Simple Chili and Cornbread in a Jar | Recipe

When it comes a cold and gray day, I'm a purest at heart… I love a good chili and cornbread recipe.  Case in Point… My Creamy White Chili and Turkey Chili posts from a few years ago. Today, I thought I would share my super easy weeknight chili with a little WhipperBerry twist…

You got it… it's chili and cornbread in a jar!  Perfect for those cold winter nights or a fun dinner by the campfire. All you have to do is make up your favorite chili recipe, place it in a 16 oz. wide mouth jar.  Mix up your favorite cornbread mix and then place a 1/2 cup of cornbread mix on top of the chili and bake it at 375 degrees for 20 minutes right in the jar. Don't have a favortie chili or cornbread recipe, no worries… I have two fabulous recipes below that I know will easily become a couple of your favorites!!

Here is my go-to simple weeknight chili that is a snap to make and super delicious!!

Simple Weeknight Chili

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 large onion diced

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

3 16 oz cans of chili beans

2 cups of mild chunky garden salsa {Pace Chunky Salsa is my favorite}

2 cups of V8 tomato juice {regular or spicy depending on how hot you like your chili}

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder {weird I know, totally tasty}

salt and pepper to taste

Place large soup pot over medium high heat and add olive oil and onions.  Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Once onions are cooked down place the ground meat into the pot and brown.  Once the meat is browned start dumping all the remaining ingredients into the pot, the beans, salsa, V8, cumin, chili powder, cocoa powder, salt and pepper.  Bring to a slow boil and cook for 8- 10 minutes over medium heat. 

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onion or your favorite chili condiments.

Serves 8-10 people.


2 c. (1 c.) flour

1 c. (½ c.) cornmeal

2 ½ t. (1 ¼ t.) baking powder

1 t. (½ t.) salt

¾ c. (6 T.) butter

3 (2) eggs

1 c. (½ c.) milk

1½ (¾ c.) sugar

1 t. (½ t.) vanilla

See that vanilla? It gives you the hint of the deliciousness you’re about to embark into. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sift together your flour, cornmeal, powder, and salt, and set aside. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy (about five minutes).

Once your batter is fluffy, begin mixing in the dry ingredients and milk by fourths, alternating dry and wet (beginning and ending with flour) until smooth. Pour into a well greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

If you decide to make this in a jar bake the cornbread for 20-25 to make sure that it cooks all the way through. Let the jars cool a bit and then you can dress your jars up a bit with some fabric, ric-rack, and hemp twine.  Include a fun eco friendly disposable spoon and you have a classy chili perfect for any event!!

I plan on sharing this fun chili and cornbread recipe over at TidyMom and Dine & Dishes Soupapalooza later this month on February 28th! Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset


  1. says

    These are so adorable.
    I see that you have them dressed up like gifts? That would be a really sweet “babymoon” gift. Would you give them “unbaked” with directions, or baked with re-heating directions? Have you reheated them? How did you do so? Did they turn out OK after reheating?
    Sorry for all of the questions, I just think they would make wonderful make ahead gifts! :)

  2. says

    I love this idea! Don’t jars just make everything better?
    I might have to make these for my yet-to-be-planned house warming party, although that might take a lot of jars…

    • says

      It may take a lot of jars, but it would be a great party favor. Hire a teenager to wash them all out after dinner and then fill them with candy for a fun party favor to send home!

  3. says

    I had to laugh as my friend sent me this link yesterday as an email, and then all day yesterday I kept running into your pics on pinterest! Love them all, and I can’t wait to try this idea. So glad I found you!

  4. says

    what a fabulous idea. I have some friends struggling with cancer right now and have been making them some meals. I bet this would cheer them up!

  5. Karen U says

    This is brilliant! I’m totally making these for dinner at the field for my son’s baseball games! Way better than shack food.
    Apple pies in mason jars for dessert and ice tea in masons to wash it all down!
    We’ll be the hit of the field!

  6. says

    I have to say…I have enjoyed this chili & cornbread in a jar immensely. I haven’t limited my cornbread in a jar to just chili. I’ve also used black bean stoup and even Giada DiLaurentiis’ tomato soup. This has been a great meal to take into the office. It’s so simple and easy. I use my upcycled glass peanut butter jars to bake the cornbread with the soup. I screw the lid on after they cool and then take the soups into work.

    This is probably the coolest lunch recipe I’ve ever found on the internet. Thanks for sharing. My readers are really enjoying this as well.

  7. Mandi says

    These look so cool! I wonder how far in advance I can prep these and store them in the fridge or freezer?

  8. Leah Hamm says

    I like the idea, but I have one question. You emphasized using a 2 cup jar, but the beautiful pictures shown are the smaller 1 cup Mason jars.

  9. says

    I love this- I made it last year and it was delicious and I want to make it again for for a party Saturday. Question- what did you do about the hot jars? The jars were so hot I had to give everyone dish towels to wrap around them to protect their hands- what did you do?

    • says

      I had bandanas for everyone to wrap their jars with. It is an issue unfortunately. I also didn’t serve them right out of the oven. I let them cool for 30 minutes or so. I’m glad you like the recipe idea!


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