I feel like every year I try and do some sort of cornbread chili pie, and am disappointed by how it turns out. There are a few issues going on when you mix cornbread and chili, but I think the main thing to worry about is that cornbread sucks up all moisture around it. As it cooks, the chili gets dry and the cornbread oddly also stays kind of dry! It’s an enigma of science!
This is the first time I was truly happy with a cornbread chili pie situation. I made a super fatty chili that hardened as it cooled, so it was ideal to stuff inside the cornbread. I also used a springform pan so it was easy to pop out and I could fill it with so much chili. I think the key though was this Martha Stewart cornbread recipe I stumbled upon a while back. It’s kind of an odd recipe to have on it’s own, and it’s like 50% sour cream, but it works really great for stuffing things inside of it! I used some corn flour as well as cornmeal as a way to make the batter less crumbly and better to hold all the chili in.
Stuffing the cornbread
as I mentioned, the chili was pretty fatty, so when it cooled, it is fairly solid. Work quickly to cut out rounds and stuff it into the soft cornbread batter. The key to a great cornbread chili pie is making sure the batter is evenly spaced all around the chili.
I let the chili cool on a baking dish so I could cut out rounds that would be easy to stuff into the springform. You can buy these pans here
Steps for making the perfect cornbread chili pies
- Make the chili a day ahead
- Cool the chili
- Form the hardened chili into small pucks that will fit inside the cornbread
- Pour the cornbread batter into the bottom of the prepared springform
- Add the chili to the center
- Pour the remaining batter on top
- cool and serve
Be gentle after it cooks! You could tell it was full of liquid, the cornbread was waiting to burst!
Variations on cornbread chili pie
My original idea when making this cornbread chili pie was “what if I made a cornbread lava cake” Obviously chili was the first thing I wanted stuffed in there, but when you think lava cake the “lava” and cake are the same color. So I also did a few with cheese to try and get a true lava cake. If you want to make these, just follow the same recipe and stuff it with Velveeta. I didn’t try any other cheeses so good luck to you if you do!
I also made one with collard greens in the center thanks to a suggestion sent in by one of my followers. I honestly would love to stuff so many different things into one of these cornbread pies! Creamed corn would be fun. Pulled pork, baked beans, the list is endless!
Tips for serving Cornbread Chili Pie, and topping ideas
I like to top these with the usual things you would find on cornbread or with chili. For example, I used sour cream, cheese, and jalapenos on mine. You could top them with scallions, red onion, cilantro, hot sauce, fritos, or anything else you would put with chili!
Top with all the good chili toppings before digging in.
Because I made such a fatty chili, the liquid level in the center stayed nice and high so that it was juicy and delicious when you broke into it! Let me know if you make these cornbread chili pies!
Products that help with this recipe
Cornbread Chili Pot Pie
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1.5 pounds ground beef 80/20
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 jalapenos diced, seeds optional
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 pinch clove
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 cup ap flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups sour cream
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the beef. Cook 5 minutes to start to brown. Add in the onion and jalapeno and cook 10 minutes stirring often.
- Add int he garlic and cook 2 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for an hour or 2.
- Remove from heat and pour the chili onto a parchment lined baking dish. something around 9X9 is good, you want it to be about 2 inches deep of actual chili. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425
- Mix all the dry cornbread ingredients in a bowl first, then add in the eggs and sour cream and mix well to combine.
- grease 4 mini springform pans. Place a bottom layer of cornbread batter on each.
- Use a round object like a glas sor cookie cutter to cut out rounds of the colidified chili. It won't be fully solid but should be fairly easy to cut into rounds that hold their shape. Place round of chili into one of the pans with the batter on the bottom. Pour batter over it to cover and fill the sides. Repeat with the remaining pans.
- Bake about 25 minutes until cooked through.
- Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before popping out of the springforms. Top with sour cream, cheese, and jalapenos before serving.