Cornbread-Topped Skillet Chili

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Talk about satisfying! Cornbread and chili cooked in the same pan. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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…

SO

MANY

WAYS!

Talk about satisfying! Cornbread and chili cooked in the same pan. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

How to make cornbread skillet chili on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!!).

How to make cornbread skillet chili on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make cornbread skillet chili on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Talk about satisfying! Cornbread and chili cooked in the same pan. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Talk about satisfying! Cornbread and chili cooked in the same pan. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

Ingredients:

  • 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!)

Cornbread Topping

  • 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)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Recipe Notes:

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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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

12-inch Skillet | Glass Mixing Bowls | Colorful BowlsServing Utensils

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Talk about satisfying! Cornbread and chili cooked in the same pan. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

78 Comments

  1. Oh my god! This is comfort food at its best! I would never have thought to top chili with cornbread, but now I really want it! I have never added brown sugar or maple syrup to my chili before. I’m so curious about the taste. So I’ll have to try it soon. Chili + corn bread. So perfect for fall.

  2. Chili is one of my favorite Fall/Winter meals.  We always eat it super fast too, because it’s too hard to just have one bowl.  I usually always serve it with corn chips, I’ve never tried it with cornbread so I will definitely be trying this one!

  3. Whenever I’m making a pot of chili/cold weather comfort food, in which the recipe calls for the usual suspects of Chili powder, Cumin, Oregano, etc.  I always add a Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder and a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee or…1/2 cup of strong coffee from the pot.  The combination of Chili powder, Cocoa and Coffee is a match made in heaven.
    Though I’ve never made a chili with maple syrup and brown sugar…..sounds to me like the match made in heaven combo just got even better!  Your Cornbread-Topped Skillet Chili is on my menu for this weekend.  Especially since I have a 12″ Cast Iron Skillet hanging around waiting for something to do….!!! 
    Thank you Sally !

  4. I LOVE chili and cornbread. I’m completely with you, Sally, best winter comfort food ever. Never thought about spreading the cornbread batter actually on top of the chili though – that’s such a good idea, especially since I love dipping my cornbread into chili anyways. I always make chili the same way every time, with beef, but I should try using turkey soon. There’s nothing like a weeknight dinner made better with a streaming vat of chili and cornbread. P.S Sally, I just made your chai spiced doughnuts (in a mini muffin pan) for breakfast for the rest of the week. Another warm and fuzzy fall treat, we love them! 🙂

    1. LOOOOOOVE those chai donuts. I’ve been craving them all week! Give chili a try with ground turkey. I really like it!

  5. YUMMM! (Actually, double-yum, since I’m salivating over the chili with my mouth already stuffed full of your bakery-style peanut butter chocolate chip salted peanut cookie miracles) Btw, your photography keeps getting better and better — like, Food and Wine gorgeous lately. Also gotta love the way you go all badass macho making your chili in cast iron skillet, then flip to girly girl serving it in the pretty Anthropology kind of bowl, lol!
     

    1. HAHA gotta keep some contrast in the post and photography, right?! But seriously I read your comment out loud to my husband because it meant so much to me, thank you!

  6. Looks irresistible! Why is it that anything served up in a skillet is so much cuter? 😀 Thank you for all your suggestions to make this dish vegetarian, I can’t wait to try it, never ate cornbread with chili! I know, shocking ;-P

  7. Hi Sally!
    I cannot wait to try this!!! I love love love chili, especially this time of year & ALWAYS make cornbread with it.  This is genius!! And i have the cast iron skillet to make it in too!!  We really love your chicken chili recipe & i’m sure this one will be just as delicious!! On another note, gonna make the pumpkin oatmeal cookies from your ebook today….because fall…. 🙂

    1. Celebrating fall with pumpkin cookies and chili is the only way I know how to do it! Another reader mentioned baking the cornbread on top of the chicken chili if you’re ever interested in trying that!

