I came across a version of this recipe originally in a baby/toddler recipe book, and my initial thought was that chilli was a bit grown up to give to a baby! However, after also seeing it on the nursery menu, I gave it a go and from my girls being very young, it’s always been in our meal rotation since.
The great thing about home cooking is being able to adapt and tweak ingredients as needed, and this started out as a very mild chilli, more warm than spicy. As my girls have grown we can get away with a decent amount of spice now (sometimes it’s surprising how much heat kids can handle!). My eldest loves this dish and despite me often labeling her as my “fussy” eater, she clears her plate every time, pepper chunks and all.
Many chilli recipes call for beans of some sort, and I must admit, I don’t usually use them as it’s me who can’t really stand them!! However, you can use mixed beans/kidney beans in this recipe to add bulk, fibre and – if you’re that way inclined – flavour.
One of my favourite things about making a batch of this is that often a pack of mince will do us for 2 meals, and it’s a great thing to have on standby in the freezer for a quick dinner later down the line. It can easily be turned into wraps/quesedillas/burritos, served over a jacket potato or some steamed rice, or – as we like it – over some tortilla chips and topped with soured cream and cheese for a delicious supper or buffet dish.
I’ve made this with beef mince, turkey mince, and quorn mince – it’s very versatile and turns out fab every time.
- 450g mince (beef, turkey or quorn)
- 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow pepper and 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (vary according to how spicy you like it!! You can omit this altogether for very young children)
- 2x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ handful fresh coriander, to serve (optional)
- In a large pan, dry fry the mince until browned. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the spices to the pan and fry until the mixture in the pan starts to brown at the bottom
- Add the peppers and chopped tomatoes. Fill one of the empty tomato cans with water, and add this too
- Stir well, cover and simmer on a low heat for an hour, stirring regularly. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking to reduce the sauce slightly. (Note: You can also simmer uncovered on a medium heat for 20 minutes and your chilli will still be yummy – the hour cooking time will give the best results taste wise!)
- Finish with a pinch of salt & pepper, and some torn coriander leaves