Quick Chili for a Crowd with Sweet Cornbread

       This year the students picked their own chili recipes, a bit of a treat for the end of the semester, (sort of a cook-off.) We had 2-3 chili recipes per class and then one lab group made the cornbread for all of us. This recipe is a combination of the best elements in each recipe.  It has to come together quickly, as we have only 80 minutes together.  As you know, the chili gets more delicious as it cooks on low, so when making this at home, you can let it go all day, until you are ready to serve.
This is a great way use up leftover veggies and beef up your nutritional value for the day.  Cut your veggies small and they will cook a lot faster; carrots, celery, tomatoes, onion, zucchini, corn.  It will all taste great in here, just saute in the first step!
Cornbread in the South is a very big deal!  I am from NY and we do not make cornbread. at least not that I can remember?!  After all we have Italian Bread; what more do you really need?
I do love Cornbread though!!  Luckily, I was taught, by my in-laws, to make delicious, skillet cornbread.  I have seasoned skillets, in 4 sizes!! I get great joy from THE BIG FLIP at the end! People can’t help but “ooowww” and “awww” at that!
I let my students talk me into sweet cornbread which is my normal recipe with 1/4 Cup sugar in it.  It’s similar to the Jiffy mix I think?!
I know you’ll love these recipes!
Meal Prep Time: 30 minutes
Meal Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 12-15
Chili Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 garlic tsp minced garlic
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans rinsed and drained
3 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 tsp beef base*
1 Cup water
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 Cup corn meal
Garnish: jalapeƱo pepper slices, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, , onions, tomatoes
I do not use broth in a box or can.  If I do not have stock in my freezer from a prior recipe, I prefer to buy a beef or chicken base. It comes in a small tub or some sort, it’s a paste that needs to be refrigerated after opening. I make my broth according to the directions on the container.  This is more cost-effective, and I can control the intensity of the base.  This is found in the soup aisle, usually.


  1. Cook first 3 ingredients in a 4 qt pot (or larger) over medium heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink.
  2. Add next 6 ingredients and saute for 5 minutes
  3. Add the final ingredients and bring to a simmer
  4. Simmer until thickened
  5. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper

Sweet Cornbread

1 1/2 Cup self-Rising Cornmeal (local is better, check the label for the millhouse)
1 Cup flour
1/4 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Cups milk (buttermilk works here too!)
2 eggs
1/3 Cup Oil
BUTTER for Serving

  1. Heat oven with skillet inside to 400.
  2. Mix first 3 dry ingredients together.
  3. Add wet ingredients and mix until ingredients are incorporated together.
  4. Remove hot skillet from oven
  5. Pour 2-3 Tablespoons into hot skillet
  6. Return to oven for 5 minutes so oil get real hot
  7. Remove skillet from oven, pour batter into middle of skillet , being careful not to get caught with splattering oil
  8. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, lower oven to 375 and bake 10 more minutes, or until knife tester (in middle) comes out clean
  9. Place cutting board over skillet and flip both over, flipping cornbread out, upside down onto cutting board
  10. Place slices of butter on hot cornbread (still upturned) and serve in chili!


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