Molina's Cantina Chile Con Carne Copycat

Prep Time
Cook Time
2h 30m
Ready In

Recipe: #39925

December 22, 2022

"They put this over cheese enchiladas with more cheese and raw onions"

Original is 8 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (255.3 g)
  • Calories 470.2
  • Total Fat - 19.6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 6.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 100.9 mg
  • Sodium - 697.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 35.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.7 g
  • Sugars - 0.1 g
  • Protein - 36.5 g
  • Calcium - 82.9 mg
  • Iron - 5.6 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0.4 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.4 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Soak Chile Pods in hot water until soft - about 45 minutes

Step 2

Drain saving water

Step 3

Grind Chile Pods in processor - should be a coarse puree add enough water to make a paste

Step 4

Brown Meat, add Chile Paste, Spices (to taste)and simmer about 30 minutes

Step 5

Add Cracker Meal and mix well.

Step 6

Slowly add water that you have soaked chili pods in do slowly so it's not to watery until desired consistency.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • When selecting the chili grind ground beef, opt for a leaner option for a healthier dish.
  • When selecting the dried chile ancho pods, make sure they are not moldy and have a vibrant color.

  • Substitute 1/2 cup of tomato sauce for 2 cups of water for a richer flavor and more intense color.
  • Substitute 1 pound of ground turkey for 2 pounds of chili grind ground beef for a leaner and healthier meal.

Vegetarian Variation Replace the ground beef with 2 pounds of crumbled tempeh and use vegetable broth instead of water.

Mexican Rice: This fluffy and flavorful Mexican-style rice is the perfect accompaniment to Molina's Cantina Chile Con Carne, as it adds a savory, slightly spicy flavor to the dish. It's also a great way to stretch the meal and make it more filling for your guests.

Chile con Queso: This creamy and cheesy dip is a great way to add a bit of heat and texture to the meal. It's a tasty accompaniment to the Mexican Rice, and it's sure to be a hit with your guests. Plus, it's easy to make and can be served as an appetizer or side dish.


Q: How long do I need to soak the chile pods?

A: Soak the chile pods in hot water for about 45 minutes until they are soft.

Q: How do I remove the seeds from the chile pods?

A: To remove the seeds from the chile pods, use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Make sure to wear gloves when handling the chile pods.

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Fun facts:

This recipe is a copycat of the famous Molina's Cantina Chile Con Carne, a restaurant that opened in San Antonio in 1941. The restaurant is known for its Tex-Mex cuisine and has been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The Molina family, who founded the restaurant, are credited with popularizing the combination of chili con carne and cheese enchiladas. This dish has since become an iconic Tex-Mex classic, and is now served in restaurants across the United States.