All About Chillie Con Carne

chilli con carne

What is Chilli Con Carne?

Directly translated from Spanish it is “Chilli with meat”, carne meaning meat.
It is a stew of minced beef and beans with chillies and or chillie powder added. It is a delicious yet economical meal, a typical American meal that can be served in a number of ways and is enjoyed in many parts of the world.


The origin of Chilli Con Carne
Chilli  dates back to the late 1800’s and originated in Northern Mexico and Southern Texas. Before the world wars, there were hundreds of ‘Chilli parlors’, also known as ‘Chilli joints’ and each one claimed to have their own unique spin on Chilli Con Carne.


What Ingredients go into Chilli Con Carne?
The basic ingredients include Beef mince, Red Kidney beans, Onions, Tomatoes, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Paprika and of course Chilli but every recipe has its own variation. Sometimes it is topped with grated cheddar cheese or sour cream. It can be served over pasta or with tortillas. It often goes well with nachos.

Some interesting facts

  • The Vegetarian version of Chilli Con Carne is called Chilli Non Carne, or Chilli without meat.
  • Chilli Con Carne is the official dish of Texas.
  • In 1880 women sold pots of Chilli Con Carne were called “Chilli Queens”
  • Spanish priests called it “the soup of the Devil”
  • During the filming of Cleopatra in Rome, Elizabeth Taylor had her favourite dish of Chilli flown in daily from Los Angeles.
  • Chilli Con Carne freezes well


Finally, originating in Mexico, this dish is so well loved it has become popular all around the world.
Nigella, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey have even put their spin on it and developed their own recipes. It is a healthy, tasty and economical family meal that everyone loves.

“delectable Chile-con-carne… composed of delicate meats minced with aromatic herbs and the
poignant chile Colorado — a compound full of singular saver and a fiery zest…”

O. Henry ‘The Enchanted Kiss’