Chili & Cornbread

This is by far one of the most nutritious and yet frugal meals I make. A variety of beans cooked into chili with the grains in the cornbread provide a complete protein! Finding a good chili recipe is not an easy task, but with some experimenting, trial and error, I think I have come up with a very yummy version. It has a bit of kick to it, but a lot of flavor! My hubby loves this chili! If making for littles, add the spices at the end after taking some out for the littles, if desired.

Both chili and cornbread freeze well, so I make a large batch and freeze both in smaller portions. I keep chili in the fridge to use for different lunches throughout the week – baked potato bar, chili cheese burritos, nachos, chili over hot dogs, etc.

You can also make chili in the crockpot for an easy meal! See directions below.

1 lb. ground turkey, beef, or go meatless
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce plus 1 -15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 large can of diced tomatoes (29 ou.)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, optional
2-3 Tbls. or more taco seasoning mix
4 cups cooked beans (I do a combo of black, pinto & kidney)
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup rapadura or natural sweetener (rapadura gives it a little sweetness to balance the flavor!)
1-2 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
3 tsp cumin
1-8-1/4 cup chili powder, as desired

Cooking beans - You can always choice the canned option, but cooking your own beans is simple and cheaper. Soak beans overnight in water (1 part beans to 6-8 parts of water) and 2-3 Tbsp. of whey/lemon juice/vinegar, if desired, to impart valuable enzymes. After soaking, rinse thoroughly and add fresh water to cover the beans (about 1 part beans to 3 parts water). Cook approx. 8 hours on low (I prefer in the crockpot). Use 4 cups for chili, or more as desired, and freeze the rest for other dishes or for your next batch of chili!

For Chili -Saute ground turkey in oil with onions and peppers. Cook until browned. Add the taco seasoning mix. Taste and add more as desired. (This is the key to good chili!) Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Makes 10-12 servings.

Crockpot Chili – If you want to get dinner prepared in the morning, try the crockpot version! Cook meat, onions, and peppers in a saucepan until browned. Place in your crockpot with remaining ingredients and allow to cook over low heat for 5-6 hours.


I love soaking Sue Gregg’s cornbread recipe and it is simply delicious! Read here about the valuable benefits of soaking your grains. We love it topped with a whipped butter and honey spread. This recipe can be used with whole grains ground in the blender or with flour in a regular mixing bowl. Yum!

Amount: 8″ Square Baking Pan (12-16 pieces)
Bake: 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 25-35 minutes

1. Place in blender; blend at high speed 3-5 minutes (the blender will “grind” the grain into a batter in the liquid medium. If it is a little gritty, blend more or let it set overnight for a smoother batter using the two stage soaking method.

1 cup kefir (my first choice!), buttermilk, sour milk, or yogurt

1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil
or 2 tablespoons each butter and oil (I use 2 Tbsp of coconut oil & 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter)
3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
2/3 cup whole kernel dry corn
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry grain or 3/4 cup kamut grain

If you would like to use flour, use 1 cup of cornmeal and 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour or kamut flour in replacement for the grain above.

Second Stage: Optional (Recommended) Cover blender or bowl. Let batter stand at room temperature overnight or about 12-24 hours.
Add 2 eggs & blend

2. Mix in thoroughly, but briefly, using blender and/or rubber spatula as needed:
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

3. Pour batter immediately into greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 25-35 minutes or until knife or toothpick comes clean out of center.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

57 Responses to Chili & Cornbread

  1. Heidi Cooper January 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    I would love to try this chili recipe! My personal recipe needs some serious help lol. Could you share the measurement of your dry beans? I know how much will feed my family in dry beans measurements, not cooked, and I want to make sure I put in enough to soak. Thanks so much! Off to get the cornbread recipe soaking. :)

  2. Jennifer November 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Making this right now for dinner, thanks for all your recipes…they have been great and a great encouragement!

  3. Erika May 6, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Hi !! I LOVE your blog ! I’m so grateful that you have a printer option and are sharing your recipes with the world !! Thank you so much !! About lime water.. I thought they meant the fruit ! oops lol * or on Amazon & Ebay.

    I owe my thanks to wonderful people like you to help us all on our journey to good health (difficult when surrounded by junk food everywhere).
    I learned about lime water from Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”.. (based on I didn’t realize corn needed a special treatment unlike the typical soaks.

