the very best chili recipe.

I really like Mexican food. And one of the things I really enjoy about it is how heavily customisable it is. You can pretty much throw anything in and it’ll still taste great.

Hence how I wound up with 12 servings of chili for less than $10 – and that’s ten NEW ZEALAND dollars. To be fair, I got the mince on sale (but it is PRIME mince, people!).


The boyfriend facepalmed when I said “You’d never know there’s a half kilo of veggies in this.” And I realised I say that every time I make lasagne or chili – I’m just so predictable. But honestly! You’d have no idea.

So here goes: a healthy, super cheap, super filling, stupidly delicious meal. You’re gonna love it. Invite all your friends over for a movie night, plus chili.

Go buy:

500g beef mince (I used prime but regular’s fine too, also I can’t see any problem with using lamb or chicken or pork mince)
500g veggies (I don’t care what you use. Celery, carrots and other hard things probably work best though)
1 can beans (400g)
2 cans tomatoes, chopped
2 cups beef stock
1 large tsp minced garlic
1 medium onion
2T oil

1tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin
1tsp coriander
1tsp chili powder
2tsp paprika
1/4tsp salt
2T brown sugar

cornflour to thicken


OK. That looks like a prohibitively long list of ingredients, I know. But this is chili! It always has a ridiculous amount of stuff in it, right?? And I promise this is the easiest thing in the world to throw together. Especially with the spices – if you get those five spices, you’re set for chili for life. No more Maggi spice packets for you, ever.


There are two versions of this recipe. One (version 1) assumes you have a stove to oven casserole, like I used, and one (version 2) does not. I’m unsure, but you might be looking at a longer cooking time with version 2. Sorry about the confused looking recipe!


If you’re doing version 1, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In the casserole pot, heat the oil and one cup of stock.

If you’re doing version 2, heat the oil in a really big wok, or saucepan.

BOTH VERSIONS: chop the onion and throw it into the pot/wok/saucepan with the mince. Cook, stirring, until nice and browned and the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes, stir well.

Process the vegetables in a food processor – you want them really nice and small (so you don’t know they’re there! If you have kids – or male flatmates – this is a great way to hide veges) and then fire them into the pot/wok/saucepan too. Add the stock (if you’re doing version 1, you’ll just have one cup remaining – that’s OK). Add the beans and the garlic, then stir in the spices and the brown sugar and bring to the boil.

Version 1: cover the pot and put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the meat mixture has rendered down nicely.

Version 2: bring to the boil and then simmer until the meat mixture has rendered down nicely. You’ll want to cover the wok/saucepan or you’ll see some evaporation happening.

BOTH VERSIONS: thicken with cornflour, and serve hot over corn chips or rice or pasta or whatever your carby poison happens to be.


1 serving = aroundabouts 3/4 cup.

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