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Chili Con Carne with Beans

Warm up with a heaping bowl of this savory, southwest-style chili. This authentic chili con carne with beans recipe is my take on an old classic with hearty beef chuck, black beans (gasp! I know), and a satisfying combination of chilies.

Chili con carne with beans in a bowl.

Does Chili Con Carne Have Beans?

Traditional chili does not usually contain beans, while some chili con carne recipes include kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans. The dish, made up of beef, dried chilies, and spices, originated in San Antonio, Texas in the 1800s. However, some chili purists maintain that adding beans to chili is not authentic and should be avoided at all costs.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chilies: I use Arbol, guajillo, and chipotles en adobo to flavor the chili.
  • Chicken Broth: Homemade or store-bought broth flavors the chili con carne. Or you can use Better Than Bouillon and water.
  • Beef Chuck: Marbled with fat, beef chuck is ideal, but let the beef sear to seal in the flavor.
  • Olive Oil: Use olive oil to sear the beef and saute the onions.
  • Onion: Yellow or white onions work best in this recipe.
  • Spices: Season the chili con carne with beans using kosher salt, black pepper, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground allspice, and Mexican oregano.
  • Fish Sauce: For rich, umami flavor, add fish sauce. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides the right acidity to highlight the richness of the chili.
  • Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – measure with your heart. 
  • Black Beans: The addition of beans in chili is highly debated, depending on where you’re from, but in this recipe, they’re a must-have! We use black beans, but here are some of the best beans for chili.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce enhances the other ingredients in the chili.
  • Tomato Paste: Thicken the chili and add color by including tomato paste.

How to Make Chili Con Carne with Beans

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Then, add the dried chilies to a Dutch oven and toast them over high heat until blistered, for about 1 minute.

Chilies searing in a dutch oven.

Step 2: Remove the chilies and transfer them to a food processor or blender with chicken broth. Add two chipotle chilies and two tablespoons of the sauce from the can. Process the mixture until smooth and set it aside. 

Chilies and and chicken broth in a food processor.

Step 3: Generously season the chuck roast with kosher salt and black pepper.

Cut and trimmed beef chuck in a mixing bowl.

Step 4: Warm oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat; add a single layer of chuck roast and sear to form a crust. Repeat until all the beef browns, and set it aside.

Pieces of beef chuck searing in hot oil in a pan.

Step 5: Add the onions and saute until they become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute.

Onions sautéing in oil in the dutch oven.

Step 6: Season the onions with ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground allspice, and Mexican oregano; cook for 1-2 minutes.

Ground spices added to the sautéed onions.

Step 7: Return the beef and the reserved chili mixture to the Dutch oven with Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, black beans, and tomato paste. Stir to incorporate.

The chili broth mixture and reserved seared beef returned in the dutch oven with the cooking onions.

Step 8: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with the lid ajar and cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours; stir the chili occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.

A dutch oven with a lid inside of the oven.

Step 9: Serve the chili in a bowl and garnish with chopped onion, fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, and avocado.

Chili in a small bowl garnished with cheddar cheese, onions, and jalapenos.

Expert Tips

  • Sear the chuck roast in oil to create a tasty crust. You can skip this step if you’re in a hurry, but taking the time to do so imparts flavor.

If you enjoy this meal, try one of these Mexican recipes!  

Chili in a small bowl with shredded cheddar cheese.

Serving Suggestions

We enjoy chili con carne with beans as a stew topped with chopped onion, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, avocado, and thinly sliced chilies. We complete the meal with a heaping plate of warm corn tortillas. 

Top the chili with chips or serve them as a side. Pour the chili over home fries, baked potatoes, or roasted potatoes, and since chili is the Texas state dish, you can serve it with large chunks of cornbread or cornbread casserole. Rice, mashed cauliflower, and macaroni noodles make a perfect side dish for a warm bowl of chili con carne. 

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Let the dish cool, then transfer the chili to a freezer-safe container or bag. Chili con carne with beans freezes for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw: Defrost the chili in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm leftovers on the stovetop or microwave, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this chili con carne with beans vegetarian or vegan?

I know what you’re thinking, “meat” is in the title-stick with me. However, you can make our chili con carne recipe vegetarian and vegan with a few substitutions.

Instead of meat, use vegetables like potatoes and cauliflower, or double the number of black beans. Replace the chicken broth with your favorite vegetable broth, and use Marmite instead of fish sauce. Skip the Worcestershire as it has trace amounts of anchovy; omitting it won’t alter the recipe too much.

