The Best Chilli Recipe

The Best Chilli Recipe

by Pippa Kendrick |
Published on

Preparation Time

2 hours




Blend some of the cooked chilli meat until you have the desired consistency.

Finger Food

Give your toddler a few pieces of cooked cubed meat and chunks of bread for him to dip in the chilli.


  • 2 onions

  • 2 fresh red chillies

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1kg braising steak

  • 1 tbsp rice or gram flour

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 1 x 400g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

  • ½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp soft light brown sugar

  • 300ml beef stock

  • 200ml freshly made coffee

  • 15g dairy- and soya-free dark chocolate (2–4 squares in total)

  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper (leave out salt if giving to baby)

Looking for the best chili recipe? Chilli con Carne is a classic dish and a great way to get meat into your toddler - plus, you can vary the spice level depending on whether you're giving to a child. If you've got time, make it the day before so let the flavours really develop.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.

  2. Roughly chop the onions and finely slice the chillies, keeping the seeds. Crush the garlic and dice the beef into 2cm cubes.

  3. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and then add the cubed beef, tossing with your hands until lightly coated in the flour.

  4. Heat half the olive oil in a large, heavy-based casserole dish, add half the beef and fry over a medium–high heat for 5–6 minutes or until browned on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a plate, then fry the rest of the meat in the remaining olive oil before transferring to the plate with the first batch of beef.

Next, add the onions to the dish and fry over a medium heat for 5–10 minutes or until soft and just starting to brown. Add the garlic and chillies (if using) and cook for another minute or so. 
Return the beef to the casserole dish along with the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans (if using), tomato purée, chilli powder, cinnamon, sugar, stock and coffee.

  6. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven to cook gently for 1 ½ hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce thick and fragrant. When ready, remove from the oven and stir in the chocolate until melted and fully incorporated.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.