La Cocina Chili Colorado

La Cocina Chili Colorado con Carne is a hearty dish made with red chili powder and ground beef.

chili colorado con carne in a skillet

La Cocina is located in Taos, New Mexico. This recipe is from their book: Taos Recipe

This is a red sauce spicy chili that is made in a restaurant in Taos, New Mexico called La Cocina. The chili colorado sauce has a tangy yet spicy flavor paired with chunks of ground beef.            

Why Is it called Chili Colorado?

While colorado is definitely not located in Mexico or New Mexico, then where does the name colorado come from? 

Apparently, in Spanish, the word colorado can be translated to mean “red” as well. So since the sauce for this chili is a red sauce, they used the word colorado instead. 

This recipe also comes from La Cocina in New Mexico so that is also where I got the same for this chili colorado beef recipe.

What Do You Need for Chili Colorado con Carne?

This colorado chili recipe does not stray too much from a traditional American chili in terms of most of its ingredients. 

Here is a list of everything you will need for this chili colorado con carne recipe: 

  • Ground beef
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Caraway seeds
  • Red chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Water
  • Tomato sauce

The only ingredient that might stand out in this recipe is the caraway seeds. If you do not already have it in your pantry you can get caraway seeds HERE!

How to Make This Chili Colorado Beef Recipe

You will need to brown the meat in a large skillet. Once that is done, drain the grease from the pan. Then add in all of the spices to the pan and mix them into the beef. 

Next, add in the tomato sauce and water and mix it well. Once you are done with that, then just let it simmer together for the flavors to come together. 

Is Red Chili Sauce and Red Enchilada Sauce the Same Thing?

In short, yes it is! In New Mexico they either call it red chili sauce or red sauce. However, in the store you will find it as red enchilada sauce. 

So, when you go to the grocery store, look for enchilada sauce, it will be easier to find. 🙂 

How Can I Make the Chili Hotter or More Mild?

There are two different ways you can adjust the heat for this recipe. 

  1. Paprika
    Paprika is a heat agent in this recipe. By adding more paprika you will increase the heat of the recipe. By adding less paprika the chili colorado recipe will be more mild.
  2. Red chili powder
    Chili powder is known for adding heat to recipes. By adding extra chili powder you will be able to make the chili hotter. If you add less chili powder you can make the recipe more mild.

While both of these ways will work, adjusting the chili powder is normally the best way to get the desired spiciness for this chili colorado. 

Can You Add Beans to Colorado Chili?

You definitely can add beans to colorado chili! Some of my favorites to add to chili are kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, and chickpeas!

What is the Best Cut of Beef for Chili Colorado con Carne?

Depending on how you want the recipe to turn out, I use two types of meat. 

If you are wanting this recipe to be more like a true chili recipe, ground beef will work perfectly. 

However, if you want this to have more of a stew-like consistency, I would use a chuck roast. You can cut it up into little chunks or buy the precut stew beef chunks. 

How To Serve Chili Colorado Con Carne

You can serve this delicious colorado chili with some spanish rice or on its own like a traditional chili. 

If you choose to do it on its own, then you can also use sour cream, cheese, cilantro and more as toppings!

Colorado Chili Storage Tips

This recipe will last for about 5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. If you’d like to freeze it, make sure that the food cools down completely and then pop the airtight and freezer-safe container in the freezer and it will last wonderfully for up to 3 months. 

Ingredients for Chili Colorado con Carne

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Ground beef
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Caraway seeds
  • Red chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Water
  • Tomato sauce
chili colorado con carne ingredients

How to Make a Chili Colorado Beef Recipe

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Drain off the fat and return the beef to skillet.
    browned ground beef crumbles in a skillet
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
    browned ground beef and chili colorado spices in a skillet
  4. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with flour tortillas and any toppings you enjoy on chili.
chili colorado con carne in a skillet, flour tortillas, and lime wedges

Love Chili? Try these recipes!

Check out more of my easy chili and soup recipes and the best ground beef recipes here on CopyKat!

chili colorado con carne in a skillet

La Cocina Chili Colorado Recipe

Make La Cocina Chili Colorado con Carne at home.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chili Colorado, Chili con Carne, La Cocina Chili Colorado con Carne
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 530kcal


  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 6 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 6 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce


  • Place the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Sauté the beef until it is done and browned. Break up the meat while cooking to crumble it.
  • Drain off the fat and return the beef to skillet.
  • Add salt, garlic powder, cumin, caraway seeds, red chili powder, and paprika. Stir to combine everything together well.
  • Add water and tomato sauce. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Serve with flour tortillas and any toppings you enjoy on chili.


Please note the quantity of the chili powder is 6 tablespoons, if you prefer less, please use less.


Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 1094mg | Potassium: 883mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5865IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 7.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Liane

    5 stars
    You saved my day! I’m a long time Butcher Box subscriber and this never happened before! My $300 box of mostly beef arrived thawed today. So I got cooking. First I cooked a batch of bone in chicken thighs to shred later – in the instant pot while half defrosted. Not to be stopped I put a partially thawed tri tip in a zip lock with Santa Maria rub and put it in the fridge for two day from now. That left me with four sirloin steaks about the size of the palm of my hand. They were just at the easy to slice stage so I did just that and returned them mostly frozen to the freezer. Then I was stuck with two lbs of nearly completely defrosted ground sirloin. Stephanie to the rescue. We made your Colorado chili and I uses red enchilada sauce and I did one thing that I always do. I chopped very finely a handful of shredded carrots. They disappeared into the chili but add a bit of sweetness. To balance the Pato brand enchilada sauce. And for the finishing touch I made Red Lobster Chaddar Bay biscuits. I don’t have bisquick but I have a gluten free baking mix just for biscuits. The rest of the ingredients were just the way that you wrote it. Next time I’m using more cheese. Mine was grated kind of big so my cup had a lot of air. Next time I’ll use the superfine shredder but I was too lazy and tired to get out the food processor.

    Two great recipes and saved the day. BTW I called BB and they are shipping me the entire order again. Hopefully I won’t spend the day in the kitchen again! If this is what those meal prepper moms do, they can have it. I’m sticking with one night one dinner here on in!

  2. Kerrie

    5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! :o) Is the chili powder actually chili powder (a mix of chile powder, cumin, and such), or is it chile powder (plain dry chiles that have been pulverized: ancho or new mexican or ?). If chili powder do you recommend a brand?

5 from 6 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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