This super easy chilli con carne recipe is made with lamb mince, which lends a delicious earthy flavour to a classic recipe. Serve with rice, soured cream and slices of creamy avocado – perfect for a midweek meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- How to make lamb chilli con carne
- Where does Chilli con Carne come from?
- Chilli con Carne with chocolate?
- What can you serve with Lamb Chilli con Carne?
- Can you reheat Lamb Chilli con Carne?
- This chilli con carne recipe – is it spicy?
- I don’t like kidney beans in my chilli – what can I replace them with?
- Easy Lamb Chilli con Carne Recipe
- Pin this recipe for later!
- Other lamb recipes you might like
Chilli con Carne with Lamb (and chocolate!)
I am a huge fan of homemade chilli. It’s just the sort of comforting, warming dish perfect for this time of year. I don’t know about you, but when the winter gales start, I want something hearty that will warm me up from the inside as the rain lashes against the windows.
Traditionally, chilli con carne is made using beef, but did you know that lamb adds a delicious, earthy flavour to the classic dish?
I’ve varied the traditional spices used in beef chilli too, opting for whole cumin seeds toasted along with the sauteed onions and garlic, omitting the usual paprika and chilli powders, and throwing in a generous spoonful of chipotle chilli paste.
Ingredients needed to make lamb chilli
- Sunflower oil – a neutral-flavoured oil for sautéing the onions and garlic and browning the lamb mince.
- Brown onion – fresh onions add a delicious depth of flavour to your lamb chilli.
- Garlic – like onions, fresh garlic adds flavour to the finished dish.
- Cumin seeds – whole, toasted cumin seeds are beautifully fragrant and taste earthy, nutty, and bitter with hints of lemon. When you put cumin in chilli, it helps create a balanced palate.
- Lean lamb mince – lamb gives the chilli a lighter, sweeter taste than the more traditional beef. It also has a lower carbon footprint than beef.
- Tomato puree – acts like a thickening agent for the sauce. It also gives the chilli a rich tomato flavour.
- Chipotle chilli paste – a dollop of smoked chilli paste adds a smoky depth of flavour that works perfectly and makes your chilli taste like you’ve been simmering it for ages.
- Red bell pepper – provides colour and flavour to the chilli without too much heat.
- Lamb stock – use a stock pot or make your own stock to give the chilli a rich and delicious broth.
- Cherry tomatoes in juice – the concentrated flavour of tinned cherry tomatoes in juice adds a rich depth of flavour to the chilli.
- Cinnamon sticks – a fragrant spice that adds warmth and flavour without heat.
- Kidney beans – hearty and meaty beans that retain their shape in chilli. They also take on the flavouring of all the spices and seasonings they’re cooked with.
- Dark chocolate – adds a bit of colour, depth of flavour, and some extra body to the chilli, and it helps to balance out any acidity from the tinned tomatoes.
How to make lamb chilli con carne
- Heat sunflower oil in a large heavy-based pan. Saute the onions in the oil for a few minutes, until they begin to soften, and then add the garlic and cumin seeds. Cook for a further minute.
- Add the lamb mince and season well. Brown the mince and cook until some of the extra fat begins to evaporate.
- Add the tomato puree, chipotle chilli paste and red pepper. Cook for a further minute or so.
- Pour in the lamb stock and tinned tomatoes. Add the cinnamon sticks and simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid off.
- Add the tinned kidney beans for the last five minutes of cooking, so that they heat through.
- Just before serving, add the dark chocolate, and stir until melted.
Where does Chilli con Carne come from?
Chilli con Carne is a Tex-Mex dish originating in the region between Northern Mexico and Southern Texas.
Chilli con Carne with chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a wonderful addition to any Chilli con Carne, but don’t overdo it. Just a few squares of chocolate are enough to add a little bit of colour, depth of flavour, and some extra body to the chilli, and it helps to balance out any acidity from the tinned tomatoes.
What can you serve with Lamb Chilli con Carne?
- plain rice
- soured cream
- sliced avocado
- tortilla chips
- grated cheddar cheese
- sliced red chillies
- fresh coriander leaves
Can you reheat Lamb Chilli con Carne?
Absolutely! Leftovers reheat very well, in fact, I think this Lamb Chilli con Carne improves after a day or two in the fridge; it allows the flavours to develop fully.
Cover and heat the chilli in the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir well and ensure it’s heated all the way through before eating. Alternatively, reheat on the hob for a couple of minutes, giving the pan a little stir every now and again. You might want to add a little water if you think the chilli is too thick.
This chilli con carne recipe – is it spicy?
No, this chilli recipe isn’t that spicy. I’ve only used a teaspoonful of chipotle chilli paste, which doesn’t give you that fire in the mouth that hot chilli powder does. If you want it spicy, add a teaspoon of hot chilli powder or a tablespoon of mild chilli powder along with the tomato puree.
I don’t like kidney beans in my chilli – what can I replace them with?
Borlotti beans make a lovely kidney bean replacement, but you can also use pinto beans, black beans, cannellini beans or Great Northern beans.
Recipe Difficulty Levels
Requires basic cooking skills and ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.
Requires more experience, preparation and/or cooking time. You may have to source special ingredients.
Recipes requiring more advanced skills and experience and maybe some special equipment.
Easy Lamb Chilli con Carne Recipe
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 medium brown onion finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 500 grams lamb mince
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp chipotle chilli paste
- 1 red bell peppers diced
- 200 ml lamb stock
- 400 grams tinned cherry tomatoes
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 400 grams tinned kidney beans
- 10 grams dark chocolate optional
- Shetland sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
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- Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a large heavy-based pan.
- Saute 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped, in the oil for a few minutes, until they begin to soften, and then add 2 large garlic cloves and 1 tsp whole cumin seeds. Cook for a further minute.
- Add 500 grams lamb mince and season well with Shetland sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Brown the mince and cook until some of the extra fat begins to evaporate.
- Add 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tsp chipotle chilli paste and 1 red bell peppers, diced. Cook for a further minute or so, stirring until the meat is coated in the tomato and chilli.
- Pour in 200 ml lamb stock and 400 grams tinned cherry tomatoes.
- Add 2 cinnamon sticks and simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid off.
- Add 400 grams tinned kidney beans for the last five minutes of cooking, so that they heat through
- Just before serving, add 10 grams dark chocolate, and stir until melted.