Quick Chilli - Nigella Lawson

This chilli is most certainly quick and so very easy to make, no chopping or messing about.  Taken from Nigella Lawson's book 'Nigella Express'. 

I'll be making this again as it was really good. My beans were not the spicy kind - just mixed beans in water, so I did add the chilli flakes.

When I made this, I forgot to add the sweet chilli sauce.  It was still yummy, so please don't fuss if you don't have any. 

Print Recipe
To serve 4 you will need:
150g chorizo sausage - cut into 5mm slices then each slice halved to make half moons
500g minced beef - nice and lean with no more than 12% fat
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1 x 400g jar good-quality tomato and chunky vegetable sauce for pasta
1 x 390g can mixed beans - in spicy tomato sauce
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
a pinch or two dried chilli flakes (optional, or if your canned beans are not spicy)

How to do it:
Put the sliced chorizo into a hot, heavy-based pan and cook over a medium heat until the sausage crisps a little and gives up its orange-red oil. Now remove the chorizo and set aside - but don't bother to clean the pan.  Add the mince and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook till it browns.
Once the mince has browned, stir in the spices.  Now add the pasta and vegetable sauce and sweet chilli sauce.  Add the can of spicy beans - if your beans are in water drain them well, you don't want to add a load of water.
Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 or so minutes.
When it's nice and hot, add back in the chorizo and cook for a minute more to heat the chorizo through.  Now have a taste and add the chilli flakes if you need more heat or if you've managed only to find canned beans in water. 
Don't forget to remove those cardamoms - they are quite horrid if bitten in to.
Nigella adds the chilli back in much earlier in the recipe but I think it tends to go a funny colour. 


  1. Jan, that looks really good. We love chili and eat it nearly year round. This sounds a bit sweeter than I usually make, but I bet it is good!

  2. I have that book and need to use it more!!! Your tasty looking photo has convinced me of that!

  3. That's one book I haven't got, after seeing this I might have to order it!
    Great photo Jan!

  4. That looks one mighty good chili Jan.

  5. That looks so tasty! I really like the sound of using chorizo sausage to make chili. The cinnamon, cardamom and sweet chili sauce also sound really good!

  6. Friday night food... and guess what? It is Friday. I am taking the ground beef out the freezer right now.

  7. That sounds interesting and looks really good. I'd never tried chorizo in chili, but now I wonder why I never have. Sounds delicious

  8. Oh i've made this twice already! it's absolutely Gorgeous! God Bless Nigella!

  9. Chorizo? Wow - that's what I've been missing in my chilli. Everything tastes better with chorizo.

  10. I've made this recipe a couple of times and it is an excellent recipe, I completely confused one person who couldn't believe you could make a good chili without onions and garlic. Thanks for posting.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

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