Chilli con carne is quick, filling and nutritious, and this version shakes up how you serve it – spooned into peppers, topped with cheese and roasted.


Place the olive oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the minced meat or veggie mince, onion and sliced chilli and fry for 5 minutes, breaking up any lumps – the butter will help the mince to brown.

Add the garlic, cumin and chilli powder and fry for 2–3 minutes, then add the tomatoes, beans and stock and cook gently for 10 minutes until a gravy starts to form. Season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF), 180ºC fan, Gas Mark 6. Grease a baking tray with the extra oil. Slice the top off the peppers and scoop out the seeds, aiming to keep the flesh otherwise intact. Place them on the baking tray; I find it works best to use a small tray so that you can pack the peppers in to help them stay upright.

Spoon the chilli into the peppers until it is almost spilling over the sides. Sprinkle the cheese on top and roast in the oven for 15 minutes until the peppers start to brown and the cheese bubbles.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and a scattering of coriander.

Tip: Peppers make a wonderful “bowl” for all sorts of dishes. Use them in place of pastry for a different individual quiche, roast them filled with your favourite pasta bake, or pile high with chickpea salad for a packed lunch.

Kids in the Kitchen

Put the kids in charge of the halved peppers – help them scoop out the seeds carefully with a spoon, and let them place them on the baking trays and gently spoon the chilli filling into them. Give them the grated cheese to sprinkle over, and let them plate up the dinner with creme fraiche and coriander.