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Skillet Chili with Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Crust

An easy skillet chili recipe where the jalapeño cheddar cornbread bakes up right on top! Not only is it less dishes to clean, it’s also a warm and cozy dinner dinner served from one pot!

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 15 minutes
    •    Cook time: 1 hour
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    1 tbsp oil
    •    1 lb. lean ground beef (or chicken or turkey)*
    •    ½ large onion, chopped
    •    1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
    •    2 jalapeños, deseeded and diced
    •    3 cloves minced garlic
    •    1 teaspoon salt
    •    2 teaspoons EACH ground cumin AND chili powder (or more to taste!)
    •    1 teaspoon EACH smoked paprika AND chipotle or ancho chili powder (or more to taste!)
    •    1 tablespoon EACH brown sugar AND Worcestershire sauce
    •    1 (15 ounce) can EACH fire roasted diced tomatoes AND tomato sauce

Cornbread Crust:

    •    1 (8.5 ounce) box cornbread mix
    •    1 egg
    •    ½ cup sour cream
    •    1 cup cheddar shredded cheese
    •    1 jalapeño, deseeded and diced
    •    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    •    4 tablespoons melted butter
    •    2 tablespoons water


  1. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and crumble as needed, allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the beef browns. Feel free to drain any excess grease. Add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapeños and continue to sauté for 5-6 minutes or until the veggies cook down a bit.
  2. Add the garlic and all the remaining ingredients for the chili, stir to combine. Let it come to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and allow it to cook for 20-25 minutes. If the chili starts drying out too much, add a few tablespoons of water and allow it to continue simmering.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. While the chili is simmering, prepare the cornbread mix.

Cornbread Crust:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the cornbread in a large bowl.
  2. When the chili is done simmering, remove from heat. Gently spread the prepared cornbread mix over the chili. You want it to be even distributed across the whole skillet.
  3. Place the skillet on a large baking sheet so if the juices overflow they don’t ruin the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  1. If you would like to use beans in your chili recipe, reduce the ground beef to ¾ pound and use 1 (15 ounce) can of beans that are drained and rinsed. I highly suggest using black beans!
  2. To make this even quicker on a weeknight. Prepare the chili mixture over the weekend and refrigerate until ready to use (chili mixture can be made up to two days in advance).

This great family recipe is thanks to Little Spice Jar at


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