Fast Recipes

Fast chilli con carne

Some purists believe there is no room for beans, but we think they add a rich, earthy flavour.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
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Whether you enjoy this Tex-Mex classic on its own or as a nacho topper, there's no denying a quick-fix chilli's versatility. Some purists believe there is no room for beans, but they add a rich, earthy flavour.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds, finely crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 tbsp finely crushed guajillo chilli (see note), plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 jalapeño chilli (seeds optional), finely chopped
  • 500 gm minced beef
  • 400 gm canned finely chopped tomato
  • 400 gm canned black beans
  • Sour cream, coarsely grated cheddar and coarsely chopped coriander to serve
  • Corn chips, coarsely chopped avocado and lime wedges, to serve


  • 1
    Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and fry, stirring occasionally, until softened (6-8 minutes), then add garlic, spices and chillies and stir until fragrant (30 seconds). Remove from pan and set aside.
  • 2
    Heat remaining oil in pan over high heat and cook beef in batches until golden brown (4-6 minutes). Return onion mixture to pan and add tomato, beans and 100ml water, season to taste, then simmer over medium heat until sauce thickens (20 minutes). Transfer to bowls and top with sour cream, cheddar, coriander and chilli. Serve with corn chips, avocado and lime on the side.


Guajillo chilli is available online from Herbie's Spices. If unavailable, substitute another smoked Mexican chilli.