    The WAPF site:

    P.S. thank you thank you thank you !!!!!!!! :)

  4. Barbara April 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    I just made the chili and it is wonderful… I did not use as much chili powder as it asked for and instead of the sweetener you mentioned I used 1/4 cup of unsulfered molasses I also added 1/4 cup of cocoa powder this gave it the robust flavor my husband was looking for. Thanks for this recipe!

    • Gaby January 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      What a cool idea. I have been using unsulfered molasses as well- but cocoa powder. Yum! Going to try! Thanks for the whole recipe Lindsay!

  5. bobcat January 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Instead of canned tomatoes, we just use jarred pasta sauce (the cheapest brand available, which is Rinaldi here). Last time we used “Tomato and Basil” and it didn’t give the chili an Italian taste at all (which is good, if it’s chili). The reason I use the jarred sauce (the jar is glass) is that canned tomatoes contain BPA, from the can lining, which I try to avoid. Even the organic brands contain BPA in the can.

    You can get canned beans without BPA, only if you buy the Eden brand. I soak my beans though, because of the cost savings. But canned tomatoes do not come in a BPA-free version. :(

    I hope this simple tip helps someone! :) I don’t think the jarred sauce is any more expensive. If you want that chunky texture, from chopped tomatoes, I would either buy a chunky sauce, add a few real tomatoes, or there are even some BOXED chopped tomatoes out there (kind of like what soy milk boxes look like), if you are lucky enough to have a store that carries unique imported groceries. The brand is Pomi, and it’s Italian.

  6. W. Kruger November 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    The Weston Price Foundation always notates that cornmeal should be soaked in lime water first, then soaked in an acid medium such as yogurt, etc. I noticed that you have not included this process. Any reason? You can go to their website and search for this information or read it in Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions.

  7. Lucille Korvin October 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Soaking is AMAZING. I went ahead and soaked 12 cups of beans, and it produced about 26 cups worth :D

  8. Lucille Korvin October 25, 2010 at 4:19 am #

    How long should the beans soak?

    • Lindsay October 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

      7 hours is the general recommendation.

  9. AmandaonMaui August 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    I just made this cornbread gluten free!

  10. Lucille Korvin August 20, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    I highly recommend the cornbread. I’ve made it several times and it’s always turned out great.
    I’m going to use the bread tonight as a base for cornbread stuffing with roasted chicken.

  11. April August 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    I made the corn bread tonight, we all loved it. The best cornbread I’ve eaten. My husband even say “Mmmm good cornbread Dear”. The coconut oil gave it a wonderful flavor. I use an iron skillet for my corn bread I just put a couple of TBS of coconut oil in the skillet let it get warm and then put the cornbread mixture in it and cook it like the recipe says and Mmmm. My husband love that I started getting into Whole Food eating. We like spend soooo much less on food, well manly I make everything from scratch.

  12. Rebecca June 11, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    What do you consider a serving for the chili, I want to make this for youth group but need to know how many batches to make.

    • Lindsay June 11, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

      About 1 cup I would say.

  13. Whopper May 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    I loved this recipe set. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m thrilled to finally have a chili that works for everyone in the fam – I’ve tried at least 10 other recipes over the last few years and none of them passed the test. The cornbread is super easy too. I love the blender method and I liked the bigger bits of corn.

  14. krissi March 5, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    My hubby LOVED the chili. He said it was the best he’s ever had. He kept eating for lunch/dinner until the pot was empty. I just made it again but with chicken and added squash this time. It’s super cheap and a HUGE SUCCESS! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  15. Lindsey O. December 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Made this tonight…SO GOOD! Loving the kick it has. It’s just right!

  16. Christina November 16, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    I was wondering if you’d ever used this recipe for cornbread muffins, the pic looks kinda loose and I didn’y know if they’d hold together. Thanks! Love your blog! God Bless.

  17. Mandy November 4, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    If I use the whole wheat pastry flour instead of the grains so I still soak it overnight? Looking forward to trying this!

    • Lindsay November 4, 2009 at 10:39 am #

      Ideally, yes, for the nutritional benefits making it easier to digest, but I don’t always get to it myself. ;)

  18. TheRoosterChick October 15, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    Yummers! Nothing says Fall like a hot pot of Chili.

