Monday, November 29, 2010

Mmmm comfort food: Delicious chili with freshly baked sweet cornbread!

This is very easy to make and just because it’s a comfort food doesn’t mean it has to be bad for you :) Chili has so many variations these days! I wanted to share mine with you - it’s pretty basic, but we love it! The jalapeños give this chili a nice little spicy kick to it, but is the perfect amount of spice for those who don’t like really spicy foods. AND it goes wonderfully with homemade sweet cornbread (David’s favorite!).

Below is the recipe for my chili. I used four kinds of beans this time: Northern, black, dark kidney, and light kidney. I change it up from time to time, but you can use any bean! I found a chili seasoning recipe a while back which works perfectly for the amount of chili I cook. In the past, I was always using McCormick’s Chili seasoning mix, but I realized it was a waste of money since I had all of the spices I needed right in my cupboard! Better to be wise and make my own chili seasoning so that I can save a little money!

Rachel’s Chili


• 1 lb ground beef (preferably lean)
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
• 3-4 (15-oz) cans beans (any variety), with juice
• 1-2 bell peppers, chopped
• 1-2 zucchinis, diced (optional)
• 1 jalepeño, sliced or chopped (pickled or fresh)
• Chili seasoning (see recipe below)
• Cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
• Sour cream (optional)


1. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet on medium-high heat until browned. Drain any excess grease.
2. Add tomatoes, beans, bell pepper, and zucchini. Stir to combine.
3. Add chili seasoning. Stir to combine.
4. Bring chili to a boil. Cover skillet and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.
5. Serve chili in a bowl and top with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Chili Seasoning

• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Now for the best part: the cornbread! This is a recipe for a sweet cornbread, which goes wonderfully with the chili! David prefers the sweet cornbread over the not-so-sweet kind :) This recipe has a limited amount of oil and margarine in it, so it’s not TOO terribly unhealthy. I also used nonfat milk. You can also substitute the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, which can make it a little healthier (I have done this in the past). It is delicious either way!

Sweet Cornbread


• 1 ½ cups flour
• ⅔ cup sugar
• ½ cup cornmeal
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 ¼ cups milk
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• ⅓ cup oil
• 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
• 1 tablespoon honey (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking pan.
2. Combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
3. Combine milk, eggs, oil, butter, and honey in small bowl and mix well. Add to flour mix and stir until blended.
4. Pour into baking pan. Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


  1. Your cornbread is beautiful! I've never actually made cornbread before. Is the only difference between sweet and non-sweet the added sugar? And what size/type pan did you use?

    I think I'll make some cornbread the next time I make a chili. :) It sounds perfect!

  2. Thank you Shannon! Homemade cornbread is amazing - I actually prefer the not-so-sweet kind (Real Southern Cornbread) over the sweet. Comparing recipes, there is definitely more sugar and a little less cornmeal in the sweeter version. For the sweet cornbread, I used an 8x8 Pyrex dish. Traditional cornbread recipes usually recommend using a cast iron skillet though. You have now inspired me to make Real Southern Cornbread. It will pair perfectly with a new chili recipe! Keep posted! And thank you for being such a great fan!

  3. I made my vegan versions of chili and cornbread yesterday! They were fantastic! I think that was the best cornbread I'd ever had, and I just made up the recipe. I was never crazy about cornbread because it is so dry... the one I made was super moist! :)

    Thanks for inspiring me to make something different!