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.
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
- 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)
- 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)
- 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!
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Love chili? Check out my Simple Homemade Chili recipe with tons of ways to customize the flavors to make it your own!
How to Make Chili Cornbread Skillet – Step by Step Photos
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).
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.
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.
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).
Before adding the cornbread batter to the chili, sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar over the surface of the chili.
Carefully spread the cornbread batter over the surface of the hot chili, making sure to spread from edge to edge.
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.
To serve, simply scoop the cornbread and chili beneath out of the skillet and onto a plate or bowl.