The ultimate bulked out Chilli Con Carne

chilli, delicious, easy, bulked out

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I want to share one of our absolute favourite family recipes with you. But! I don’t want to share this recipe because it is one of probably the top four we keep in rotation, or because we make it almost every single month (I like to bulk cook and freeze). I want to share it with you because it is so easy to make, and so easy to make in bulk.

It is also cheap, did I mention that? This an economical, budget friendly family meal! 


This recipe is super flavourful but still safe for little palates, Gray is 3 ½ now and has been eating this since he was about 1 ½! He loves it, but then again we are lucky, he loves his world foods in general!

As I always feel is most important with a good recipe, this is one you can really do your own way. Like spice? Feel free to ramp it up! Hate peppers? Why not try something different, like sweet potato or courgette?

The beauty of recipes like this is how versatile they are; you really can adapt them any way you like. This particular recipe also includes a sneaky little ingredient that adds a great twist you wouldn’t usually expect. (Hint: It’s in that picture above!)


I mention this particular recipe in my ebook Frugal Living for Lazy People, for two reasons: One, because it is a great recipe for people who like to cook once and freeze half a dozen for later, and Two, it is a little different now from the original recipe that inspired it, I feel this is important.

Let me explain: one of my absolute pet peeves is wasted food. Another pet peeve is wasted money.

See where this is going?


In the original recipe, the central ingredients are mince beef, onion and kidney beans. That’s it. The recipe served 4-6 people. Now don’t get me wrong, it was still a great recipe but to me there was just so much wasted potential!

I tried a ‘bulked out’ version of my own design and luckily it turned out awesome! On top of the original three core ingredients I threw in two bell peppers, garlic, a tin of mixed beans and I also doubled the original amount of kidney beans. This makes for one beany and delicious variation on Chilli that now serves 10-12 people! Yes, you read that right, talk about making a meal stretch! It also reduces to cost per portion by half. HALF.


One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to following recipes that I’ve found, is assuming the portion size it supposedly provides is set in stone.

Half the time when I’m trying a new recipe I find the portion size to be way too big. Did you know the recommended portion size for an adult is two cups? That’s one cup of chilli, one of rice. Or one of Bolognese, one of pasta, and so on.

A big change I made when I was trying to lose weight recently was to start paying attention to portion size. Whilst at first it seemed daunting, (how could I possibly be full after such small meals?) It only took a few days for me to realise that not only was the restricted portion size ample, but I actually felt better after eating now, because I wasn’t overeating anymore.

Why not use this recipe as a stepping stone to start paying attention to your portions? You could even cook a load of rice at the same time and portion it out to freeze with a cup of rice and a cup of chilli in each bag, job done!





640g Beef Mince (This is the size of the pack I used pictured above, you can easily get away with 500g though, I have before!)
1 Onion
2 Peppers
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
400g tin (280g drained) Kidney Beans
300g tin (180g drained) Mexican Bean Mix
3-4 cubes Dark Chocolate
400g tub Chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Cumin
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 cube Beef Stock


  1. Get everything chopped and measured out, this makes the whole process much faster
  2. Brown mince in large pan, set aside
  3. Add onion and pepper to pan, cook until starting to soften, add garlic and spices, cook another minute or until fragrant
  4. Dissolve beef stock cube in 300ml of hot water, add to veg along with reserved mince, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree
  5. Bring to boil, stir well, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir well, add drained beans and dark chocolate then continue to simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes.
  7. Stand for a few minutes off the heat before serving over rice.

Don’t forget to divide the left overs into freezer bags and label accordingly! And most importantly, don’t forget that if you want to change things up a bit yourself, you can!

To freeze, these supplies are a must have. I use these  for every family meal I make, they are so much more convenient and space saving than tupperware! 


Cuddle Fairy
Mummy in a Tutu

10 thoughts on “The ultimate bulked out Chilli Con Carne”

    1. IT really does make a difference! I’ve also found a secret ingredient for Spaghetti Bolognese, balsamic vinegar! adds the most lovely sweet tang! x

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