Chili Cornbread Skillet

$7.49 recipe / $1.25 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.69 from 63 votes
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Some nights you just need something warm, comforting, and easy to help melt off the stresses of the day, like a big bowl of chili. And maybe some cornbread, too, for good measure. This easy Chili Cornbread Skillet has all the comfort of a pot of chili, with homemade cornbread baked right on top to avoid excess dishes. Oh, and I hid a layer of gooey cheddar cheese between the chili and cornbread, too. Because cheese makes everything better!🧀

Originally posted 10-5-2013, updated 12-12-2019.

Chili cornbread skillet in the skillet with wooden spoon, a serving scooped out onto a plate on the side.

What Kind of Skillet Should I Use?

You’ll want a deep, 4-quart skillet for this recipe. I used my 10″ 4-quart Oxo stainless steel skillet for this recipe. If needed, you could also use a smaller wide soup pot or Dutch oven. Using an oven safe skillet or pot is the best option, but read on if you do not own an oven safe skillet or pot.

What if I Don’t Have an Oven Safe Skillet?

If you only own teflon skillets, skillets with plastic handles, or skillets that have other non-safe parts, you can still make this recipe. Simply let the chili simmer in your skillet or pot while you make the cornbread, and then transfer to a 4-quart casserole dish before topping with the cornbread batter and baking.

Can I Add Meat to the Chili Cornbread Skillet?

Absolutely! I made a vegetarian version this time around because it’s quite cost effective and it makes the meal more pantry-staple friendly, but you can always add meat if you have it on hand or prefer your chili con carne. Simply replace one can of beans with one pound ground beef or turkey. Brown the meat in the skillet before adding the onion, garlic, and jalapeño in the beginning. 

Meal Prep and Freezer Friendly

This Chili Cornbread Skillet holds up extremely well in the refrigerator, and is also freezer friendly. As with any meal prep recipe, make sure to divide the dish into single serving portions right after cooking and get it into the refrigerator as soon as possible, so it cools quickly. Once cooled, the chili cornbread will keep in the refrigerator for about four days, or can be transferred to the refrigerator and kept frozen for about 3 months. You can see some of my favorite meal prep containers here.

Chili Cornbread Skillet in the skillet with some scooped out, on a yellow surface with black and white striped napkin

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Chili Cornbread Skillet

4.69 from 63 votes
This hearty and comforting Chili Cornbread Skillet is an easy, one-pot meal that is sure to make the whole family happy. Freezer friendly!
Chili cornbread skillet with some scooped out onto a white plate beside the skillet
Servings 6
Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 1 hr

Ingredients

Chili

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($0.89)
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste ($0.39)
  • 3 15oz. cans beans (kidney, pinto, black) ($2.67)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar ($0.85)

Cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal ($0.24)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour ($0.15)
  • 1/4 cup sugar ($0.20)
  • 4 tsp baking powder ($0.24)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 cup milk ($0.31)
  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil ($0.16)

Instructions 

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and then dice the pepper. Add the cooking oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a large 4-quart oven safe skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Drain the canned beans then add them to the skillet with the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and water. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the chili to come up to a simmer. Let the chili continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the cornbread topping.
  • Begin to preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until very well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and oil. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture and stir just until everything is moistened.
  • Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over top of the simmering chili. Carefully pour the cornbread batter over the chili and cheese, and spread it around until the surface is evenly covered.
  • Transfer the skillet to the fully preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown on the surface. To serve, simply scoop the cornbread and chili beneath onto a plate or bowl, and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*The chili powder is a mild blend of chile peppers and other spices. It is not cayenne pepper, which is very spicy. I use this product, which has no heat at all. If your chili powder is spicy, start with a small amount and add more as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 696.08kcalCarbohydrates: 96.87gProtein: 27.85gFat: 22.33gSodium: 1793.65mgFiber: 21.28g
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Love chili? Check out my Simple Homemade Chili recipe with tons of ways to customize the flavors to make it your own! 

A plate with one serving of Chili Cornbread Skillet on a yellow surface with striped napkin

How to Make Chili Cornbread Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion jalapeño and garlic

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then dice the remaining pepper. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a skillet with 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Remaining chili ingredients added to the skillet

Drain three 15 oz. cans of beans (any combo of kidney, black bean, or pinto—I used two black beans, one kidney). Add the beans to the skillet along with one 15 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, one 6 oz. can of tomato paste, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the cornbread batter.

Cornbread dry ingredients in a white bowl

Begin preheating the oven to 425ºF. Combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Stir until they are very well combined.

