How to Make Chile Con Carne

by Felicia Gustin

Back in my younger days, I waitressed at a diner that made the BEST Chili con Carne. I wrestled the owner for his recipe and here it is for you!


  • 1 Pounds Or 2 -3 cans Red beans (pinto or kidney beans)
  • 1 Onion, large
  • 1 Bell peppers
  • 2 Chili pepper, large
  • 1 ½ Pounds Ground beef
  • 5 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
  • ¾ Teaspoons Pepper
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Cumin
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili flakes
  • 3 Cans tomatoes
  • 1 Can Tomato paste
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh scallions
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Please note: the measurements given on the supplies list are approximate. You should adjust to taste. Some folks like more cumin, some less. Spicy or not? Make this recipe all yours. Experiment!

    Step 2

    I still have the slip of paper from my waitress pad that I wrote the recipe on when Mike (the place was called Mike's) gave it to me! Over the years, I made some changes - for the better though.

    Step 3

    I usually use canned red beans but none in my cupboard so I'm using dry beans instead. We'll have these fellas ready in no time thanks to a handy invention called...

    Step 4

    The pressure cooker! Just toss the beans in with plenty of water and within 20-30 minutes they'll be ready.

    Step 5

    Another trick - I always have a bell pepper in the freezer in case I need it. Or you could plan ahead and get a fresh one.

    Step 6

    See?! My frozen bell pepper!

    Step 7

    Prep time! So chop up the bell pepper.

    Step 8

    Chop up onions...

    Step 9

    ...and garlic.

    Step 10

    Heat up some oil in a large pot.

    Step 11

    Toss in and sauté the pepper and onion.

    Step 12

    Add the ground beef and cook until brown.

    Step 13

    I now add the garlic - adding it too early means it might burn.

    Step 14

    Keep stirring as everything comes together!

    Step 15

    Now add the canned tomatoes...

    Step 16

    And tomato paste. Add a can of water too.

    Step 17

    Beans are done so time to toss those in too. Or simply add at this time the canned red beans.

    Step 18

    Into the pot!

    Step 19

    Now add the spices: salt, garlic powder, chili powder, chili flakes, cumin, and pepper. Remember, play with these and adjust measurements to your taste.

    Step 20

    Stir well and simmer, stirring occasionally. Taste too to see if you need to adjust your spices - more salt? cumin? It's your call. You'll know it's just right when it tastes delicious!

    Step 21

    Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Step 22

    TA DA! It's done! And so hearty and delicious!

    Step 23

    I like to top it off with chopped cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!