Meatball Chilli

Meatball Chilli

Meatball Chilli pushes lots of comfort food buttons for me, it is rich, warming and tastes as if you have put far more work into it than it requires. It is a great supper dish for if you have friends round and don’t want to spend hours cooking but equally, you want it to look like you have made some effort.

This is a a lovely mild Chilli recipe that is very quick to make using ‘cheat meatballs’. I have tried it with a variety of different types of sausage to see which works best and I would suggest that you go for a dense, meaty sausage rather than a more loosely packed one. I tend to use Cumberland sausages as they are well flavoured and hold together through longer cooking if necessary.

You can make Meatball Chilli very quickly but if you have time to leave it cooking for a little longer, you will benefit in terms of better flavours and a richer sauce. I generally serve it with Rice but it goes equally well with Cous Cous, Mashed Potatoes or even Pasta.

It is a good recipe to introduce Chilli to delicate palates, especially children, who are often a bit wary of anything hot and spicy. You can make it as hot as you like depending on how many Chillies you use. If you don’t have fresh Chillies replace them with 1 heaped teaspoon of chilli powder. Obviously if you want it to have more heat, you can add more chillies.

Keep an eye on the amount of fluid. You want enough to make a good sauce but not so much that it becomes thin and wishy washy. I don’t use any stock cubes or similar in this recipe as I don’t think it needs it, but if you wanted to emphasise the ‘meaty’ flavours you can easily crumble in a chicken stock cube, you won’t need so much salt if you do that so adjust your seasoning towards the end of the cooking time.


  • 8 Thick meaty Sausages
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 2 large Red Peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1 x 400gm tin of Kidney Beans - rinsed
  • 2 x 400 gms tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander


Step 1

Remove the skin from the sausages and split them into small, bite-sized meatballs

Step 2

Heat oil in a large pan and brown the meatballs, make sure they are properly browned so that they don’t collapse

Step 3

Add the onions and continue to cook until they have softened

Step 4

Add the peppers and cook for 3 - 5 mins until they are beginning to soften

Step 5

Add the chillies, garlic and spices, cook until the spice aromas are released but do not burn

Step 6

Add the Kidney Beans and Tomatoes

Step 7

Rinse out the Tomato tins with a little water and add that to the mix

Step 8

Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for at least 30 mins, the longer you cook it, the smoother and richer the sauce will become

Step 9

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if required

Step 10


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Comment (1)

  1. posted by Elanor on December 10, 2013

    I made this the other day, absolutely delicious. The pork and leek sausages I used came in packs of 6 not 8 so I just threw in a leek and some mushrooms I had kicking around in the fridge to make it a bit more vegetabley – worked really well and pleasing to use up veg that would prob have ended up unloved and in the bin otherwise!


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