chili con carne

Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Chili Con Carne

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 8 to 10
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1½ hours
Total Time 2 hours
Yield 4 qt.


Traditional chili con carne is exactly what the name implies: chiles and meat, cooked together. But this recipe is what I think of as a “standard” chili: ground beef, beans, and tomatoes, cooked in a thick, spicy broth.

The steps below simply cook everything together (so long as you’re using presoaked beans) in one pot. If you want to use canned or precooked beans, reduce the amount of stock and simmer the entire mixture just long enough to warm everything through and thicken the stew.

Serve the chili with warm cornbread and honey on the side.


1 lb. dried beans, such as kidney or pinto, soaked for several hours or overnight (see Note)
4 Tbsp. lard, bacon fat, oil, or butter
1 lb. ground beef
1 large dried pasilla pepper, seeded and chopped, or a few smaller dried chiles, seeded and chopped, or 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped (optional)
3 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped (optional)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano or epazote
3 bay leaves
1 can (29 ounces) hominy, drained (optional)
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
4 cups (1 quart) beef stock
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste, for thickening the chili (optional)
~ Cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste
~ Minced cilantro leaves, chopped white onion, sour cream, and grated Cheddar or Jack cheese for garnish (optional)


  1. Drain and rinse the presoaked beans. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp. of the fat or oil. Add the ground beef and sear it, breaking it up with the back of a spoon as it browns.
  3. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, melt the remaining fat or oil. Add the chiles, onion, and garlic, plus the carrot, celery, and pepper (if using). Sauté for a few minutes, until the ingredients have softened slightly. Add the cumin, oregano or epazote, and bay leaves. Add the presoaked beans and the browned beef, then add the hominy (if using), tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock.
  4. Stir well to combine, then let simmer over medium to medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. After an hour, check the beans to see if they’re done. If the chili seems too thin, add the tomato paste and simmer for a few more minutes, to thicken up. If the chili doesn’t seem spicy enough, add a bit of cayenne pepper or chili powder. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. When ready to serve, ladle the chili into bowls and pass the optional garnishes at the table.


If you don’t have several hours to presoak the beans, put the beans in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the beans sit for an hour or so. Drain and rinse the beans, then add them to the chili when needed.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are no comments on this item
Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Our Table

Joy of Cooking app

A new tool for the kitchen

The latest in our collection of cooking apps.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice