Chili and cornbread cups are a new spin on a classic combo. Make your cornbread into muffins, hollow out the centers, fill them with a simple and delicious beef chili and they become party-worthy. These are our most basic and simple recipes for cornbread and chili — make them as described or make the cornbread in a 9 x 13-inch pan, add some bacon or jalapenos and serve it in big slabs alongside bowls of chili. These are the kind of recipes that you can play with. Any way you decide to make them, they’ll be delicious.
Molly Quirk is executive chef and owner of Sips & Bites Catering.
For the cornbread muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
For the chili
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
- 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- Salt and pepper
- sour cream
For the cornbread muffins:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Grease standard size muffin/cupcake pan.
- Mix dry and wet ingredients in 2 separate bowls.
- Combine, but don’t overmix. The batter should be a little lumpy.
- Pour into muffin pan, filling each well ¾ full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until firm to the touch and lightly browned.
- Let muffins cool completely and using a teaspoon scoop out the middle of the muffin, making a deep well for your chili.
For the chili:
- Heat the oil in a large pot and add onions, bell peppers, garlic and spices.
- Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.
- Increase heat to medium high and add the beef.
- Cook breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown.
- Add beans, tomatoes and salt.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to low and simmer, covered, and stirring occasionally for 1 hour. Remove the cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally.
- Cook until it darkens in color and becomes thick. Adjust salt.
- Serve chili with sour cream, shredded cheddar & scallions.