Two-for-One – Cook Once – Eat Twice : Chilli-con-Carne

Day One

Day Two

Click on the different days to see how it all changes! (- it took me a while to make it work!)

One of the best ways I find to save time during the week is to cook extra one night to use the next evening also. Of course, what you don’t want is for the children to take one look at it the second time around and chorus “Oh no, not this again!” (even though they liked it the first time). So the trick is that you need to make it look different!

This Chilli con carne is simple enough to cook double quantities one evening and turn into something different quite simply for the next day – such as…

…Quick Meal Ideas for Day Two:

  1. Chilli served traditionally with rice.
  2. Chilli with tortilla crisps and melted cheese: Heat the cooked chilli in the oven till piping hot. Then cover with coarsely crushed tortilla crisps, scatter with grated cheddar cheese and heat under the grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling on top (= our family favourite).
  3. Chilli wraps: Heat chilli in a pan / microwave until hot and serve with warmed tortilla wraps, sour cream, shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.
  4. Chilli Tortillas: For a slightly different look – see this recipe which can be made just as easily with leftover chilli.
  5. Or freeze the other half to have chilli another day.

I never really used to like Chilli until I discovered that you don’t need to include kidney beans to call it chilli. I love the way they look – those purple little beans somehow make the chilli look more satisfying, but in reality they always seem rather tasteless and disappointing. So it was good to discover that the original chillis didn’t have beans in them. I had always thought that chilli without beans was – well – spaghetti bolognaise or something similar. But apparently not.

In actual fact it seems that Chillis-in-the-olden-days didn’t necessarily have tomatoes in them either – but as I rather like the tomato-ey taste I’ve decided to ignore this – let’s not take this passion for authenticity too far!

Authentic or not – this recipe is tasty (delicious says my husband in a moment of praise), easy to make, doesn’t have a list of ingredients that goes onto the second page and is quick to put together. And of course, you can add kidney beans if you want!

I’ve given here double quantities so you can eat for two evenings with different looks (see the picture change above!), so remember to halve them if you only want to serve 4. Just remember, if you are going to cook double and eat twice, take out the second nights ‘ration’ before serving up the first night (so it doesn’t get eaten). Chill it quickly and store in the fridge without delay – and of course, it needs reheating properly the next night.

However you eat it, I hope you enjoy it!

Chilli Con Carne

(Serves 6-8. This is enough for 2 meals for my family)
(Fridge to Table time: About an hour)


  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, washed, deseeded and diced
  • 2 green peppers, washed, deseeded and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Oil
  • 2 x 500g packs of beef mince
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teasp mild chilli powder
  • 2 teasp ground paprika
  • 3 teasp soft brown sugar
  • 3 tablesp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablesp tomato puree
  • 150 mls beef stock


  1. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and fry onions, peppers and garlic over a medium heat until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, fry the mince in a little oil until browned.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the onions and peppers. Mix the last five ingredients together in a bowl and add to vegetables. Add the meat and stock, season and stir well.
  4. Simmer the chilli over a low heat for about half an hour till the sauce thickens. Stir occasionally to keep it from catching.
  5. Serve with rice, salad and garlic bread – or as one of the variations above.
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