Cornbread Chili Bake

Recipe: Cornbread Chili Bake

This comforting meal combines spicy and smoky chili with sweet and fluffy cornbread in one dish so the cornbread soaks up the flavors of the chili. The chili is full of vegetables and hearty beans so there is no need for meat! The cornbread gets its light texture from a homemade “buttermilk” made from combining soy milk and apple cider vinegar. The mixture will curdle to create a dairy-free buttermilk that moistens the cornbread.

Tomatoes, one of my top ten beauty foods, form the base of this chili with the inclusion of both tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Tomatoes are full of the anti-aging antioxidant lycopene, especially when they are in their cooked or concentrated forms, such as tomato paste.


For the chili:
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchinis, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

For the cornbread topping:
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup medium grind cornmeal
1 cup oat flour (or 1 cup rolled oats blended into a flour)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt


In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add zucchini, bell pepper, and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes or so until the vegetables have softened. Add chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, pepper, and salt and sauté for another minute. Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, beans and 2 cups water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together soy milk, apple cider vinegar, and applesauce and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the chili to a large casserole dish. Top with dollops of the cornbread batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the chili is bubbly and the cornbread is baked through.

Yields 8 servings

Per serving: 398 calories, 17.4 g protein, 75.6 g carbohydrates, 17.6 g fiber, 14.9 g sugars, 4.3 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 836 mg sodium, 363 mg calcium, 0.2 g omega-3 fats, 3191 IU vitamin A, 29.3 mg vitamin C, 2 mg vitamin E, 5.1 mg iron, 1.6 mg zinc

Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D.,
is the author of THE BEAUTY DIET and STRONG, SLIM, and 30! For more of Lisa’s Beauty Bites, visit

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