  19. Tina October 14, 2009 at 4:34 am #

    I love the recipes on here, thanks so much for sharing! I notice that you said you soak your grains and beans in an acid medium with kefir. I was wondering if you use the water kefir and if you do, does it matter if the kefir is flavored? Thanks again!

    • Lindsay October 14, 2009 at 7:00 am #

      No, I have not tried to use water kefir for soaking, but I definitely would not recommend using a flavored water kefir as it will affect the flavor. I would just pull out some and place in another container for soaking purposes before you flavor it.

  20. Cassie June 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Seriously loving your blog. I want to try this recipe and was wondering if you do this in a slow cooker would you soak the beans overnight then put them in the slow cooker with all the rest of the ingredients and then cook 8 hours or do you first cook the beans then cook them another 8 hours with everything else?

    • Lindsay June 22, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

      I would recommend cooking the beans in advance and then throwing all the other ingredients in. I would not cook it longer than a few hours. It should not be necessary to cook it for 8 hours.

  21. Saralyn May 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    I figured this was a perfect time to stop lurking. We tried your chili recipe tonight and this is SERIOUSLY good chili! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Sherree May 3, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Lindsay – what is “whole kernel dry corn?” Is it whole fresh or canned corn? Or is it dried like dried beans? And where do you get it?

    • Lindsay May 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

      It is whole corn but dried like beans. I purchase it through Azure Standard. You can also use cornmeal. I believe it is about 1 cup of cornmeal in this recipe.

      • Sherree May 4, 2009 at 9:14 am #

        Thanks for the info. I will have to give it a try.

      • Maureen June 10, 2009 at 9:19 am #

        LOL I’m glad somebody else asked because I was wondering. I was thinking of kernels like you use to make popcorn!

  23. Erica April 6, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    Lindsay, I’m planning to try your chili recipe this week. So far, your recipes have not failed me, so I’m anxious to try this one! Do you have your seasoning mix figured out yet? :)

    In Christ,

    • Lindsay April 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

      You can find my taco seasoning mix here, but I think it still needs a bit of salt added to it. Try it and see what you think.

  24. Danielle Hunt January 24, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    I made both the cornbread and chili last night and it turned out well. Some chili recipes that I have tried has been a little too spicy for my 4 year old daughter but not this time. Yay! The cornbread was awesome with butter and some raw honey! We had a little left over so we enjoyed the cornbread the next morning with some raw milk. Yum! My husband took it for lunch today and he said it was even better than last night! Thanks!

  25. Lauren January 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm #


    I wanted to try this recipe for this week. I have two questions: 1.) when you say that you soak in whey/lemon juice/vinegar does that mean all three or one of the three meaning pick whichever one I prefer? 2.) And, is it 2-3 Tbs. of all three or 2-3 Tbs. of each?

    Thank you!
    Love that you have a recipe section as I will be here more often:)


    • Lindsay January 19, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

      Lauren, simply choose which option you would prefer to use. You do not have to use all three. There are many choices for soaking. I honestly prefer kefir myself but you will just want to use 2-3 Tbsp total of whichever acid medium you choose.

  26. Erin Wilson January 18, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    The cornbread was delicious!! I ground my grains and used Kefir but did not have time to soak overnight. My husband said it was the best cornbread he has ever had!
    Thank you so much! So far I have used two of your recipes and they have been fabulous!
    You have encouraged me to start soaking my grains so tonight I will be soaking my steel cut oats, millet, and quinoa in Kefir for our morning cereal. I will be using a bigger jar to make my Kefir so I have extra for soaking and my daily smoothies.
    The Lord bless you.

  27. Birgit January 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    I noticed that you mentioned that your chili recipe has a “bit of a kick” to it…and then I noticed that your recipe calls for 1/4 CUP of chili powder!!! You either LOVE it scorching hot…or you have a typo! LOL!

    All that said, I do enjoy your website. You have learned so many valuable things at such a young age…I wish I knew all this when I was your age…but God brings us each along in our own time, and I am indeed very thankful for that.

    Have you ever read any of Elizabeth Elliott’s writings from her experience on the mission field? You would be interested, I am sure, in reading her accounts of child bearing as she learned from natives…it is VERY interesting, and makes a lot of sense! The intelligence that God gives on the basic level (the natives don’t have medical books, pharmacies, doctors, etc.)is worthy of our contemplation.

