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White Chili with Cornbread

Sometimes I want comfort food.  Not every day, mind you, but sometimes.  Recently while perusing one of my favorite food blogs, King Arthur Flour's Baking Banter (You'll find the link on the right side of the page), I saw this recipe for white chili with cornbread.

Chili is a favorite dish, but I have never made a white chili.  This recipe sounded yummy.  I love cornbread with chili, so this combination had to be a winner.  I decided to give it a try with some minor adjustments. The adjustments are indicated in italics.  You can link to the original recipe here:

White Chili with Cornbread
Chili Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Chili Ingredients
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeƱo pepper, diced; remove and discard seeds for milder chili
  • 1 to 4 cloves garlic (to taste), peeled and minced
  • 1 pound bag frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cans (4 1/2 ounces each) chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 5 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, white and/or dark
  • 1 can (15 to 19 ounces) white beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3-ounce package reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 to cup grated  monterey jack cheese, optional, for topping
To make the chili:  Heat the oil in in a large frying pan.  Add the onion, peppers, and garlic.  I altered the mix of peppers based on what I had on hand.  Cook until the vegetables are soft and the onions are just beginning to turn golden, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the corn, chiles and chicken, stirring to combine.

The Vegetables

The beans are pureed and added to the chili mixture to thicken it.  Cool idea, right?  I rinsed and drained the beans before putting them in the blender because I just don't like the liquid in the can.  You don't have to.  If you decide to rinse them, you'll want to add a couple of tablespoons of water to your blender with the beans in order to procees them until smooth.  Then add the pureed beans to the pan with your chicken and vegetable chili mixture.

Add the cumin, chili powder and salt.  Chili powder wasn't in the original recipe, but what is chili without chili powder?   Add it for an additional kick in flavor.  Stir to combine.  Simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  Don't add additional liquid.  You'll be sorry if you do. 

Make the cornbread topping and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cornbread Topping Ingredients

The Cornbread Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-1/2 oz can chopped mild green chiles, drained
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chiles, and cilantro.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter and egg.  Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients all at once, stirring gently to combine.  Set aside.

Add the cream cheese to the chili, stirring until it melts.  I used reduced fat cream cheese and it worked perfectly.  Spoon the chili mixture into a lightly greased 9"x13" pan at least 2" deep.  Shred whatever kind of cheese you like best.  I used monterey jack cheese, but cheddar will work, too.   Top the chili mixture with cheese.  Spoon the cornbread batter on top and distribute evenly.

Ready for the Oven

Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Serve hot or warm.  Serves 8 to 12, depending on the generosity of your serving portion.

Ready for the Table

The chili and cornbread got a thumbs up review from my family.  This is a keeper recipe.  Try it, you're sure to like it!



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