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If you are looking for a simple Chilli Con Carne recipe that is also cheap then this is for you. The one thing we love about this recipe is that a lot of the ingredients are kitchen staples so you can rustle this up quickly if you need too.
This Chilli Con Carne Recipe isn’t spicy at all and is perfect for any home cook even if you are a beginner.
Keep reading below for a step by step guide on making this family favorite cheaply and deliciously.
What is chilli con carne?
Chilli con carne means meat with chilli. It’s a simple chilli dish that can be made spicy and have added peppers and red kidney beans.
It’s normally seasoned with garlic, onions and lime. It’s really easy to make and can be made in a slow cooker if you want to make it ahead of time.
What to have with chilli con carne?
The great thing about chilli is that you can have it with everything. Our top five favorites are:
Jacket potato – This works great if you’ve frozen the chilli beforehand and are looking for a quick and easy dinner.
Rice – We use wholemeal rice as it’s extra healthy.
Tacos – These are great with the kids. Give everyone the option to serve themselves so they can load them up.
Toasted pitta – Toast it in the grill for extra crunch. You can add salad and homemade chips.
Burritos and wedges – This is another self-service option. We love ours with some natural yogurt and lightly spiced wedges on the side.
As you can see, chilli con carne is a really great meal that you can use week after week while still changing it up so it’s not the same. Costing under a pound a person is the added bonus.
What can you add to chilli con carne?
You can add almost everything to chilli con carne. It really does depend on how spicy you like it. You could add chilli powder, sour cream or mushrooms.
You can add frozen minced meat if you don’t think you’ll get through the whole pack before it does out of date. We try and have as many frozen vegetables as possible like onions and peppers. They are far cheaper than the fresh version, last longer and everything is pre-cut.
Keeping tins like kidney beans and chopped tomatoes in means that you can make pretty much anything tomato-based with puree.
If you do like food on the spicy side then look at Spicentice. They are great if you are a beginner cook as they send you little packs on spice with the list of ingredients listed and a detailed method so you can follow it set by set.
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Easy chilli con carne recipe
You can also do this recipe in the slow cooker. Brown the mince off first then chuck everything in on medium heat for 4 – 6 hours.
Items you will need for this chilli con carne:
Slow cooker (optional)*
Wok or large pan*
Chilli con carne shopping list
This shopping list is based on four people. It’s not very spicy. It only takes about 10 minutes to prep or less if you have frozen pre-cut.
It takes about 45 minutes to cook fresh or 4 – 6 hours in the slow cooker. You can also freeze any leftovers for another day.
500g minced meat £1.99
4 onions 32p
3 garlic gloves 7p
300ml chopped tinned tomatoes 28p
400g tinned kidney beans 30p
3 tbsp tomato puree 15p
Half a lime 12p
220ml stock 3p
4 tbsp low cal spray 20p
1 tsp salt 2p
Half tsp sugar 5p
180g Rice 24p
- The Ultimate Budget Meal Planning List: 31 Meals Under £1 Per Serving
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Chilli con carne method
Start by finely chopping the garlic and onion.
Drain the kidney beans in a sieve and then rinse with cold water.
Blend them with the chopped tinned tomatoes.
Heat the low cal spray in a wok. Add the onions and fry them.
Then add the garlic.
Stir in the mincemeat and cook it for ten minutes or in till it’s brown.
Add the tinned tomatoes, 1 tsp of salt, small tsp of sugar. Add any other spices you like here. You can add ground black pepper or ground cumin.
Stir in 3 tbsp of tomato puree and the juice of the lime. Add the kidney beans and leave them to cook till soft. This will properly take about 5 minutes.
Add in the 220ml of stock. Keep the lid on for about 15 to 20 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
This is the point you want to start cooking the rice or any of your side dishes.
Serve hot in large bowls.
Best slow cookers for beginners
If you’ve never used or cooked with a slow cooker before then here are our 5 top tips and the best slow cookers we’ve found so far. Having a slow cooker means that you can cook yummy and cheap meals while you aren’t even in the house.
1. Slow cookers cut down on prep time. This means that you can chuck all your vegetables and meat in together and just leave it. You find that some meat tastes better browned first but why not mix it up and find out which one you think tastes better.
2. You don’t even have to make the dinner that morning. If time is tight why not prep it all and chuck it in the night before and put it in the fridge. When you wake up take it out and leave it in till it reaches room temperature. When the dish feels less cold turn your slow cooker on and add the dish just before you leave.
3. Using a slow cooker means that you can buy cheaper cuts of meat and bulk your meal out with tinned or frozen vegetables.
4. Reduce the liquid when you are slow cooking. We found this out the hard way. Because the lid is tight no moisture can escape or burn off.
5. Use flour to thicken up your sauce. If you come home and find loads of liquid in the bottom then grab some plain flour and slowly add then stir. This will help thicken it up a bit without taking the flavour away.
Use our slow cooker recipe ideas:
31 Aldi Slow Cooker Recipes For The Whole Family
We’ve tried quite a few slow cookers but our three favorites are:
Morphy Richards Slow Cooker Sear and Stew 460012 3.5L Black Slowcooker* – it’s hob proof and can be dishwashed for easy cleaning.
Quest 35260 Compact Stainless Steel Slow Cooker Round, 1.5L, 120 W, 1.5 liters, Silver* – this is a smaller compact slow cooker that’s great if you have a small family. It has three temperature settings and can keep food warm as well.
Swan 3.5 Litre Oval Stainless Steel Slow Cooker with 3 Cooking Settings, 200W, Silver* – this is great for meat joints, stews and curries. It has an oval shape and can be put in the dishwasher.
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more family friendly budget recipes or meal plan ideas, then head over to the budget food section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 30 cheap posts dedicated to helping you cook and shop wiser for less. There’s enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my family food Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to eat well and spend less; Family Meal Plans on a Budget, Budget Family Meals & Budget Slimming World Recipes for Families.
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- 500g minced meat
- 4 onions
- 3 garlic gloves
- 300ml chopped tinned tomatoes
- 400g tinned kidney beans
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- Half a lime
- 220ml stock
- 4 tbsp low cal spray
- 1 tsp salt
- Half tsp sugar
- 180g Rice
- Start by finely chopping the garlic and onion.
- Drain the kidney beans in a sieve and then rinse with cold water.
- Blend them with the chopped tinned tomatoes.
- Heat the low cal spray in a wok. Add the onions and fry them.
- Then add the garlic.
- Stir in the mincemeat and cook it for ten minutes or in till it's brown.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, 1 tsp of salt, small tsp of sugar. Add any other spices you like here. You can add ground black pepper or ground cumin.
- Stir in 3 tbsp of tomato puree and the juice of the lime. Add the kidney beans and leave them to cook till soft. This will properly take about 5 minutes.
- Add in the 220ml of stock. Keep the lid on for about 15 to 20 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
- This is the point you want to start cooking the rice or any of your side dishes.
- Serve hot in large bowls.
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