Cornbread wet ingredients in a separate white bowl

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup cooking oil. Pour the bowl of whisked wet ingredients into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture and stir just until the batter is combined (don’t over stir).

Add Cheese to Simmering Chili

Before adding the cornbread batter to the chili, sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar over the surface of the chili.

Spread cornbread batter over chili in skillet

Carefully spread the cornbread batter over the surface of the hot chili, making sure to spread from edge to edge.

Baked chili cornbread skillet finished

Bake the Chili Cornbread Skillet in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the cornbread is golden brown.

Close up of chili cornbread skillet being scooped out of the skillet

To serve, simply scoop the cornbread and chili beneath out of the skillet and onto a plate or bowl.

Chili cornbread skillet with some scooped out onto a white plate beside the skillet

COMFORT FOOD.

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  1. My husband loves this recipe!! The cornbread on top is such a fun touch to the dish. I usually use a box of Jiffy cornbread to make it even easier, but I don’t think it makes as much batter as your recipe would. Thank you so much!

  2. Made it for a Sunday lunch with the family and OMG!! Incredibly delicious, the spicy chili topped with the sweet corn bread. A love story. Everyone loved it 

  3. Yummmmmm nothing like cornbread and chili. Definitely inspired choice to just put the cornbread on top with a layer of cheese in the middle. I followed the bean and spice ratio as stated but didn’t use jalapenos. Also didn’t know where to get roasted diced tomatoes, but a chili is a chili is a chili and a chili is a good for me.

  4. Concept 100% delicious. I’ll be honest I did not make this cornbread and I added many many things to the chili to make it more flavorful but I would not have ever attempted to bake corn bread over chili it’s an amazing concept for a meal. I did make it vegetarian same beans ratio no meat. Husband loved it!

  5. This was so yummy!! My cornbread didn’t cook all the way through so I had to keep putting it in the oven but man!! Thank you for sharing this recipe and inspiring me to make it, I kind of made it my own on a few ingredients but Overall stuck to your recipe. Soo delicious.

  6. Love this Recipe!! My kids call it Cowboy Pie :)
    I used Lamb’s stoneground cornmeal to make the cornbread topping and it was awesome!

  7. I made this the other night, but I subbed out a can of beans for a lb of hamburger. It was very good!! I will be making it again, however, I found the ratio of cornbread to chili to be off – too much cornbread and not enough chili. I’m not sure whether to double the chili or halve the cornbread, so I will play with it until I get it figured out. Thank you Budgetbytes! Excellent recipe with lots of flavor, and the perfect amount of heat!

  8. Omitted the jalapeño, added cayenne to taste and used one box of America’s Favorite “Jiffy” cornbread mix instead of making my own.

    OBSESSED. I actually hate chili and was not thrilled when my bf asked for this recipe for dinner…but now I crave this! Our daughter is in love with it too.

    Idk what people are talking about with tripling spices cause it’s perfect as written seems like it’d be wayyyyy too much happening. Just let it simmer and taste it before you triple the spices or add anything else, cause it’s truly fantastic to me. 

    1. I haven’t tried this in a slow cooker, so I’m not sure how that would turn out. I don’t think you’ll be able to get the cornbread to bake correctly on the stove top, though.

  9. I don’t know if this is solely your recipe or if you were inspired by another recipe however this is the best chili/cornbread recipe ever! I make chili and I make cornbread; I cover my chili with cheese and then I break up my cornbread and place it in my chili and eat it. In this dish it’s already done. Of course I changed the recipe for my likings, such as adding ground beef and adding more heat with a serrano pepper along with the jalapeno pepper; oh and adding twice the amount of cheddar cheese.

    For the cornbread, I reduced the baking powder to 3 teaspoons and added 3/4 teaspoons baking soda. Dumb me, I forgot to mix the oil in with the egg/milk mixture and added it after the batter was already mixed; fortunately it still worked.

    But what an inspiring recipe, thanks!

  10. You can cook cornbread in a microwave. It will be less crispy, but still very tasty.

  11. This was really good, and great idea! Baking the cornbread on top of the chili makes the cornbread nice and moist!

    Some notes — I agree with the person who said to triple the spices. It seems like a ton, but I tasted while making it, and it definitely needs the extra spices. I also added a pinch of cayenne in there too. — I also agree with the person who said to bake on 400F for 20 minutes. I did it at 425 and the top got crispy but the center of the bread didn’t bake all the way, so make sure you do it lower for longer to cook the cornbread through.
    —- And for those who are wondering about pan sizes: I successfully made this with a 12″ Lodge pan, but it was a REALLY close call. I put a pan underneath it, and the chili did dribble out a little bit. The chili basically fills the entire pan.