Three-Bean Beef Chili with Honey Cornbread

At least three times a week, I like to put my and my husband’s taste buds to the test at the dinner table and introduce a new dish. It’s fun to incorporate something new into our nightly meal together because, like everyone, I’ve been in a rut before where I fell back on cooking the same seven dishes over and over again. So, I try to keep things lively and fresh, but for every two dishes that send our palates over the moon with pleasure, there’s always one that is deemed simply “interesting” and vowed to never be tried again.

Instead of acting disappointed when the new food is a total flop, though, I look at it as an opportunity to go back to the recipes I know by heart and try to improve them even more. This incredibly tasty, three-bean beef chili is one of those recipes. Even though I couldn’t tell you where the recipe originated or why the leftovers magically vanish the day after it’s made, I can tell you that I’ve been making it every few months for about six years, and a lot of people have gone back for seconds and thirds.

The three beans – dark and light kidney beans, and white beans – and tender ground beef give the chili a hearty texture and flavor, and the fresh California vegetables and herbs – red and green bell peppers, jalapeno, onion, garlic, lime and cilantro – lighten up the flavors and combine to create this irresistible summer, and winter, favorite. Served with a side of oh-so-simple honey cornbread, this amazing chili is sure to be a hit for weeknight dinners, parties and backyard barbecues for you, too!

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Three-Bean Beef Chili with Honey Cornbread

Yield: Chili serves 8-12 / Cornbread serves 9-10

Ingredients:

 

Chili

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 sun-dried tomatoes, (not packed in oil), snipped into small pieces
2 bay leaves
1 can dark kidney beans, rinsed
1 can light kidney beans, rinsed
1 can white beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

Cornbread

2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour

Directions:

 

Chili

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef. Season beef with salt, pepper and seasonings, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add bell peppers and onions; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, and more seasonings, as desired. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and bay leaves. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Add beans; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chili has thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and other seasoning and spices, as desired.

Top with sour cream, chopped scallions, and cheddar cheese (optional).

Enjoy!

*Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months

Cornbread

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir sugar, honey and butter together. Whisk in eggs. Whisk in baking soda and buttermilk. Add salt, cornmeal, and flour. Do not overmix. As soon as the flour disappears, stop mixing.

Add batter to a greased 8-inch baking dish and smooth out the batter. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Prick the center with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. If not clean, bake for about 5 more minutes.

Enjoy!

      

24 Responses to “Three-Bean Beef Chili with Honey Cornbread”

  1. #
    1
    roxan — June 11, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

    Totally know what you mean about being stuck in a rut. For me it’s more of being stuck in a time rut. I wish I had more time to spend on making delicious and exotic meals but with work and everything else I just don’t have the time and end up making whatever I can as quickly as possible w as little ingredients as possible.

    This chili looks delicious though! i have a get together on sunday for the playoff game and now I’m thinking I’ll bring chili!

  2. #
    2
    Lauren — June 11, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

    Oh! The food rut! I am in it right now… it’s so expensive and risky to try new, new things… and sometimes Ryan and I want to try very different things. Like, I want to try to do a lemon and caper Snapper dish, and he wants more cheese…

    But this is lovely, and reminds me of a really good and hearty dinner I’ve needed in the past few weeks! I am so glad you posted something… perhaps it will inspire me to get that healthier blueberry coffee cake out of my imagination and onto the cooling rack!

    TGIF!!

    - Lauren, Lauren’s Little Kitchen

  3. #
    3
    Monet — June 11, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    This looks like a beautiful and nutritious dish…and honey cornbread? I’m salivating! And yes…I get stuck in food ruts quite often. I find something I like and I don’t have the energy or desire to be creative. Thanks for sharing!

  4. #
    4
    Georgia — June 11, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    Thank you so much Roxan, Lauren and Monet for your thoughtful comments, I’m floored! It’s good to know I’m not alone in sometimes falling into ruts, but I suppose it happens to all of us at some point.

    Lauren – I want you to share that blueberry coffee cake post so that I can start making it! I did a strawberry coffee cake I think you’d like, too.

    Thanks again for stopping by and letting me know what you think!

  5. #
    5
    Deborah — June 12, 2010 @ 1:35 am

    The chili looks wonderful, and I’m sure I’d go back for seconds on the cornbread!

  6. #
    6
    Georgia — June 12, 2010 @ 4:42 am

    Thank you, Deborah!

  7. #
    7
    Chef Dennis — June 12, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

    it is a great way to change things up a bit! Your chili looks like it was a sure winner and your cornbread…oh my just perfect!

  8. #
    8
    Emma — June 14, 2010 @ 2:12 am

    this looks fabulous, i can’t wait to try it!

  9. #
    9
    Georgia — June 14, 2010 @ 2:18 am

    Thank you, Dennis!

    Emma – You’re going to love this chili! I’d love to know how it turns out if you give a try!

  10. #
    10
    Jessica — June 14, 2010 @ 4:02 am

    That cornbread sound fabulous! YUM!

  11. #
    11
    lavienouveau — June 15, 2010 @ 2:31 am

    oh man, these both sound heavenly!

  12. #
    12
    Deborah — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    The chili looks wonderful, and I’m sure I’d go back for seconds on the cornbread!

  13. #
    13
    lavienouveau — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    oh man, these both sound heavenly!

  14. #
    14
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    Thank you, Dennis!

    Emma – You’re going to love this chili! I’d love to know how it turns out if you give a try!

  15. #
    15
    Emma — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    this looks fabulous, i can’t wait to try it!

  16. #
    16
    Jessica — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    That cornbread sound fabulous! YUM!

  17. #
    17
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    Thank you, Deborah!

  18. #
    18
    Monet — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    This looks like a beautiful and nutritious dish…and honey cornbread? I’m salivating! And yes…I get stuck in food ruts quite often. I find something I like and I don’t have the energy or desire to be creative. Thanks for sharing!

  19. #
    19
    Chef Dennis — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    it is a great way to change things up a bit! Your chili looks like it was a sure winner and your cornbread…oh my just perfect!

  20. #
    20
    Lauren — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    Oh! The food rut! I am in it right now… it’s so expensive and risky to try new, new things… and sometimes Ryan and I want to try very different things. Like, I want to try to do a lemon and caper Snapper dish, and he wants more cheese…

    But this is lovely, and reminds me of a really good and hearty dinner I’ve needed in the past few weeks! I am so glad you posted something… perhaps it will inspire me to get that healthier blueberry coffee cake out of my imagination and onto the cooling rack!

    TGIF!!

    - Lauren, Lauren’s Little Kitchen

  21. #
    21
    roxan — January 10, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    Totally know what you mean about being stuck in a rut. For me it’s more of being stuck in a time rut. I wish I had more time to spend on making delicious and exotic meals but with work and everything else I just don’t have the time and end up making whatever I can as quickly as possible w as little ingredients as possible.

    This chili looks delicious though! i have a get together on sunday for the playoff game and now I’m thinking I’ll bring chili!

  22. #
    22
    Anonymous — May 7, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    I made this today for dinner…so easy! I substituted turkey for the beef and it still came out great. I loved all the spices. Thank you!

  23. #
    23
    Anonymous — August 14, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

    Do you put the entirety of the seasons in with the meat, or should i be measuring it out?

  24. #
    24
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — August 14, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    Add all the seasonings to the meat. If you prefer to season more later in the cooking process, go right ahead!

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