Snow is on the ground, and I’m in the mood for some comfort food.  Chili with cornbread are at the top of that list.  Why not put them together in one tasty dish for a chili and cornbread bake?  Fewer dishes to wash means a happy mama around here.

This recipe is simple and very tasty.  It’s a frugal dish as well, which can be made even more frugal by forgoing the meat altogether and adding more beans. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are staples that I almost always have on hand.  Feel free to add corn or peppers to the filling if you are feeling fancy, or you can leave it plain Jane like I did.  When we’re watching our budget, sometimes plain is just what we need.


This chili and cornbread bake is very similar to my basic chili recipe but I made it with a little less liquid so it would be thicker and the cornbread wouldn’t sink into the chili.  This portion only takes about ten minutes.  You are basically just browning the meat and onions and adding spices, beans, and tomato sauce.  There’s no need to cook it very long at this point.  If you already have it in an oven safe dish, just keep it in there.  If it’s not oven safe, transfer it to an oven-safe casserole dish.

Chili and cornbread bake

While the chili simmers for a few minutes, we make the cornbread.  Cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, egg, honey, and milk are all this takes.  Pantry ingredients, people.

Chili and cornbread bake.

Then we pour the cornbread mixture over the chili and smooth it out.


Lastly sprinkle some cheese on top and pot it in the oven for about 25 minutes.

chili and cornbread bake


chili and cornbread bake

Serve with a salad or roasted vegetable and you have a complete meal that screams comfort food.


Chili and cornbread bake

Chili and cornbread bake. Thick chili topped with cornbread and cheese. Simple comfort food.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef you may also sub turkey or venison or 2 more cups of beans for a vegetarian version
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans or 1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato puree or sauce, or 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 T. butter melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Brown ground beef and onions together. Drain if necessary.
  2. Add garlic, salt, chili powder, pepper, cumin, tomatoes and water.
  3. Simmer while you prepare cornbread.
  4. In a bowl mix together cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder
  5. Add remainder of ingredients except cheese, and whisk until smooth.
  6. Pour over chili and smooth.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until cornbread is done in center. Check doneness with a spoon or knife before serving.