Chipotle Chili with Honey Cheddar Cornbread

a deeply flavored, simple chipotle chili full of spices and caramelized peppers, served with honey cheddar cornbread on the side

servings: 4-6



Chipotle Chili

  • olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • kosher salt
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 small red bell peppers, stemmed + cored + thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 (11 oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 qt beef stock
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed + drained
  • toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, scallions

Honey Cheddar Cornbread

  • 1 cup medium-ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ lb shredded cheddar cheese
  • softened salted butter, for serving


Chipotle Chili

  1. Heat a large (7.25qt) dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Break the ground beef into pieces and add it to the hot oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes until browned on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the pot. Saute for about 6 minutes. Add the red peppers. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes longer, stirring often, until deeply caramelized. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and cloves. Cook for another 30 seconds or so.
  3. Roughly chop 2-3 of the chipotle peppers (depending on your heat preference) from the can. Add them to the pot, along with all of the adobo sauce. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and beef stock. Add the browned ground beef back to the pot.
  4. Bring the chili to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the kidney beans to heat through. Taste the chili and season with salt as needed.
  5. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, a generous sprinkle of cheddar cheese, a few cilantro leaves, and sliced scallions. Serve with warm honey cheddar cornbread (recipe below) on the side.

Honey Cheddar Cornbread

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Crack the eggs into another mixing bowl. Beat well. Whisk in the honey and milk.
  3. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, using a wooden spoon to combine until just incorporated. Fold in the melted butter and cheddar cheese. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  4. Cut the cornbread into squares and serve warm, with softened salted butter slathered over top.