Craving chili but want something different? Try our skillet chili cornbread for a delicious and nutritious meal that's cooked in one skillet so cleanup is a breeze.
Want more easy dinner meals? Try our sloppy joe sliders and American goulash! These family favorites are sure to be a hit too!
The ingredients for our skillet chili cornbread are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about the key ingredients.
- Meat: We used ground beef, but feel free to use ground chicken or turkey if you're staying away from beef. If you're vegan, see our recipes for walnut taco meat, quinoa taco meat, and lentil taco meat for ideas.
- Vegetables: We used yellow onion, freshly minced garlic, petite diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. If you are craving heat, add some fresh jalapeno with the seeds.
- Beans: We used red kidney beans that were rinsed and drained.
- Spices: We used chili powder, cumin, and salt.
- Cornmeal: We used a self-rising enriched yellow cornmeal mix.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients to make this easy skillet dinner.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Over medium heat, brown the hamburger in hot oil until no pink remains, roughly 4 minutes. Drain the fat and place the hamburger in a bowl.
- Carefully wipe the cast iron skillet out with a paper towel, then add some olive oil and saute the onion for four minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
3. Return the cooked hamburger back to the skillet, and the rest of the ingredients for the meat mixture. See the recipe card below.
4. Stir until well mixed. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for a minimum of 5 minutes. While it is simmering start on the cornbread.
5. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
6. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate smaller bowl with a whisk or plastic spatula.
7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a plastic spatula so the coconut oil is incorporated into the batter.
8. Pour the cornmeal batter over the meat mixture. Use the plastic spatula to help spread the batter evenly over the top.
9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 400°F, or until the cornbread is browned. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
10. Garnish our easy skillet dinner with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy it right away while it's still hot. This recipe will quickly become one of your go-to weeknight suppers. It's that good!
Cornbread is the best which is why this recipe for skillet chili cornbread works so well. In addition, a simple salad, green vegetable, or rice goes great along with this pair!
Most commonly red kidney beans are used in this dish but black beans, pinto beans, and even white beans can work too.
Make the chili first followed by mixing up the cornbread batter. Then spread it over the top of the meat mixture and bake in the oven.
For one wedge, there are 513 calories with 44.7g of carbs. This recipe is also high in vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. For more nutritional information, scroll past the recipe card.
This skillet dinner pairs well with sweet potato fries, salad, and sweet tea.
- Make Ahead: You can make the chili and mix cornbread dry ingredients ahead of time. When ready to serve, mix the wet cornbread ingredients into the dry and assemble the dish in an oven proof skillet then bake for 30 minutes.
- Leftovers: Any food leftover can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To protect your cast iron skillets finish, remove all leftovers from the cast iron skillet and place in a casserole dish or 9 X 13 cake pan.
- Freeze: Allow our skillet chili cornbread to cool completely before placing in a freezer zip top bag or air tight container for up to 1 month.
- Reheat: When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a 350F oven until heated through.
- When you serve a slice, the ratios of each component should be equal.
- If you want to add cheese, use 1 ½ cups of grated extra sharp cheddar sprinkled on top between the two layers and also on top of the cornbread.
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Skillet Chili Cornbread
For the Chili
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28- ounce can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
- ¼ cup tomato paste, 85g
- 1 15- ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
For the Cornbread
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk or 15 tablespoon almond milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar
- ½ cup unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
For the Topping & Garnish
- ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Making the Chili
- In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, brown the ground beef in one tablespoon of hot oil over medium heat until no pink remains. Once it's cooked, drain the fat into a small bowl, then put the hamburger in a medium bowl.
- In the same skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in 1 tablespoon of hot olive oil for a few minutes, then add the garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until fragrant.
- Dump the hamburger back into the skillet. Add the diced tomatoes with the juice, tomato paste, and the rinsed kidney beans. Stir in the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Mix all the ingredients really well. Turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer for a minimum of 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir. If you want, sprinkle 1 ½ cups of grated extra sharp cheddar cheese evenly over the top.
Making the Cornbread
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Start by beating the egg with a fork, then add in the buttermilk and melted butter. Stir to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well so there is no dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl.
- Spread the batter evenly over the top of the chili. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F if you want to add cheese. If you don't, bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top has good color.
- Optional, take the chili cornbread out of the oven and sprinkle 1 ½ cups (170g) of grated cheddar evenly over the cornbread. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes at 400F. Allow the cornbread to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro, jalapeno coins, or chopped green onions.
- The ratios of chili to cornbread should be equal when assembling this dish.
- If you want to add cheese, use 1 ½ cup of grated extra sharp cheddar sprinkled on top between the two components and on top of the cornbread.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
This recipe was originally published on April 28, 2018 and was updated with new photos and content on June 20, 2022.
This is so cool! I like how the cornbread is on top of the chili. The chili is still moist and flavorful. The cornbread is really nice too.
It's fun eating the cornbread and chili together!