Chili isn’t just for meat lovers! And believe it or not, even said meat lovers may also love this Vegetarian Cornbread Casserole! This warm and hearty bake swaps out the traditional bowl for a plate, but keeps all of your favorite things about your chili experience in one dish. Get ready to taste the rich, veggie-filled soup simmering under a golden, moist homemade cornbread crust… it’s pure perfection! You won’t even realize there’s not a single ounce of meat to be found within… and you might never crave that version again. So, the next time you have the hunkering for something comforting and filling, give this Vegetarian Cornbread Casserole a try! It’ll be worth it!

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Ingredients

For the chili:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the cornbread:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped, plus more, to taste, sliced, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
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Directions

Step 1 –In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it is shimmering, about 1 minute.

Step 2 –Add the onion, the carrot, and the red bell pepper to the oil, mix to combine, and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes.

Step 3 –Add the garlic, the chili powder, the cumin, the oregano, the smoked paprika, the cinnamon, the salt, and the black pepper to the veggie mixture and cook, while stirring, until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Step 4 –Add the diced tomatoes, the black beans, the kidney beans, the pinto beans, and the corn to the veggie mixture and stir to combine.

Step 5 –Add the vegetable broth and the lime juice to the veggie mixture and stir to combine.

Step 6 –Increase the heat to high, bring the chili to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 7 –Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the chili, uncovered, while stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Step 8 –While the chili is simmering, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 9 –In a large bowl, whisk the milk and the egg together.

Step 10 –In another large bowl, combine the cornmeal, the flour, the brown sugar, the baking powder, the remaining salt, and the baking soda together.

Step 11 –Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until it is smooth.

Step 12 –Add the melted butter to the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Step 13 –Add 1 of the chopped jalapeños to the cornbread mixture and mix until it is incorporated.

Also Read:  Cashew Chicken

Step 14 –Transfer the Dutch oven from the heat.

Step 15 –Pour the cornbread batter over the chili and use a spatula to evenly spread and smooth it out, until the chili is covered.

Step 16 –Bake the casserole until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

Step 17 –Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes.

Step 18 –Garnish the casserole with the remaining jalapeño slices and the cilantro.

Step 19 –Serve.