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Sweet and Spicy Chili with Cornbread Topping is my go-to chili recipe. A little sweet mixed with a little heat!


Mason jars: not just for stiff drinks anymore! ;)

I saw this idea for cornbread topped chili baked in good ‘ol mason jars AGES ago on Pinterest, and have been waiting on pins and needles for the perfect moment in time to make it ever since.


It had to be a special day, of course. The first batch of chili for the season, topped with cornbread batter, then baked?! This was going to be epic!


The cold and drizzly weekend provided the perfect, chilly weather I’d been waiting for, so last night in between football games, I padded up to the kitchen in my squishy slipper socks and warm hoodie to whip up a big batch of my all time favorite chili recipe: Sweet & Spicy Chili.


Muwahaha! I thought to myself. I’ll be the envy of cold neighbors everywhere when my cozy chili is already made and all I’ll have to do tomorrow is ladle it into a mason jar, drizzle in some cornbread batter, bake, and devour under a warm blanket!


Obviously it ended up being 80 degrees and deliriously sunny today. RIGHT?!?! Gollee!


Well despite the fact that I was most certainly not enjoying this under a blanket, rather I was sweating bullets in shorts and a t-shirt, it was an absolute delight.


Since I made the chili last night, all I had to do today was ladle it into a mason jar then mix up a box of Krusteaz Fat-Free Honey Cornbread batter to dallop on top.


I entertained the idea of making homemade pumpkin cornbread, but it’s a Monday. ‘Nuff said.


After spooning in the batter, I baked the jar at 375 degrees for 25 minutes on a cookie sheet until it was golden brown on top.


After the squealing stopped, I dug in.


Sweet & Spicy Chili with Cornbread Topping


Sweet and Spicy Chili with Cornbread Topping is my go-to chili recipe. A little sweet mixed with a little heat!


Serves 4-5

  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1lb 90/10 ground beef
  • salt & pepper
  • 1-29oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1-16oz can Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 recipe cornbread batter (boxed or homemade)


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and ground beef to the pot, season with salt & pepper, then cook, breaking up the ground beef, until no longer pink. Drain well and return to the pan.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium low and add in tomato sauce, black beans and baked beans. Season with chili powder and cayenne pepper to your tastes, then add in dashes of onion powder, garlic powder and cumin. Let the chili simmer for 5-10 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Ladle chili into mason jars, then top with cornbread batter, leaving at least 2" clear at the top of the jar. Bake on a cookie sheet for 17-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.


Like I said – epic!!! My (actually this is my friend Lindsey’s recipe that she gave me years ago!) sweet & spicy chili is sweet from added baked beans, and spicy from loads of warm chili powder and hot cayenne pepper. It is magical when savored through a layer of honey cornbread.


I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to eat regular chili & cornbread again! ;)


Once again, thank you Pinterest! Ps I saw this on the boards the other day and laughed sooo hard. So sad. So true. ;)


How do you like your chili? Sweet, spicy, tomatoey, beany? What about the all important toppers?!

I actually hated all chili for years until I tried my friends recipe. I’m not a huge fan of the thin, tomatoey, kidney bean variety, but this thick, sweet & spicy kind is right up my alley. Topped with gobs of Fritos, if possible. :)