak the dried kidney beans overnight. The next day, prep the veggies. I find the easiest way to dice the onions is to cut each onion in half, from root to toe. Peel and place the flat part on the chopping board. With a slicing action, make little matchsticks from the onion lengthways, but not quite cutting all the way to the root end so that they are still held together. Now slice across the matchsticks. Roughly chop the peppers and carrot into bite-sized chunks, discarding the pepper seeds and stalks. Slice your garlic and line up all your dried spices and herbs. Now you’re ready to cook.
2. Heat a little oil in your largest sauté pan or frying pan (I have 2 going at the same time to speed things up). Sweat the onions first, stirring regularly for 10 minutes, until they become glassy. Put them aside, then sauté the peppers and carrot until soft but not browned. Add the garlic towards the end, along with the tomato purée, spices and coconut sugar (if using). Cook for a good 5 minutes and let your nostrils samba. Remove from the heat and pile on top of the resting onions.
3. Now whack up the heat and brown the mince all over. Mince needs to be browned or the end result will be disappointingly insipid. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Tip in the soaked kidney beans (tinned is okay in an emergency), tinned tomatoes and stock. Don’t worry if it looks a little icky. The pot will transform in a few hours. Stir in the veg, pop a lid on and let it paddle on a low heat for 2–3 hours. It’s done as soon as the beans are soft, but not mushy.
4. Taste, tickle with salt and pepper and add the cumin and dark chocolate to liven it up. If you feel it needs more pungency, add some yeast extract, blackstrap molasses or chopped anchovies. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t.
5. To serve, cut the red onion in half and finely slice into semi-circles. Squeeze the lime over the onions, and allow them to party with the nam pla. Top each bowl of chilli con carne with a little macerated red onion, fresh coriander (if using) and a great big dollop of cultured coconut yoghurt in place of sour cream. It’s the holy trinity to a good con carne.


Our recommended Wine Pairing for this Recipe
Petit Bourgeois Pinot Noir Rosé €15.49
100% Pinot Noir Rosé

Henri Bourgeois winery located in the beautiful Loire Valley. Where they have been making wine for ten generations and they are terrior driven.

This wine has beautiful wild strawberries, damsons, lime leaf and floral notes on the nose. Although it has a slightly perfumed it has got a fantastic fruity nose with delicate minerality.

The palate is just juicy, and full for a rosé. It’s filled with summer berry fruits this is a lush wine with a light touch of tannin.

This wine will pair beautifully with this hearty dish as it will bring a refreshing touch to it while keeping the purity of the dish.

Available from O’Brien’s Wines Nationwide or Online.

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As a student surviving on a diet of caffeine and refined white carbs, Susan Jane’s health took a sudden nosedive and she ended up in hospital. She eventually discovered that wheat and sugar were lethal to her system. When she cut them out and recovered, she realised the intimate connection between energy levels and the food we eat. As she expanded her repertoire to cater for her sensitivities, she was pleasantly surprised to find there was nothing restrictive about her new diet. Her food intolerances were, in fact, an opportunity to escape the shackles of energy-sapping processed food. Here she shares her much sought after, delicious recipes for sugar-free, dairy-free and wheat-free eating.

The Extra Virgin Kitchen is published by Gill & Macmillan and is available in stores nationwide and online, priced at €27.99.