    Blessings to you and your family,


    • Lindsay January 4, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

      No, there is no typo. I usually do not do quite a 1/4 cup, but just about. It is perfect and not overly spicy, but you can flavor it to your desire. I have read a few of Elizabeth Elliot’s and have enjoyed them. God bless!

      • Tara September 21, 2010 at 11:06 am #

        Maybe because “chili powder” is really a blend of spices (mine says chile pepper, sea salt,cumin, oregano, garlic), vs. “chili pepper” ?

  28. Gretchen November 13, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    The whipped butter and honey spread sounds delicious. Do you make your own?

    • Lindsay November 13, 2008 at 11:04 am #

      Yes indeed! It is delicious. I combine softened butter (say about 1/4 cup) and honey (2-3 Tbsp or so) and whip till smooth. I always eye it and never measure, but it is better to have more butter than honey to give the creamy consistency. Yummy!

  29. Sarah October 16, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    I would love to try this recipe. Unfortunately, I have not mastered baking at the high altitude here in Colorado. We’re at 5500 feet. Does anyone have any advice for changing this recipe for high altitude?

  30. Susan May 22, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    Oh golly! Another yummy recipe!

  31. Mimi April 26, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    We love chili and cornbread. Thanks for sharing your recipes.I’ve been wanting to try usung kefir as an ingredient, so I’ll start here!

  32. Stephanie April 26, 2008 at 3:58 am #

    I am definitely going to try this recipe! It looks so yummy!

    I am struggling with learning how to cook dry beans and have them turn out right. I wrote about it on my blog, I need some suggestions! Why don’t they ever come out right for me? I have not tried them in the crockpot yet though…

  33. Laura@heavenlyhomemakers April 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Mmmm! This looks delicous!! Do you soak your cornmeal in buttermilk, or lime water? I’ve never learned the “lime water” method…just wondering what you use!

    • Lindsay April 25, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

      Laura, my first choice for soaking any baking goods is kefir…as it is so beneficial. I haven’t tried lime water, and buttermilk must be cultured to work properly, and I only have the powered kind. Kefir is the easiest for me!

      • Kelly March 31, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

        where do you buy your kefir?

        • Lindsay April 1, 2009 at 7:00 am #

          I make my own kefir using kefir grains. Read more about it here.

  34. Michele April 25, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    I buy the bulk “Mexican Seasoning” mix from Azure. That’s what I use in tacos, chili, etc. Your recipes sound great! I am still transitioning/learning about soaking grains, so this bread recipe is much appreciated!
    Michele :)

  35. Kristina April 25, 2008 at 7:47 am #

    Yummy!! Your chili recipe sounds delicious! Can’t wait
    to try it! Have a good weekend.


  36. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home April 25, 2008 at 7:29 am #

    Lindsay, I’m curious what taco seasoning mix you are using- is it bought or something that you mix up yourself?

    I don’t have a specific mix (or even a specific recipe, for that matter!), but mine includes cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic, chili powder (not very much, and no cayenne), salt and pepper, and I think that’s about it. So it’s similar to your spices, but then you’ve also listed the seasoning mix, so I’m curious to know what that is.

    • Lindsay April 25, 2008 at 9:09 am #

      I have bought mine in the past from Costco, but I recently came across a recipe that I am trying, to avoid all the additives in most mixes. I will be passing it on here shortly. ;)

  37. Jessica April 25, 2008 at 7:23 am #

    I am excited to find your blog (via the Biblical Womanhood Frugal Friday link). I have bookmarked your “Recipes” section. I read Nourishing Traditions a few months ago and have tried to implement much of what Ms. Fallon teaches. (I did not pick up on the New Age philosophies that you mentioned. I would be curious to know more about what you found on that topic?)

    I also learned some helpful tips from Healthy Habits (Frahm) and Train up Your Children in the Way They Should Eat (Broer).

    Take care and God bless you in your heart for the home!

  38. Rachael April 25, 2008 at 6:37 am #

    We made a very similar recipe for dinner last night! I am going to try the cornbread recipe though…looks much healthier than mine;)

  39. Tia April 24, 2008 at 5:26 pm #

    I dunno Lindsay, my family loves my chili and I don’t use either taco seasoning or chili powder. I think there’ s a misconception that in order to make chili you need to use chili powder. Who would have though!?