Hearty homestyle chilli beef

Jul 31, 2021
You can use this recipe as the base for multiple variations. Source: Getty Images

This basic homestyle chilli beef is so delicious you’ll be going back for thirds! It has loads of flavour and is super easy to make. Not only that, you can use this recipe as the base for multiple variations (and I’ve included a few suggestions below, but the list is only as endless as your imagination).

The other thing I like about this recipe is how inexpensive it is. If you’re living on a budget, this recipe is perfect. I spent less than $10 to get it all together, which worked out to be approximately $1.50 per serve for a family of four, with leftovers. You can also make this recipe ahead of time and freeze it for a later date (up to three months) making it even more friendly for the budget conscious.

A few variations

  • If you like your food spicy, consider using a flavoursome Mexican chorizo as an alternative to the beef; or sauté jalapeños with the onions and garlic.
  • Shredded chicken breast is also a good substitute, but may not be as budget friendly.
  • Try substituting the water for tomato juice or vegetable juice for a more intense flavour.
  • If you’d like a more earthy flavour, consider a dark beer.
  • For an extra-rich chilli beef, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder.
  • For a vegetable infusion, add finely diced zucchini and capsicum.

Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 500g beef mince
  • 400g can kidney beans
  • 400g can black beans
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 170g tomato paste
  • 1 cup water


  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Add oil, then onion and garlic to a large pot and cook over medium heat until they are soft and transparent.
  2. Add beef mince and continue to sauté until beef is fully browned.
  3. Drain beans and add to the pot along with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and all ingredients for the chilli seasoning. Stir until well combined. Place a lid on the pot and allow it to simmer over a low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the more intense the flavour.
  4. Give chilli a final taste before removing from the heat. Adjust seasoning, if required, before serving.



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