Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Updated on December 11, 2019
Eileen Goodall profile image

Cooking is one of Eileen's passions, and she hopes that you'll try out her recipes and enjoy them.

The completed chilli con carne served over rice.
The completed chilli con carne served over rice.

High on Flavour, Low on Calories

This is a perfect meal for anyone who is on a diet or just wants to cut their calorie intake. I have served this to countless people, and no one ever believes that it is low-fat (approximately 10 grams of fat per person) and low-calorie (300 calories per serving).

This recipe will happily feed a family of four and is one of our favourites. Served with either a baked potato or plain boiled rice and a green salad, it makes an excellent family dinner or a meal when hungry friends arrive.

It's an easy recipe, and it's best to get all the ingredients ready in advance so that you don't forget anything when you're adding everything at the end.

Chopped peppers and onions.
Chopped peppers and onions.


  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 large organic white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 organic green pepper, finely chopped
  • 100 grams of organic mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 ounces (or 325 grams) lean steak minced beef
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300 milliliters (or 1/2 pint) of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, or chilli powder to taste
  • 1 (400-gram) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (400-gram) can of chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper

Ingredient Note

Add the chilli powder a little at a time, and re-check halfway through to add more if you need to. I have been known to put too much chilli in, and although the rest of the family loved it, I had to settle for beans on toast. I was not a happy chicken.


  1. Heat the tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan.
  2. Add the onion and green pepper and stir-fry until soft. If your pan isn't as non-stick as mine and the veggies start to stick, do not add more oil but add a tablespoon of water instead—no calories and works just as well.
  3. Add the clove of crushed garlic.
  4. Add the 325 grams of minced beef and stir till brown.
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir into the mixture. Please don't put the mushrooms in at the same time as the onion and pepper because they will soak up all the oil and it will start to burn.
  6. Now add all the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Give the chilli a good stir, pop on a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes or more, checking on it occasionally and giving it another stir.
  8. Check the heat of the chilli halfway through and add more chilli powder if you want.

A close-up on the chilli.
A close-up on the chilli.

Eileen's Tips

Fancy making this chilli extra special? My favourite addition to this recipe is baby corn on the cob cut into little 1-centimeter rounds. The sauce sinks in-between all the little kernels of corn, and the crunchy texture is brilliant in the chilli.

If you hate cooking rice, try out the strategy below!
If you hate cooking rice, try out the strategy below!

Jamie Oliver's Easy Way to Cook Rice

Around Christmas some years ago, I was watching Jamie Oliver, and he taught me a new way of cooking rice. I am now a devotee of this method, and it has made rice-making so much easier and cleaner for me. You don't need any special rice cookers, just a shallow pot that has a lid and you're all fixed.

This amount serves four people, but it's easy to change the amount of rice. Just remember that 1 cup of rice = 2 cups of water.

  1. Sprinkle some salt in the bottom of your pan.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of rice.
  3. Add 3 cups of boiling water.
  4. Give it a stir and pop the lid on.
  5. Bring to the boil for 7 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat off, leave the lid on, and leave for 14 minutes.

And there you have it: perfect rice, no need to rinse, no boiling water to pour away, just whizz a fork through it and you have perfect fluffy rice to serve with your chilli. Thank you, Jamie!


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