Chili was our annual pre-trick-or-treating dinner as a child, and it’s a tradition I’m happy to keep going today! There’s few things that are quite as comforting as hot, thick chili topped with lots of sour cream. Thanks to our second snowfall of the season yesterday, all I want to do is wrap up in a big, fluffy blanket and devour a bowl of chili while watching the flakes float down.
Here’s what you should know: if I’m sharing something this unphotogenic, it has to taste really good. This is my forever-go-to chili recipe, super thick and loaded up, finished off with a can of whatever beer is in the fridge because why not. This is Good Chili in its own right. And then we’re making it even better by baking creamy, corn-studded cornbread right on top. The very top layer is nice and crispy, the bottom of the cornbread melts into the chili just a bit, and everything about this situation is soul-warming comfort food.
always sometimes make fun of Kirk’s innate love for Midwestern casseroles. I like to remind him that there are more vegetables out there than potatoes, and cream of mushroom isn’t one of them. So when he first told me about a four-ingredient cornbread pudding, including creamed corn which has always been weird to me, I was a bit skeptical.
…but oh my god is it ever good. The first time he made it, I went back for seconds and then had a slice cold for breakfast the next morning. Sorry for doubting your Midwestern roots.
This is this ultimate make-ahead camping food, which was actually how I first tried it. Make the chili at home, let it cool, then top with the uncooked cornbread mixture. Cover it (lid if you’re using a dutch oven, foil if you’re using cast iron) and then just set it over the fire when you get to your campsite. The fire heats up the chili first, then the rising steam cooks the cornbread to perfection.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce is one of my favorite pantry staples: they’re a little spicy, a little smoky, and super flavorful. I add them to anything that’s even a little bit southwestern-inspired and they never disappoint. Most grocery stores stock them in the international aisle, but if you’re lucky to be near a Mexican grocer they carry them very inexpensively.
Do you have a traditional Halloween dinner? (Is my family just completely food-obsessed, and that’s not a thing?) Either way, load up with something substantial before the sugar coma!
Comfort Chili & Cornbread Pudding
- 4 T. butter
- 2 onions diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 T. chili powder
- 1 T. cumin
- 1 t. oregano
- 1 t. onion powder
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. salt
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 30 oz. red kidney beans drained
- 30 oz. chili hot beans drained
- 30 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 7 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce minced
- 12 oz. beer
- sour cream for topping
- sliced green onions for topping
- 15 oz. whole corn drained
- 15 oz. creamed corn
- 8.5 oz. corn muffin mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cheddar shredded
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent.
- Stir in spices and cook until fragrant, then add beef and sausage. Cook until meat is browned.
- Pour in beans, tomatoes, chipotle in adobo, and beer. Bring to a simmer and let cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together all cornbread pudding ingredients.
- Spread cornbread pudding evenly over chili. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes, until top is golden brown.
- Serve hot topped with sour cream and green onions.