Can I make Instant Pot chili con carne?

1. Add the dried chilies to an Instant Pot and cook on saute mode until blistered, 1 minute.
2. Remove the chilies and add them to a food processor or blender along with the chicken broth.
3. Add two chipotle chilies and two tablespoons of the sauce from the can. Blend thoroughly and set aside.
4. Season chuck with salt and pepper.
5. Warm oil in the Instant Pot, followed by a layer of beef chuck, allowing the meat to sear and form a crust. Repeat until all the chuck has had a chance to brown. Set aside.
6. Add onions to the oil and cook until they become translucent and soften. Then, add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
7. Stir in the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and Mexican oregano. Cook until fragrant for about 1-2 minutes.
8. Add the reserved meat and chili puree, along with Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, black beans, and tomato paste in the Instant Pot. Stir to incorporate.
9. Secure the lid and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.
10. Garnish with onion, cilantro, cheese, and avocado; serve with corn tortillas.

Can I make it in the slow cooker?

1. Add the dried chilies to a skillet and cook on high heat until blistered, 1 minute.
2. Remove the chilies and add them to a food processor or blender along with the chicken broth.
3. Add two chipotle chilies and two tablespoons of the sauce from the can. Blend thoroughly and set aside.
4. Season chuck with salt and pepper.
5. Warm oil in a skillet, followed by a layer of the beef chuck, allowing the meat to sear and form a crust. Repeat until all the chuck has had a chance to brown. Set aside.
6. Add onions to the oil and cook until they become translucent and soften. Then, add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
7. Stir in the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and Mexican oregano. Cook until fragrant for about 1-2 minutes.
8. Add the reserved meat and chili puree, along with Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, black beans, tomato paste, onions, and garlic, to a slow cooker. Stir to incorporate, and then cook for 8 hours on low.
9. Garnish with onion, cilantro, cheese, and avocado; serve with corn tortillas.

What is the difference between chili and chili con carne?

Chili is a general term for a spiced tomato-based stew made with different types of meat, beans, or no meat.

Chili con carne often refers to a specific type of chili consisting of beef. The “con carne” means “with meat” in Spanish, referring to the chunks of beef that cook in the chili.

What are the best cuts of meat for chili con carne?

You can use chuck roast, beef brisket, short ribs, and ground beef. Other options include sirloin and pork shoulder.

More Chili Recipes:

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Chili con carne with beans in a bowl.

Chili Con Carne with Beans

Tressa Jamil
Warm up with a heaping bowl of savory, southwest-style chili con carne with beans flavored with a satisfying combination of warm chilies.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 8 Bowls
Calories 715 kcal
Ingredients
  
For the Chili:
  • 2 Arbol chiles, dried
  • 2 guajillo chiles, dried
  • 1 can chipotles en adobo, use 2 chilies and 2 tablespoons chipotle sauce
  • 1 ½ quart chicken broth
  • 4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, coarse ground
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, dried
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cans black beans, 5-ounce, drained and rinsed
  • ½ can tomato paste
For the Garnish:
  • 1 yellow or red onion, finely diced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • pico de gallo
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Then, add the dried chilies to a Dutch oven and toast them over high heat until blistered, for about 1 minute.
  • Remove the chilies and transfer them to a food processor or blender with chicken broth. Add two chipotle chilies and two tablespoons of the sauce from the can. Process the mixture until smooth and set it aside. 
  • Generously season the chuck roast with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Warm oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat; add a single layer of chuck roast and sear to form a crust. Repeat until all the beef browns, and set it aside.
  • Add the onions and saute until they become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Season the onions with ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground allspice, and Mexican oregano; cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Return the beef and the reserved chili mixture to the Dutch oven with Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, black beans, and tomato paste. Stir to incorporate.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with the lid ajar and cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours; stir the chili occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  • Serve the chili in a bowl and garnish with chopped onion, fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, and avocado.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • Sear the chuck roast in oil to create a tasty crust. You can skip this step if you’re in a hurry, but taking the time to do so imparts flavor.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Bowl | Calories: 715 kcal | Carbohydrates: 16 g | Protein: 69 g | Fat: 40 g | Sodium: 922 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 4 g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Calee Cortes

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Literally so delish. I ate this plain, with rice and with tortilla chips-so good!

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 12th of June 2022

I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it!

Judith

Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Everything looks sooooo delicious - I can't decide what to try first! :-)

Tressa - Jamil Ghar Team

Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Wow, what a kind thing to say! When you do, be sure stop by and share your thoughts.