Gluten free chilli con carne


There are some meals you just cannot beat, and my gluten free chilli con carne recipe is an absolute classic. Whether you’re loading it up on nachos or just want a warming winter bowl of goodness, it’s the ultimate pick-me-up. Meaty, smoky and spicy, I’ve spent years tweaking this recipe to (what I’d call) perfection and I think, friends, I’ve finally nailed it!

So what’s the key to making a great gluten free chilli con carne? The most important thing is to take is sloooow. You cannot rush greatness and that is certainly true of this recipe. In fact, I think this gluten free chilli con carne recipe is best made the night before, so the flavours can develop overnight.

If you don’t have time for that, then you need to at least adhere to the recipe timings and not rush! I’ve tried to make this in a hurry before and it’s simply not as good. Trust me, it’s worth waiting for.


The perfect gluten free chilli con carne

Getting the right spice mix is also key in this recipe. I like my chilli con carne to have a bit of a kick without being too overpowering, and would say this recipe is about a medium heat. If you really like it hot you could always substitute the mild chilli powder for hot – or add some chopped fresh red chillis to the mix with the other spices. 

In terms of other flavourings, I also use paprika – you can go for unsmoked or smoked depending how smoky you like it, it works well with both. But the two absolutely key ingredients in my gluten free chilli con carne?

Number one, I always use the Knorr beef stock pots as they are gluten free and give such a rich flavour. But if you can’t find them, there are some other gluten free stock alternatives here.

The second most important thing? Chocolate! You may think I’ve gone mad, but adding a square of dark chocolate will make ALL the difference to your gluten free chilli con carne! It adds a really rich depth of flavour with the tiniest hint of sweetness, and gives the chilli a lovely colour too. I normally add about 85% dark chocolate but anything other 70% would work.


Ways to serve your chilli con carne

This recipe is fantastic for batch cooking as you can make a load and then keep it in the freezer for when you just need something quick and comforting. And when it does come to dishing it up, here are some of my favourite ways to serve your gluten free chilli con carne:

  • Serve it straight up with boiled rice and some fresh coriander on top, with a dollop of sour cream on the side to balance out the heat.
  • If you’re trying to eat less carbs, this makes a really hearty meal just served in a bowl topped with crumbled feta (trust me, it’s amazing!), avocado and some crumbled tortilla chips.
  • Or go the whole hog and make some loaded gluten free chilli nachos! Lay your gluten free tortilla chips out in a bowl, top with the chilli, some salsa and grated cheese then grill until melted. Finish off with sour cream and guacamole for the ultimate feast!


My gluten free chilli con carne recipe

Dinner is served! Here’s the recipe you’ve been waiting for – my delicious gluten free beef chilli, cooked low and slow for the ultimate meal. Enjoy!

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Gluten free chilli con carne

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This gluten free chilli con carne recipe is the perfect winter warmer. Dairy free and great with rice or nachos - and perfect for batch cooking.


  • 500 g 15% fat beef mince, (see notes)
  • 1 onion, (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150 ml passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves , (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Knorr beef stock pot
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans
  • 1 square dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp oil, (rapeseed oil, coconut oil or olive oil work best)

For the spice mix:

  • 1 heaped tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


  1. Add the oil to a large pan and place on a low to medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want them to go soft and translucent - if they start to catch or go brown then turn the heat down a little.
  2. Add the garlic, pepper and spices (except the marjoram) to the pan and stir well. Fry for another 4-5 minutes, stirring. Don't worry too much if the spices catch on the bottom as this will come lose when you add the liquid later!
  3. Turn the pan heat up to medium/high and add the beef - you want it to be sizzling and browning, not stewing in liquid! Use a wooden spatula to break up the beef mince and stir the mixture well. Add the stock pot and stir into the mix. Fry for 4-5 minutes until there are no pink bits of beef left.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, passata, marjoram and a good helping of salt and pepper to taste. Stir well until everything is mixed together, place a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to low. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring approx every 5 mins to ensure nothing is sticking.
  5. After 20 minutes the mixture should have thickened and deepened in colour. Drain the kidney beans and add them to the mix, along with the square of chocolate. Stir well, replace the lid and turn off the heat. Leave for 10 minutes for the flavours to really absorb.
  6. After 10 minutes, take the lid off, stir and then serve up straight away. Any leftovers can keep in the fridge for around 3 days or can be frozen and defrosted as needed.


In this recipe I have used 15% fat beef mince for several reasons. I tried it with a lean, 5% fat beef mince and while it does work, the texture and favour is not as deep. The 15% fat beef mince is also cheaper and therefore helps if you're cutting costs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 566Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 254mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 46g

Need some more gluten free dinner inspiration?

Want to have a go at making some more easy gluten free and vegan recipes? Give some of these other gluten free recipes a try! There are plenty to choose from – here are a couple to get you going:

If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next! Oh – and don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter where you’ll know about all my latest posts and competitions first!

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1 Comment

  1. February 3, 2020 / 14:56

    Looks yummy Sarah…. LOVE a good chilli and yes… it should always be cooked slow (and preferably made in enough quantity to enjoy several days later)… Not sure (apart from the stock risk) that I’ve ever come across a chilli that isn’t gluten free? xx

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