This easy and frugal chilli con carne recipe is (unusually) packed full of vegetables and so makes 500g of minced beef stretch a lot further than most other chilli recipes. Unlike my Best Bolognese recipe, I like to keep the veggies chopped small for this one so that the finished dish is a bit more in-keeping with the texture of a traditional chilli recipe. Kids who are less accepting of vegetables are also more likely to eat them when they are smaller and cut in a uniform way within the dish. You could even use a food processor to save time and chop them even smaller for your fussiest of eaters! I have to admit to stealing the idea of using chickpeas as well as kidney beans, from a Jamie Oliver recipe and adding both, with all the vegetables means that it can be served as a meal without the need for rice or potatoes, if you are trying to cut down your carbs! However, the addition of a few of these crispy tortillas, add a different texture and the kids love them!

Buzymum - Chilli served with sour cream and crispy tortillas

This recipe will easily serve 10-12 people or more if you choose to serve it with rice or jacket potato. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge and freezes really well too. I think it tastes better the day after being made, so it’s the perfect recipe to prepare the night before!

Buzymum - Very Veggie, Beef Chilli


  • Splash cooking oil, I use rape seed
  • 1 small onion (red or white), finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 500g mince beef
  • Small tin tomato puree (142g)
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes or 1 tin plus a portion of roasted vegetable sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Glass of red wine (optional)
  • 1 beef OXO cube (or other stock cube)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes or more if you like it hot!
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small courgette, diced
  • 100g white button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 x 400g can kidney beans
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 flour tortillas per person
  • Sour cream (or greek yogurt)


  • In a large saucepan gently fry the onion in the oil until translucent
  • Add the garlic and keep stirring for a couple of minutes to prevent burning
  • Add the mince, stir and chop through with a spatula occasionally, until browned
  • Add the puree, tin tomatoes, roasted veg sauce (if using) and Worcestershire sauce
  • Use the wine to wash out the tins or a little water if you are not using wine
  • Add the OXO, cumin, chilli powder and chilli flakes and stir through

Buzymum - Oxo, cumin, chilli added to the mince

  • Stir through the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree
  • Add all of the remaining vegetables and mix well. Remember that the mushrooms and courgettes will release water as they cook so don’t worry if it looks a bit dry

Buzymum - All veg added to the chilli

  • Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer on a low heat for a further 30 minutes
  • Add the kidney beans and chickpeas and stir through
  • Re-cover and continue to simmer on a low heat for a further 60 minutes (veg should be soft)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste if needed but I usually find I don’t need them
  • When you are ready to eat, pre-heat the oven to 200C
  • Brush the flour tortillas with oil and place on baking sheets, season with salt and pepper
  • Bake for around 5 minutes until golden and crispy

Buzymum - Crispy tortillas fresh from the oven

  • Serve the chilli in a bowl, topped with a dollop of sour cream and pieces of crispy tortilla to dip

Buzymum - Dinner time!


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Very Veggie, Beef Chilli

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