Cornbread-Topped Skillet Chili
Here’s the chili recipe I told you about the other day! It’s the meal we gobbled down, just us 2, in 2 days. Actually more like 36 hours if we’re being real. Cornbread is my main squeeze comfort food and chili is all I crave for dinner when it’s rainy and gray out. I know you get me!
So this cornbread chili recipe hit the spot in…
The whole idea is not my own, but I put my own spin on things with my favorite homemade cornbread and a from-scratch hearty, soul warming chili. Both fantastic on their own, but even better when they’re together… like Sunday mornings and cinnamon rolls. ♥
Here’s the easiest way to get things done in the shortest amount of time. Start the chili on the stove in a large oven-proof skillet then as it simmers, whip up the cornbread batter. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but most of them are pantry staples (like spices) and basics like peppers, tomato sauce, onions, and kidney beans.
The perfect size oven-proof skillet for this is a 12 incher. Here is the one I own and love. If you don’t have a skillet this size, don’t fret! Simply spread the cooked chili and then the cornbread batter into a casserole dish instead.
The chili recipe is customizable to what you love and what you have on hand. I always use ground turkey when I make chili like this. I use 94% lean, but you can use any ground turkey– or even ground beef instead. If you want to try a vegetarian chili, add extra beans like another can or 2 of kidney beans or even black beans or chickpeas. You can also throw in cubed butternut squash.
If you like super spicy chili, add a little more jalapeño and chili powder. The chili recipe written below is perfect for those of us who enjoy food with a teeny little kick, not too much. Taste as you go and add more.
One ingredient that is a MUST: a little sweetness to bring out the flavors. I add a little brown sugar to the chili and it truly takes all the magical flavors to the next level. Pure maple syrup works just as well in its place if you’d like a bit of maple flavor (omg when paired with cornbread!! so good!!).
I add corn to the cornbread on top. This is optional, but if you love corn and a little texture– I highly suggest it.
Once the chili is finished on the stove, simply spread the cornbread batter on top then bake until golden brown. If you want to prep things ahead of time, you can prepare the chili the day before and store in the fridge. Then, 30 minutes before dinner, place into your skillet, throw the cornbread batter on top, and bake.
It’s all completely approachable, cozy, and just perfect for weeknights or weekends when you want a satisfying meal to warm you up. Let me know if you try it!
Cornbread-Topped Skillet Chili
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey (or beef - I use 94% lean but anything works)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (or any color!)
- 1/2 of a jalapeño, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin (for that key chili taste!)
- 1 cup (120g) cornmeal
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
- optional: 1 cup corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- In a large oven-proof skillet (12 inches like this one) over medium heat, heat the oil for 1 minute. Add the ground turkey, onion, peppers, jalapeño, and garlic. Sauté until browned and cooked through, breaking up with a spoon as you go-- about 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the chili ingredients, then reduce to medium-low heat. Cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C).
- Also meanwhile, whisk all of the cornbread ingredients together in a large bowl. Remove the chili from heat and spread the cornbread batter on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the cornbread is golden on top and cooked through. Serve warm.
Make ahead tip: If you want to get started ahead of time, prepare the chili the day before, cover, and store in the fridge. Then, 30 minutes before dinner, place into your skillet, throw the cornbread batter on top, and bake as directed.
Inspired by Food Network
If you do not have a large enough oven-proof skillet, simply prepare the chili on the stove in a pot then spread into an 11x7 (or similar size) casserole dish, then top with cornbread batter and bake.
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