Chilli con carne meatballs recipe – a remix on a classic that only takes 30 minutes to make! Super easy to make in one pot and gluten-free as always.
Chilli con carne meatballs recipe – it couldn’t be easier to transform something you’ve probably had a billion times into something totally new and exciting. Best of all, it costs just £1 a portion!
As if being gluten-free wasn’t expensive enough already, the price of all food products seems to be shooting up lately.
And whilst I can’t do much to change that, I can most definitely provide you with recipes that are budget-friendly and show you how to get the most out of your ingredients.
Cooking from scratch can be a big money-saver, but it certainly doesn’t have to take hours to get food on the table – this one takes just 30 minutes from start to finish. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it happen:
Chilli con carne meatballs recipe: What you’ll need…
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- Beef mince: I used 10% fat beef mince – if using 20% fat or higher, ensure you drain off any excess liquid that may be released during frying.
- Cornflour: This helps to keep the meatballs lovely and juicy by retaining more moisture, instead of it escaping onto the tray.
- Ground cumin and smoked paprika: These are my spices of choice for a classic chilli, both of which work well in the meatballs and the sauce too.
- Salt and black pepper: A little seasoning goes a long way, so don’t forget these!
- Egg: This helps to bind the meatballs together, though you can omit it if you struggle to tolerate it.
FOR THE CHILLI:
- Garlic-infused oil: An instant injection of wonderful garlic flavour – no chopping or pre-frying of fresh garlic required. And if your garlic oil doesn’t have any bits of actual garlic floating in it, then it’s low FODMAP too.
- Green pepper: Any colour of pepper will do in reality, but green has a stronger flavour and is generally a little less sweet.
- Cornflour: I like a thick, chunky chilli and this ensures you get exactly that! Gluten-free plain flour works too.
- Ground cumin and smoked paprika: These magic spices will come in handy once again for the sauce.
- Dried chilli flakes: It wouldn’t be a chilli without chilli! Using the dried version is super convenient and allows you to control the heat levels to your liking: a 1/2 tsp is a medium heat, but feel free to use 1 full tsp instead for a hotter finish.
- Chopped tomatoes: A humble can of chopped tomatoes will do perfectly here.
- Gluten-free beef stock: Any stock will work, as long it’s gluten-free! You’ll find these labelled as ‘gluten-free’ with all the other stock cubes in the supermarket.
- Kidney beans: Make sure you drain them first.
- Dried long grain rice: Cook your rice however you prefer: steamed, boiled or even microwaved. Once cooked, you can then simply add…
- Frozen peas: Of course, ensure they’re cooked first! You can do this either by gently warming them in a pan, or in a little water in the microwave.
- Coarsely ground black pepper: Adding black pepper to rice instantly transforms it, so I’d highly recommend giving it a try!
- Spring onion: This is just to add on at the end, giving a lovely fresh onion flavour.
So, what do my chilli con carne meatballs recipe taste like?
The sauce is a classic, smoky, chunky, mildly spicy tomato sauce, packed with green pepper and kidney beans. Then, instead of using beef mince the traditional way, I’ve opted to make them into meatballs instead!
Why? Because it totally transforms this meal! Trust me, you just have to try it. Each meatball is slightly crisp on the outside, yet juicy and tender in the middle; when coated in that sauce and served with rice, it’s absolute perfection!
Here’s a few frequently asked questions before we get started:
Chilli con carne meatballs recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.
Can I make your chilli con carne meatballs recipe dairy-free?
It is dairy-free!
Can I make your chilli con carne meatballs recipe veggie or vegan?
It’s a little different, but I’ve already done the hard work for you with my veggie chilli con carne recipe. Just use dairy-free cheese to make it vegan.
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
See the guidance below! With these changes made, one serving of the finished dish would be a safe low FODMAP serving size:
- Ensure your garlic-infused oil doesn’t have any actual bits of garlic floating in it (the one in Tesco is safe, but sadly the one in Aldi is not, for example)
- Ensure a serving size of no more than 75g of green pepper per person
- Swap the kidney beans for 180g (drained) canned black beans
- Use a low FODMAP stock cube
- Use the green parts of spring onion only
Can I use veg other than peppers?
Yes, as long as they can reasonably cook in time! Here’s a few other veg swaps you could make, as long as they’re all finely chopped:
Can I make this using turkey mince? What about lamb mince?
Yes! For turkey mince, I’d recommend using turkey thigh mince. Lamb would work well, as well as using half beef mince and half pork mince too.
Is this a healthy recipe?
Yes! You guys requested more healthy, every day gluten-free dinner recipes so that’s exactly what I’m going to make.
If you want to make it even healthier still, you can always:
- Use 5% fat beef mince (this will make it more expensive)
- Omit the egg from the meatballs
- Use a low-calorie garlic spray instead of garlic-infused oil
Can I freeze your chilli con carne meatballs recipe?
Yes! Once cooled, simply portion into airtight containers and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
To reheat from frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat in the microwave until piping hot in the middle.
You can also store this in the fridge for 3-4 days and microwave until piping hot too.
Chilli con carne meatballs recipe: Tips for quick and easy prep + cooking
- Get your spices and seasoning out before you start, so they’re ready for when you need them. Trust me, it makes cooking feel a lot easier!
- Make the meatballs whilst the oven is heating and chop the veg whilst the oil is heating. An ice cream scoop makes forming the balls super easy – simply scoop and turn out straight onto the tray.
- Bake the meatballs in the oven until nicely browned and crisp. Don’t be afraid to give them an extra few minutes to get that ultimate crispy exterior.
- Simmer the sauce until it’s to your preferred thickness. The sauce has flour in it, so if it’s a little too thin for your liking, just simmer it until it thickens up.
- Prepare the rice ahead of time. If serving with rice, put it on before you start cooking this. A microwave packet of rice makes this part even easier and quicker too.
Chilli Con Carne Meatballs Recipe
For the meatballs:
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch salt and black pepper
- 1 egg
For the chilli:
- 1 tbsp garlic-infused oil
- 2 green peppers chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 1.5 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 0.5 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 200 ml gluten-free beef stock
- 400 g tin of kidney beans drained
- 300 g dried long grain rice
- 100 g frozen peas
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- handful spring onion greens finely chopped
- Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Once done, keep warm for later.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs. Roll into balls and place onto a lightly greased baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until crisp on the outside.
- Heat oil in a pan on a medium heat, add the chopped pepper and fry for a few minutes before adding all the spices, dried chilli flakes and cornflour. Mix and allow to cook until the spices are fragrant – about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stock, mix and then add the drained kidney beans. Allow to simmer until thickened to your liking. Place the meatballs into the sauce.
- Prepare the frozen peas (I microwave mine at 900W for 2-3 minutes in a bowl with a little water), drain and mix into the rice along with the coarsely ground black pepper.
- Serve with the rice and finish with chopped spring onion greens on top.
Thanks for reading all about my chilli con carne meatballs recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!
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Thanks for reading,
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