Chili Cornbread Cobbler is a savory take on traditional fruit cobbler. Slightly spicy beef chili is baked under lightly sweetened cornbread for a one pot meal that couldn’t be easier to make. Chili Cornbread Cobbler is a hearty meal that is perfect for your game-day party, but it’s also easy enough for weeknight supper.
I enjoy a good bowl of chili; beef chili, veggie chili, chicken chili, I love them all. We make chili pretty often through the fall and winter, and we always make a big pot so we have leftovers in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal. This Chili Cornbread Cobbler is an easy and delicious way to use up that leftover chili.
For me, cornbread is the perfect side dish to go along with a big pot of chili. If you like your chili on the spicy-side, starchy cornbread will help tame the heat. Even if you don’t do spicy, cornbread is great for mopping up the last bits of delicious chili sauce.
This cobbler was invented because I think it’s fun to create savory versions of traditionally sweet recipes. One of my recent favorites is my French Onion Tarte Tatin. That dish combined the flavors of French Onion Soup with the upside-down baking technique of an Apple Tarte Tatin.
This recipe really couldn’t be simpler. Just put your favorite chili (or use my recipe) into a cast iron skillet, make the cornbread batter, dollop it on top, and bake. You can use your favorite vegetarian or chicken chili instead of beef chili. Add cilantro, cumin or fresh corn to the batter to flavor the cornbread. This is a very forgiving recipe!
Since this is a meal in one you don’t really need any accompaniments. I served it with crumbles of Queso Fresco, fresh cilantro leaves and avocado slices sprinkled with salt and lime, yummm.
Chili Cornbread Cobbler is a hearty meal that is perfect for your game-day party, but it’s also easy enough for weeknight supper.
Chili (or use your own recipe)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno or habanero pepper, chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp ground Chipotle powder (optional)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2/3 cup (2.5 oz, 75g) cornmeal
- 1/3 cup (2 oz, 60g) all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp (1 oz, 30g) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 120ml) buttermilk (see note)
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz, 55g) melted butter
- 1 egg
Make the chili
- Saute the onions, garlic, peppers, salt cumin, oregano & chipotle powder in the olive oil until the veggies are soft
- Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink
- stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and water. Cook for 30 minutes
- Remove from the heat and add the beans. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F convection or 375°F regular.
- Pour the chili into a 10" or 12" cast iron pan, set aside while you make the topping.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine the buttermilk, butter and egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Drop dollops of the batter all over the chili and spread to an even layer. If you use a larger pan it might not cover the entire surface, that's OK.
- Bake until the topping is golden brown and the chili is bubbling, about 20 minutes if the chili was warm when you put it in the oven, a little longer if you start with cold chili.
- Serve warm. I like it sprinkled with chopped cilantro, queso fresco and sliced avocado sprinkled with lime juice.
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