Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Spice Up Your Life: Chilli Recipe

The nights are drawing out and spring is in the air…well, it is when the sun shines. That said, it’s still chilly outside, so definitely not salad weather just yet.  Christmas is long gone, summer seems out of reach, and we are stuck in limbo. It’s the time of year when you want to come home and have warm, comforting food that is easy to make. Here’s a chilli recipe to the rescue!               


  • Beef mince 5% fat (Tesco’s £2.50 for 250g/£4.00 500g) or 10% fat (Tesco’s £3.00 for 500g)
  • 2 peppers (red and yellow) (Tesco’s £0.50p each)
  • 2 onions (Tesco’s £0.16p each)
  • Mushrooms (optional) (Tesco’s Closed Cup £0.79p for 300g)
  • Baked beans (Tesco’s £0.24p each or £2.00 for a pack of four)
  • Mild/hot Chili Powder (depending on how hot you like it) (Tesco’s £0.85p for 50g)
  • Ground cumin (optional) (Tesco’s £0.85p for 43g)
  • Cocoa powder (optional) (Tesco’s £1.99 for 250g)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Butter (optional) for cooking
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Basmati rice (Tesco’s £1.49 for 1kg)
  • Cheddar (optional) (Tesco’s £2.50 for 450g)
  • Sour cream (optional) (Tesco’s £0.60p for 150ml)
  • Salsa (optional) (Tesco’s £0.79p for 300g)

If you don’t want to use rice, chilli is lovely with a baked potato (Tesco’s £0.30p each), lentils (Tesco’s £2.29 for 250g), or nachos (Tesco’s £0.95p for 175g).

For a Vegetarian or Vegan Recipe

Use the following ingredients, and follow the method below:

Quorn (Tesco’s £3.00 for 350g) If vegan, ensure the Quorn doesn’t contain egg.  Alternatively, lentils can be used.

Useful Tips

  1. Add in mushrooms to bulk up your chilli, which will make it last a lot longer. I prefer to mince or chop my mushrooms finely, but you can just slice them into chunks before adding them at the end.  

  2. Cook your meat separately from the vegetables. It’ll brown nicely and any excess liquid will evaporate, giving a drier chilli.

  3. Caramelise the onions before adding the peppers and meat.  You can do this with just oil or oil and butter.  It adds colour and flavour to the dish.

  4. Cocoa powder is optional, but stir in a tablespoon once the beans have been added to give a richer colour and flavour.

  5. I use baked beans which have a lot of juice.  If you want your chilli drier, drain some of the juice off.  Equally, you can use cannellini beans or red kidney beans, but make sure to strain them first.  

  6. Freeze your chilli in freezer bags. It will take up less space in your freezer.  

  7. I put salt and/or a squeeze of tomato ketchup in my chilli, but this is optional.

Thankfully, death will not occur using my recipe! Follow the instructions and everything will turn out to be fine, I promise!


  1. Heat up the oil and butter in a saucepan on a medium heat.  Meanwhile, slice the onions finely, before placing into the saucepan.  Make sure to keep stirring the onions as they’re very easy to burn!  Once they are a golden brown, turn the heat down.

  2. While the onions are cooking, heat up oil in a separate pan for the mince. If you’re unable to do this (we’re students after all and who has more than one pan?!), once the onions have cooked, the mince can go into the same saucepan. Otherwise, cook the meat until it is a golden brown in its own pan.

  3. Slice the peppers thinly and cook with the onion.  Wait until they’re softened before placing the mince in with the other ingredients and stirring.

  4. Add in two teaspoons of chilli powder and cumin, depending on your tastes, and season the mix with salt and pepper.

  5. Use one tin of beans and tip into the mixture. Heat them through.

  6. Stir in one tablespoon of cocoa powder, and leave to simmer on a low heat.  

  7. If adding mushrooms, slice them finely and add to the mix. They cook faster, if you cook them separately. If you’re unable to do that, add them to the chilli 15 minutes before serving. 

  8. For the rice: tip the required amount into a plastic bowl.  Cover with water-this should be about a centimetre above the level of the rice.  

  9. Place in the microwave, and cook on high for 5 minutes, and then on defrost for 10 minutes.   

Serve with rice (or carbs of your choosing) and cover with cheese, sour cream, and salsa if desired.  

It may be cold outside, but in the kitchen, things should now have heated up nicely.  This recipe will certainly warm up the coolest of evenings, and offers a welcome respite from the temperamental and unpredictable weather.  In short, it’s guaranteed to spice up your life!  

Edited by Jenine Tudtud






Similar Reads👯‍♀️