One-pot chilli con carne meatballs

These meatballs are cooked in a mildly spiced tomato-based sauce packed with vegetables and beans, which means extra nutrients in your meal.

Less than 30 minutes

Serves 4-6


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  • 800g beef mince
  • 2 tsp (10ml) each ground coriander and cumin
  • 1 tsp (5ml) salt
  • Milled pepper
  • ½ punnet (10g) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) olive or canola oil, for frying



  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) each ground coriander, ground cumin and paprika
  • 1 tsp (5ml) cayenne pepper or chilli flakes
  • 1 can (400g) peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (400g) tomato puree
  • 1 can (400g) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (400g) corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp (5ml) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5ml) cocoa powder


For serving:

  • Fresh coriander or parsley
  • Lime or lemon juice
  • Tortilla chips or rice
  • Sour cream (optional)



  1. Combine meatball ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Roll mixture into golf-ball-sized balls. 
  3. Heat half the oil in a large pan over high heat.
  4. Fry meatballs in batches until browned and crisp all over, about 3-5 minutes. (Don’t crowd the pan or they will steam instead.) Remove and set aside.
  5. Add remaining oil to pan and sauté onion and red pepper for about 5 minutes, until softened.
  6. Add garlic and spices, fry for a minute, then add other sauce ingredients. 
  7. Cook sauce for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Nestle meatballs in sauce, cover and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes (or in the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes).
  9. Sprinkle with coriander and dress with lime or lemon juice.
  10. Serve meatballs in sauce with rice or tortilla chips and sour cream. 


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