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Flavourful Adventures in a Bowl: Chilli Con Carne

Enjoy the heartwarming flavors of a classic Chilli Con Carne, a robust and hearty dish that bringd warmth and comfort to any meal. This recipe features a rich blend of minced beef, kidney beans, and a medley of spices, simmered together to create a deeply flavorful and satisfying stew. With the addition of ingredients like diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and a colorful mix of spices including cumin, coriander, turmeric, and paprika, each spoonful offers a burst of flavors that are both complex and comforting. The optional heat from chilli flakes and powder allows you to customize the dish to your preferred level of spiciness, making it a versatile option for various palates.

Accompanied by an array of optional toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, or labneh, and fresh garnishes like tomato salsa and diced avocado, this Chilli Con Carne is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a visually appealing dish that invites customization and creativity. Whether served atop a bed of fluffy rice or alongside crunchy tortilla chips, this dish is a celebration of texture and taste. Perfect for cozy family dinners, social gatherings, or as a comforting meal on a chilly day, this Chilli Con Carne recipe is more than just food; it’s a culinary experience that brings people together, offering both nourishment and joy.

This Chilli Con Carne recipe is thoughtfully crafted to be both diabetic-friendly and supportive of thyroid health, making it a nourishing choice for those managing these conditions. Here’s why it stands out as a health-conscious option:

Diabetes-Friendly Features

Low Glycemic Ingredients: The base of this dish, consisting of minced beef and kidney beans, provides a low glycemic load. Kidney beans are a great source of fiber, which slows down the release of glucose into the bloodstream, helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Rich in Protein: The high protein content from the beef and beans aids in blood sugar regulation by promoting satiety and reducing the overall glycemic index of the meal. Protein has minimal impact on blood sugar levels, making it ideal for a diabetic diet.

Healthy Fats: The recipe includes options for healthy toppings such as avocado, which is high in monounsaturated fats. These fats are beneficial for heart health and help in managing blood sugar levels.

Complex Carbohydrates: The fiber from beans and vegetables like bell peppers and onions contributes to the slow digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing spikes in blood sugar.

Thyroid-Friendly elements

Anti-inflammatory Ingredients: Spices such as turmeric, known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, can support thyroid health by reducing inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for thyroid dysfunction.

Rich in Selenium and Zinc: Beef is a good source of selenium and zinc, two minerals that are essential for thyroid function. Selenium is necessary for the conversion of T4 to T3, the active thyroid hormone, while zinc supports overall hormone production.

Low in Goitrogens: The recipe is made from ingredients that are naturally low in goitrogens, substances that can interfere with thyroid function. This makes it suitable for those with thyroid conditions who need to manage their intake of goitrogenic foods.

High in Antioxidants: The inclusion of a variety of vegetables and spices adds antioxidants to the dish, which can help reduce oxidative stress. This is beneficial for thyroid health, as oxidative stress can negatively affect thyroid function.

Balanced Macronutrient Profile

Calories: Approximately 350 kcal per serving. The calorie content is moderate, making it a suitable option for those seeking a fulfilling yet health-conscious meal.

Protein: Each serving delivers around 25g of protein sourced from the minced beef and kidney beans.

Carbohydrates: With approximately 30g of carbohydrates per serving.

Fat: The chili contains about 15g of healthy fats per serving. Healthy fats come from the beef and optional toppings like cheese and avocado.

By combining nutrient-dense ingredients with a balance of proteins, healthy fats, and low glycemic carbohydrates, this Chilli Con Carne recipe offers a delicious way to enjoy a meal that supports both diabetic management and thyroid health.

Ingredients and Their Health Benefits for Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne:

Minced Beef: The foundation of the dish, providing rich flavor and protein. Its fat content adds moisture and depth to the chilli.

Onion: Adds sweetness and depth when sautéed, serving as a base flavor.

Minced Garlic: Contributes a distinctive aroma and flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile.

Kidney Beans: Add texture, fiber, and protein, making the chilli more filling and nutritious.

Diced Tomatoes: Offer moisture and a tangy flavor, balancing the richness of the beef.

Tomato Paste: Thickens the sauce and intensifies the tomato flavor, adding a rich depth.

Red Bell Pepper: Adds sweetness and a slight crunch, contributing to the chilli’s color and nutritional content.

Beef Broth: Provides the liquid base, contributing to the stew’s richness and depth of flavor.

Bay Leaf, Dried Oregano, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Paprika Powder, Chilli Flakes, Chilli Powder: These spices and herbs create the chilli’s signature flavor profile, offering warmth, depth, and a hint of spiciness.

Salt and Black Pepper: Basic seasonings that enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

Vegetable Oil: Used for sautéing the vegetables and beef, ensuring they cook evenly without sticking.

Optional Toppings:

alternative ingredients

Protein: For a vegetarian version, replace minced beef with lentils, quinoa, or a meat substitute.

Beans: Black beans or pinto beans can substitute kidney beans for varied texture and flavor.

Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth can replace beef broth for a lighter taste or vegetarian option.

Spices: Adjust or substitute spices based on availability or preference. For instance, smoked paprika can replace regular paprika for a smoky flavor.

Preparation Tips for Chilli Con Carne

  • Browning the Beef: Ensure the beef is well-browned to develop a deep flavor foundation.
  • Simmering: Allow the chilli to simmer slowly to meld the flavours together. The longer it simmers, the better the flavour.
  • Spices: Add spices early in the cooking process to infuse the chilli with their flavours fully.

Serving Tips for Chilli Con Carne

  • Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, and tortilla chips to allow everyone to customise their servings.
  • Sides: Serve with a side of cornbread, rice, or a green salad to balance the meal.
  • Warmth: Serve the chilli hot to enhance its flavours and aromas.

storage tips

Cooling: Allow the chilli to cool to room temperature before storing.

Refrigeration: Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing: Chilli freezes well for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating: Reheat on the stove over medium heat, adding a splash of broth or water if it’s too thick.

Chilli Con Carne

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (456g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (410g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 pack (200g) tomato paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups (500ml) beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes, (optional)
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil

Optional Toppings

  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream or labneh
  • tomato salsa
  • diced avocado
  • tortilla chips
  • shredded lettuce


  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until they have softened and are translucent.  Add the minced garlic and sauté until they become fragrant. Add the chopped bell pepper (if using) and cook for a few minutes until it begins to soften.
  • Add the ground beef and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, until it has browned. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and stir for a minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, paprika powder, chilli flakes and chilli powder, dried oregano and bay leaf, and stir well. Then, add the drained kidney beans. Mix everything together. Cover the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for at least 60 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. You can simmer it longer for even more depth of flavour.
  • Adjust the seasoning and chilli powder to your desired level of spiciness.
  • Serve the chilli in bowls and serve it with your choice of toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onions, or diced avocado. Enjoy with nacho chips or brown rice.

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