Chili con carne

I really don’t like to bundle up events but there are so many out there that I’d like to participate in that I would have to cook several times a week every week to be able to participate in all. And other times, like this one, I just have to because of my lack of organizational skills time. There is one food event that I sign up for every month because I just love it. I am talking about Nicole’s Taste & Create. Every participant gets paired with another blogger. We pick a recipe from our partner’s blog, make it and blog about it. The pictures of the recipes get posted at as they arrive (this cool feature is new).

My problem this month (as it seems to be every month) was my lack of oragnizational skills. I didn’t realize today was the deadline until yesterday morning when I was checking my Food Events Calendar. I immediately started browsing Nina’s beautiful and delicious blog, but there was a problem. It is the end of the month, I don’t have much food in the refrigerator and I have spent my food budget for the week. So I had to find a recipe that called for the few ingredients I had on hand. Fortunately for me, Nina posted a couple of weeks ago a chili con carne and chocolate recipe that sounded delicious. However, she made that dish because in South Africa, where she’s from, they are in the middle of the winter. And what’s better for a cold winter than chili? The good fortune was on my side once again because yesterday we had a beautiful day here in Ohio. It was cloudy most of the day and the temperature didn’t get pass the mid 70’s F (20’s C)

I also realized that this dinner was perfect for this week’s Frugal Fridays. I really don’t know how much money I spent making this dinner, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t more than US $10. The most expensive ingredient was probably the pound of ground turkey at $1.99 I also added some other ingredients to Nina’s recipe to make the chili more hearty and healthy. One zucchini ($0.70), two potatoes (cheap), homemade kidney beans (also very cheap), canned tomatoes ($0.90). And I served it over white rice (cheap as well) because that was what caught my attention in Nina’s picture in the first place.

So here it is my version of Nina’s chili con carne:

Chili con carne
Serves 4 portions
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp ground Mexican oregano
  • 1lb (500 gr) ground turkey
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deveined and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 small potatoes, diced
  • 1 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 Abuelita chocolate bar (found in the Latino food section of your grocery store, if they don’t have one, change stores)
  • 2 cups red kidney beans
  • salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Heat oil in pan. Saute onion until soft. Add garlic and fry for 1 minute.
  2. Add pepper flakes, cumin and paprika and stir well.
  3. Toss in the meat and brown.
  4. Stir paprika, jalapeno, chopped tomatoes, tomato juice and chocolate and mix well. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Add kidney beans and season well.
  6. Serve with salsa (or salad and white rice in my case), avocado, lime wedges, sour cream and nachos and enjoy.

About this recipe:

  • I love the idea of adding chocolate to chili. I have actually tried that before for this pumpkin chili and it was delicious.
  • Like any other chili recipe. There is always room to add, change or reduce ingredients according to you and your family’s liking.

Remember that Frugal Fridays is a weekly event where participants are challenged to create a dinner for 4 with US $10 or less (a little bit more is OK) Check out today’s Thursday Thirteen about 13 frugal ingredients for every kitchen.

¡Buen provecho!


  • I love chili con carne made any way! And I agree. It’s def great for the food budget and very economical.

  • Even though its hot as hell today, I have been secrelty longonh for fall and cooking like this.

  • Hehe, Abuelita! That part intrigues me because it gives it a mole-ish essence, and I find that chocolate in savory foods gives it a nice depth. (The pumpkin chili recipe, which I’m about to see, sounds great!)

  • All right Ben. Now your talking my language. Abuelitas in the chili. Perfecto. Some people don’t realize all the dishes into which you can incorporate Mexican Chocolate. How wonderful. Bien hecho Ben.

  • I’ve never had chili con carne before. I bet yours is absolutely delicious.

  • Phew! We nearly didn’t make it, Ben. Your chili Con Carne looks so scrumptious. I simply left out the beans, because my family is not great on legumes. Although a wintery dish, you photo looks all summery – bright and cheerful!

  • Yum yum yum! Looks great!

  • Ooooh, even though it’s hotter than the dickens here (what exactly *is* a dickens, anyway? lol), that chili has me wishing I had a big ol pot of it bubbling on the stove…yum! Delicious meal, Ben! 🙂

  • Hey, I see nothing wrong with two birds with one stone, dude. If I ever suffer from hypothermia, that chili looks like it’ll fix me right up. I like how you incorporated cheap ingredients we all probably have on hands. Nice touch.

  • This looks like a great chili recipe, and I love the chocolate addition! I need to get some Mexican chocolate – I miss making Mexican Hot Chocolate (and I have it iced in the summer).

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