  8. Okay, I know I have said it a million times, but your crock pot chicken chili is my favorite. Like honestly one of the only chili recipes I actually LOVE. So, do you think it would work for this? Like cook it in the crock pot like usual, then when it is done, transfer to the casserole dish and add the cornbread batter on top and bake?

    1. Yes, definitely! The chicken chili may make a little *too* much for a casserole dish (depending on its size), but just fill the pan up with as much as you can then eat the leftovers without the cornbread 🙂

  9. Thank you for posting this recipe!! I was just thinking I really need to find a good chilli recipe. I have everything except for the kidney beans…

  10. I’ve made this before as a freezer meal! Using aluminum container, filled with chilli topped cornbread batter and put in the freezer.

    Whenever we felt like it we would stick it right from frozen into the oven for an hour…it was perfect on winter snowstorm days and so easy. Though I’m very excited to try out your recipe 🙂

  11. This looks delicious! We make a similar one at my house, but in a Pyrex, and no beans.  It’s one of our year round faves

  12. Carbs + chili = Heaven!! This girl at my work makes a spicy turkey chili, and at the bottom of the bowl is a huge cinnamon roll!! it sounds completely insane, but it all just melts into the bottom of the chili and it’s a-mazing!! Must try!

  13. Made this last night and it was amazing!!! I used cubed chicken instead of ground turkey and loved it. Will be making it again very soon perhaps with ground beef or turkey. Will be posting photo on instagram. Thx for the great recipe Sally!

  14. I made this (rather, made my husband make it) last night for dinner. It’s seriously one of my new favorite meals. The veggies were so tender and delicious and the cornbread worked out perfectly. Thank you!

  15. That’s the final straw. I HAVE to go buy myself an iron skillet!!!! Thanks Sally for pushing me over the edge with just one more fabulous looking recipe. 🙂

  16. Can you make this with a chili that is a little bit soupier? I have a recipe I use that is cooked in a crockpot and I was wondering how I would go about making it with a crockpot chili? 

    1. Absolutely! I can’t see why not. I would pour the crockpot chili into a large oven safe skillet and top with the cornbread batter and bake as directed.

  17. This isn’t even on the table yet and I already love it! Had to scoop some chili out to fit the cornbread and the flavor of the chili is incredible! Perfectly seasoned as the recipe reads. Chili and cornbread is the best combination, so I am certainly counting down the minutes until this is ready. Thanks, Sally!!

  18. Hey Sally, did not know how much I liked sweetness in chili until we ate at a brewery in Bethlehem,Pa. on the way to NYC. Best chili ever! Not a little sweetness, but quite hot and sweet. I loved it. Have made it that way ever since!
    Thanks for the idea to top it with cornbread- perfect for second day chili (if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers).

  19. Hi Sally! I love all your recipes, and always check your website first when I’m looking for something to make. I can’t wait to try this recipe, but my husband is at odds with me on the cornbread. He is insistent that there shouldn’t be sugar in cornbread. Could I omit the brown sugar from the recipe? Have you ever made cornbread without sugar? I feel like it just wouldn’t taste as good. Thank you for sharing your recipes! 

    1. Thanks Samantha!! I think a little sweet compliments the cornmeal + butter flavor, but you can certainly leave it out 🙂

  20. I made this exactly as is, for being chili, I thought it was dry. I think next time more tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. The cornbread on top was amazing though, such a great idea. 

  21. Best chili I’ve had. I added a diced shallot and used maple sugar instead of brown sugar. Didn’t even make it with the cornbread this time,  but it was delicious and kid approved! Totally fine with the jalapeño. Not too spicy (I did nix the regular green pepper BC I don’t like them for whatever reason). By new go-to! Everything I’ve tried from you has been flawless…! Thank you! Please come to a Alpharetta, GA! 

  22. This looks amazing! Always love your recipes, Sally! 
    I don’t have a 12″ cast iron skillet or an 11×7 pan…so, I was wondering if my le creuset 5 qt dutch oven would work? Would it provide enough surface area for the corn bread? 

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