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Chili Cornbread Casserole Recipe

  • Author: Alexis Joseph
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Meals
  • Method: Stovetop + Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Hearty vegetarian chili topped with cornbread, this cozy Chili Cornbread Casserole is the perfect meal to feed a crowd! Comfort food at its finest. Vegan and gluten-free option.


Units Scale

For the chili:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt, to taste + freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (can do half chickpeas)
  • 1 cup water

For the cornbread topping:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp warm water (can sub 1 egg)
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups whole grain cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (sub all-purpose gluten-free flour if necessary)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Heat oil in an oven-safe dutch oven* medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, celery, and bell pepper and sauté for another 7 minutes, or until softened. Add tomato paste, all spices, salt, and pepper, stirring for a minute.
  3. Add tomatoes with juice, all beans, and water, stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium-high. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes while you make the cornbread. Taste for seasoning before you pour batter on top!
  4. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix together flax and water in a small bowl and set aside. Add almond milk and vinegar to a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  5. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt) in a large mixing bowl. Add almond milk mixture, flax mixture, oil, and maple syrup, stirring until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Pour batter on top of chili. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a fork comes out clean. Let her rest for 15 minutes before devouring!


*If you don't have a dutch oven, you can cook the chili in a pot and transfer to a 2-3 qt. casserole dish prior to baking.