How to make delicious and fun chilli con Carne-taurus with bone chips

It’s not just chilli, it’s chilli con Carne-taurus! Learn how to easily turn your favourite chilli recipe into a dish that your little dinosaur fan is going to love!

Turn your favourite chilli recipe into chilli con Carne-taurus (see what I did there?) with one simple trick: bone-shaped tortilla chips. It adds a simple and fun prehistoric twist to a comforting family meal. Chilli sin Carne-taurus will delight the herbivores equally. So grab your cookie cutters and make some bone chips to turn simple chilli into a dinosaur delight.

Rexy's recipe rundown - with a watercolour image of our T-Rex Rexy, our resident recipe expert

REXY’S RECIPE RUNDOWN

Title: Chilli con Carne-Taurus

Food: Chilli con carne with bone-shaped tortilla chips

Dinosaur: Carnotaurus

Best for: Cinco de Mayo, cold wintery days, easy party food

Ease: 5 out of 5 – just try not to eat all the bones before serving!

Chilli con Carne-Taurus - our easy dinosaur chilli with fun tortilla bone chips.

Chilli con Carne-taurus

Our little dinosaur is a very picky eater. There are some things in this chilli con Carne-taurus recipe that she will not eat. I know that but still make it this way, hoping she will learn just to leave those bits on the side of the plate (wishful thinking, I know!).

That said, if your little dinosaur is a herbivore, make Chilli sin Carne-taurus (vegetarian version). Just use tofu or jackfruit or whatever meat replacement you prefer or add more vegetables.

Tortillas are normally vegan. If you like, you could even make this a vegan recipe (weren’t all herbivorous dinosaurs actually vegan?).

A bowl of simple chilli con Carne-Taurus with a small toy dinosaur munching on some simple bone-shaped tortilla chips

What was the Carnotaurus?

Carnotaurus is a meat-eating theropod dinosaur that lived in South America between 72 and 69.9 MYA. It is a smaller, lightly built version of the T-Rex and measured 7.5 to 9 m long and weighed at least 1.35 tonnes. It had distinctive thick horns approximately 15 cm long above its eyes, which gave rise to its name (which means meat-eating bull). We saw the (cast of the) fossils of one Carnetaurus while in Paris recently.

The first and so far only skeleton of the Carnotaurus was discovered in Argentina in 1984 (the same expedition that found the Amargasaurus). Despite this fact, it is one of the therapod dinosaurs that we know most about. The skeleton was only missing part of the tail and lower leg and feet, which had been destroyed by weathering. It even had the three hyoid bones in place and intact, which is unique for dinosaurs. The skeleton was otherwise preserved – unusually – with extensive skin impressions that show small (5 mm diameter) overlapping scales with some large bumps (5 cm diameter and height). In fact, it was the first therapod discovered with extensive skin impressions and a second expedition was carried out to find more.

Carnotaurus probably had a good sense of smell, but less developed hearing and sight. It had short forearms, shorter even than those of the T-Rex. They were possibly one of the fastest large theropods (scientists estimate that it could reach speeds of up to 55 km per hour).

Close up of our chilli con Carne-Taurus with bone-shaped tortilla chips

Tips for making chilli con Carne-taurus

We’re not going to remake the wheel here. When I make chilli, including this chilli con Carne-taurus, I usually cheat and use a packet mix for the spices. If you already have a chilli recipe that you like, use that. If you, like me, normally use a packet mix, use your favourite mix or buy a good quality one to use. Follow the instructions, adding additional vegetables as you wish.

I hear that chilli is a great recipe to cook in the Instapot or slow cooker – why would chilli con Carne-taurus be any different? If you have one, go ahead and use it. When you have a little dinosaur stomping about, anything like the Instapot that can give you more time to stomp around with them is a good thing.

Most children don’t like spicy food. Make sure you take this into account when choosing your chilli mix.

The real star of this chilli con Carne-Taurus recipe (apart from the name!) – and what makes this a fun dinosaur recipe – is the bone-shaped tortilla chips. They are so easy to make!

If you don’t have any bone-shaped cookie cutters, you can use whatever dinosaur cookie cutters you like – they don’t have to be Carnotaurus shaped!

You can also vary the type of tortilla wrap you use. For green dinosaurs, use spinach wraps; for orange dinosaurs, use carrot wraps; for brown dinosaurs or bones, use wholesale wraps. Easy!

The other good news: your LDA can be in charge of making the bone chips! They really are that easy to make

Our LDA found it easier to brush the oil onto the bones after they have been cut out of the wraps. It was cleaner this way too. However, you can brush and then cut, if you wish. Go easy on the salt.

Can you cook the bone chips in an air fryer? Almost definitely.

We had one for a while, but gave it away because we were just not using it. I found it too small to cook what we needed all at once so that I often needed to use the oven anyway (and could just cook it all in the oven). These bone chips are probably a good air fryer recipe though because you don’t need to cook too many at once.

This chilli con Carne-taurus works perfectly with our Triceratops dip (as guacamole) for a prehistoric Mexican feast!

Close up of some bone-shaped tortilla chips - the perfect accompaniment to our Chilli con Carne-Taurus - being enjoyed by a little toy Stegosaurus
A yummy bowl of chilli con Carne-Taurus with tortilla bone chips

Chilli con Carne-taurus with bone chips

Yield: 4 portions
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Simple and fun - turn average chilli con carne into Chilli con Carne-Taurus with some simple tortilla bone chips

Ingredients

  • 400 g minced meat (I prefer beef, but use what you like)
  • 2 carrots, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into small cubes
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can sweetcorn
  • 1 packet of chilli mix (your favourite brand)
  • 4 tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons (vegetable) oil
  • salt to season

Instructions

  1. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and stir until the onion just starts to turn golden. Add the mince meat, breaking it up and cook until browned. Add the capsicum and stir for 2 more minutes. Add the beans and corn and stir through until all ingredients are warm.
  2. Follow the instructions on your favourite chilli mix to finish the chilli con carne.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Using bone-shaped cookie cutters, cut bones out of the tortillas, geting them as close together as possible to have as little waste as possible. Brush each bone with oil. Lay the bones out on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with a little salt. Place the tray in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bones have reached the desired shade.

Notes

You can easily turn this recipe in to Chilli sin Carne-Taurus by substituting the minced meat for tofu, jackfruit or another vegetarian or vegan option.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 700Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 114mgSodium 1132mgCarbohydrates 59gFiber 8gSugar 7gProtein 47g

Nutrition information is a guide only as it will depend on the specific products and brands you choose to use for this recipe.

Did you make this recipe with your little dinosaur fan?

Share it on Instragram and tag @mrsmaiasaura to let us and other dinosaur fans know!

Dino-fy your chilli!

Use our simple trick to dino-fy your meal turn your favourite chilli recipe into chilli con Carne-taurus. These tortilla bone chips are so easy, your little dinosaur fan can even make them. And they add just the right amount of prehistoric fun to a favourite family meal, without much extra effort.

Why not add some tortilla bone chips to your next chilli dish?

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