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This easy dinner recipe of chili and cornbread is classic comfort food! Homestyle chili is topped with cornbread and baked in the oven until golden brown!
Back in the day, there was this Harvest Festival my school used to put on for all of the kids in the school and in the city. It was a super fun event, and apart from games and other candy-getting-activities, they also had a chili cook-off, which, unfortunately, I did not take full advantage of when I seven.
By the time I realized I actually liked chili, not only was I far too old for an event designed for elementary aged kids, the chili cook-off event had been retired.
Can we all agree that chili cook-offs should never be retired from fall events? I mean, when else it is socially acceptable to have 10 different bowls of chili surrounding oneself?
Until I find another chili cook-off to attend, this fantastic chili and cornbread casserole will do just fine. Two of the best comfort foods put together into one ultimate meal.
This chili recipe is what I like to call easy. It’s one of those recipes where everything gets mixed together, simmers, and then is baked off in the oven with a cornbread topping. It’s a recipe my family loves, because not only is it hearty, it’s also the epitome of comfort food (well, according to my family’s definition 😉 ).
There are a couple ingredients in this chili that, in my humble opinion, make it absolutely outstanding. Of course, there are the usual suspects of black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and meat (my family loves ground turkey, which is used here, but ground beef or ground chicken would be fine as well), but there are a few additional ingredients that totally sets this chili apart.
The first ingredient is cinnamon. Just a small amount of cinnamon adds a level of spice to the chili that is unexpected, yet extremely complimentary to the overall dish. It also helps cut through a bit of the spiciness of the chili without diluting it entirely.
The next staple ingredient is tomato paste. This is an ingredient that helps thicken the chili while also adding deep flavor to the recipe. I have made this chili before without the tomato paste, mostly because I didn’t want to open a can of tomato paste just for a couple of tablespoons, but, in all honesty, the chili flavor suffered without the paste.
What has been a chili life-saver, however, is Hunt’s Recipe Ready “Pre-measure 2 TBS” Paste Pouches. Each pouch has 2 Tbsp of tomato paste, which, for this recipe, means opening and using only one pouch (instead of opening a can, saving the leftovers, and trying to remember to use it before it expires–spoiler alert, I never remember! 😂). These pouches are so convenient and easy to use!
Hi-ya, comfort food! I’ll be seeing you at least once a week through this fall and winter season.
This Chili and Cornbread Casserole is an easy weeknight meal!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 16 oz ground turkey (ground beef or ground chicken works as well)
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans
- 2 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 1/2 cups bell peppers, diced (I used a combination of yellow, red, and green)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Hunt's Recipe Ready "Pre-measure 2TBS" Paste Pouches
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (If you prefer a spicier chili, feel free to add more chili powder)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 14 oz box of cornbread
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- Diced fresh tomatoes
- Diced Avocado
- Sour Cream
- Diced Green Onions
- In a skillet over medium heat, cook ground turkey and olive oil together until the meat is cooked through. Set aside.
- In a large pot, pour in all beans (including the liquid in the can--it helps to thicken the chili)**, diced tomatoes with green chilies, corn, and bell peppers. Stir until combined.
- Add in ground turkey, and mix until combined. Next, add in chicken stock, Hunt's Recipe Ready "Pre-measure 2TBS" Paste Pouch, chili powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and oregano. Stir until well combined.
- Bring the chili to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, and allow the chili to simmer for 20-30 minutes( stirring occasionally), until the liquid has reduced and the chili has thickened.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix together cornbread mix, egg, and milk. Set aside.
- Pour chili into a large casserole dish (I used 9x11 but 9x13 would work as well), spreading the chili in an even layer.
- Pour cornbread evenly across the chili, using a spatula to spread out the batter (some of the cornbread will mix with the liquid of the chili, which is fine).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown and the chili is bubbling.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Add desired toppings, and serve.
**If you prefer to rinse your beans before cooking with them, then I would suggest adding another cup of chicken stock to the recipe.
You can find Hunt’s Recipe Ready “Pre-measure 2 TBS” Paste Pouches at your local Walmart! They’re a total recipe life saver!