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Next Steps Chilli Con Carne

Claire Wright

In season now


Beef (or pork/chicken/turkey) mince – approx 200-300g for a family of 4 – or veggie alternative

1 tbsp mild chilli powder

2 tsp ground cumin

400-500g homemade tomato sauce OR 400g chopped tomatoes

400g tin cooked beans (good choices include black or kidney or mixed beans)

A handful per person of 1-2 veg (see suggestions in recipe)


We suggest you do this in stages, slowly, and go as far as works for your family, here’s how your final recipe might come together…


  1. Cook the mince in a pan with a little oil until browned and cooked through. If you are using fresh veg (eg: diced carrots or onion, sliced peppers or mushrooms, etc), add them now and cook for 5-10 mins until softened. Stir the spices through and cook for another minute. Pour in the sauce or chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 15-20 mins, stirring regularly and adding some water if it starts to stick.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the chilli and cook for another 2-3 mins until everything is hot. If you want to add some extra protein with a tin of cooked lentils as you are using less meat, add these with the beans.
  3. Serve with cooked rice or couscous (or over jacket potatoes, in wraps, stirred through pasta…).
Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating. Find out more here.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

You could get the kids to help with browning the mince, or  getting the rice ready by measuring one mug rice to 2 mugs water into a pan for 4 people. Older kids might be ready to chop veggies, while younger ones may be happier washing them and adding the spices to the pan with you.

Master these skills:

Cleaning vegetables,  Weighing,  Tasting,  Mixing


Use arts & crafts as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. While you make your spag bol sauce, why not set a child up with:

Sweetcorn Face Mask

Sweetcorn Veg Crown

Cut Out ‘n’ Colour Corn

Sweetcorn Top Secret Code Puzzle

Time to Face the Heat Corn Puzzle

Find more arts & crafts and puzzles & games on our website.



Why not start with a spoonful of tinned sweetcorn and get your child to describe what they feel – maybe they are “bumpy” or feel like tiny pebbles or gemstones! See if they want to chuck some into the chilli after having engaged with them.



If your kids aren’t ready to be in the kitchen helping with part of the prep or cooking process, why not give them a job around the serving that could help them feel involved in the meal? You could ask your child to help you serve up the chilli and add any toppings to the plates, or lay out in small bowls for people to “build their own” chilli at the table. Get more ideas over on our Roles for Kids page.

Claire Wright

Editor: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, then Editor, looking after Veg Power's website, content, recipes and social media platforms.

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