These cornmeal pancakes with sausage and bacon chili are a fun mashup between chili, cornbread, pancakes and breakfast! I tried to take the idea of eating chili and cornbread and breakfastize it! Cutting your fork through the stack of cornmeal pancakes and making sure to soak up all that delicious breakfast inspired chili is a brunch fever dream come true! The bacon and breakfast sausage in the chili might feel odd at first, but once you take a few bites you realize how it all fits and it comes together so perfectly. I love this one so much that I even made it on Hallmark Home and Family and you can watch the clip here!
The inspiration for this recipe
I got together with my photographer buddy Dominic Perri for a fun shoot where the goal was to make foods that looked like one thing but on second glance you realized were something else. It’s kind of one of my specialties so I was excited to get going! I have been trying to think of a savory topping for pancakes for a bit and decided this would be a great time to finally try it out.
At first it was simply the idea of putting chili on pancakes As I started really diving into the idea, I kept making little tweaks that really made this dish awesome. I was inspired by sausage gravy for the chili so I added breakfast sausage, bacon, and even a little milk. I also added coffee and maple syrup so it was really a breakfast chili! My last minute idea was to use cornmeal in the pancakes since cornbread is such a great pair for chili.
Making the Pancakes
If you look at the ingredients in cornbread and the ingredients in pancakes they’re not really that far off. I added some cornmeal to a pancake recipe, and added some vinegar to give more of a buttermilk vibe. Could have just used actual buttermilk but I didn’t have any! Then just make the pancakes like usual and stack them up so they are ready for the breakfast chili!
Actually on second thought, don’t stack them too high. I really wanted this to be a dramatic stack since it was a special photo shoot, but if you were to make this at home I would suggest only one or two pancakes per plate.
Making the chili
I call this breakfast chili because there is a lot of breakfast ingredients in it! I was inspired by both sausage gravy and red-eye gravy when coming up with the recipe. There is breakfast sausage, bacon, milk, coffee, and maple syrup in here! I had to at least add some syrup since this chili is for cornmeal pancakes.
I made it like a regular chili though, with the meat and some peppers and onions in the pan first, then add all the liquids and simmer for a long time.
Build the Cornmeal Pancakes with Breakfast Chili
Smother the pancakes with that tasty breakfast chili! Then top it with anything you might normally put on top of chili, or pancakes, or cornbread!
Gotta have butter on a pancake stack. I also like butter on cornbread so it works. Butter on chili is the wildcard but butter works with literally anything.
Jalapeno, sour cream, cheddar, and chives are the chili topping staples.
This was SO GOOD. I re-made it for Georgina and I the next day because it was so damn good.
The breakfast chili was super unique but still tasted like chili, and the cornmeal pancakes really brought the idea together.
And the photos from Dominic really were stunning!
Twists on Cornmeal Pancakes with Breakfast Chili
You could just make your family favorite chili and put it on top of these pancakes instead of my breakfast version! Also store bought chili would be fine too! You could also buy store bought chili and stir in some breakfast sausage and maple syrup for a great little shortcut.
Cornmeal Pancakes with Sausage and Bacon Chili
- 10 ounces bacon chopped
- 1 pound breakfast sausage removed from casing
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion diced
- 5 jalapenos diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomato
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup coffee
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 stick butter
- sour cream
- cheddar cheese
- chopped chives
- sliced jalapenos
make the chili
- Cook the bacon to brown, stirring often. Remove from pan keeping the fat in the pan. Cook the sausage breaking it apart and stirring, until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan. Remove excess fat from the pan so there is only a thin layer.
- Add the butter to the pan and cook the onion and jalapeno for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin and cook 2 minutes. Add the meats back to the pan and stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato, milk, stock, coffee, oregano, and some salt and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook about 2 hours.
make the pancakes
- Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Whisk the wet ingredients really well to combine. Add them to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add a little more liquid if needed.
- Griddle the pancakes, a few at a time or as many as you can fit in your pan or griddle, on both sides to lightly brown and cook through. As you finish, put them into the oven on low heat to stay warm while you finish the remaining pancakes.
- To serve, put the pancakes on a plate and top with a big scoop of chili and whichever of the other toppings you want.