Chillin: Favorite Chili, Chowder & Cornbread Recipes

Come mid-winter chill, there's nothing like hot bowls of chili (or chowder?!) to warm us from the inside out. And on the side? Cornbread, of course. Here I've collected my favorite recipes to combat that winter chillin'. Your next hot meal? It's here.

Chillin: Favorite Chili & Chowder Recipes with a Side of Cornbread, cold-weather, football-friendly favorites in another recipe collection ♥ Kitchen Parade.

Another Handy Recipe Collection from Kitchen Parade: Chili, Chowder & Cornbread All Made from Scratch with Whole Ingredients. Super-Organized for Browsing or to Find Exactly What You're Looking For, Fast.

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We Did It.

So we've all survived the Polar Vortex (and 2024?!) but Mama Winter, she ain't through with us yet. My northern soul is grateful but we'll still need to call upon a potful or two or three of chili to gird our constitutions (to say nothing of our bellies) for what lies ahead. (How lucky is that?! Does anyone else mourn the end of chili season?)

And besides, there are big playoff games plus the Super Bowl to go and hasn't chili become the go-to thing to serve? Here I've collected my favorite chili recipes plus a couple of chowders for the chili-haters, all served with cornbread on the side. If you're not the chili or cornbread maker, you'll find plenty of football-friendly fare here in Football Fever!

Favorite CHILI Recipes
Some Of Us Just Can't Get Enough
(I'm Not Sayin' Who)

Chocolate Chili ♥, my oldest (and still best!) recipe for homemade chili with lots of spices and yes, cocoa powder. Weight Watchers Friendly. Whole30 Friendly. High Protein. Gluten Free.
  • Chocolate Chili is the "granddaddy" of my chili recipes but it's also my "newest" recipe because it's just been updated to move "spice forward". And I don't mean hotter – Chocolate Chili isn't a "sweet" chili but it's also not a "hot" chili recipe. It is "spicy" with warm spices like cinnamon and cumin and coriander. And yes, there's even a touch of chocolate! So good!

  • THE RECIPE Chocolate Chili My long-time recipe, meaty and full of spices and a touch of chocolate. (PIN This)
  • BEST FOR Weight Watchers (just 2 points per cup) and those who don't like beans in chili.
  • CLAIM TO FAME All those spices but maybe surprisingly, no chili powder.
  • COOKED on the stovetop or slow-cooked in the oven.
  • PROTEIN Ground meat or my favorite, beef stew meat.
  • BEANS or NO BEANS? No beans!
  • CALORIES 107 calories per cup
  • HANDS-ON TIME 20 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 2-1/2 hours

Homemade Chili with Dried Beans (Slow Cooker or Slow-Cooked in the Oven) ♥ Featuring Hurst's HamBeens Slow Cooker Chili Beans.
  • Homemade Chili with Dried Beans is the "baby" chili, it's my newest chili recipe and skips the canned beans and instead calls for a full pound of dried beans, a mix of beans from Hurst's HamBeens including its seasoning packet.

  • THE RECIPE Homemade Chili with Dried Beans For a slow cooker or slow-cooking in the oven. No canned beans! (PIN This)
  • CLAIM TO FAME I know! Canned beans are convenient but why don't we use dried beans more often?
  • COOKED in a slow cooker or slow-cooked in the oven.
  • PROTEIN A pound of ground meat, beef, venison, turkey, etc.
  • BEANS or NO BEANS? This is definitely a bean chili, seasoned ans spiced so very well.
  • BEST FOR cooks who haven't quite nailed the seasoning for chili, the HamBeens seasoning is good but I make it "excellent" by bumping up the flavor.
  • HANDS-ON TIME 20 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE as little as 5 hours (oven) and 6 hours (slow cooker)

Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ♥, just cook ground beef and spicy sausage, then dump it all into a slow cooker or Dutch oven for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove. Meaty and man-friendly!
  • Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage is a man-friendly chili, rich and extra hearty. It's my sister's recipe and mixes ground beef with spicy sausage. Plus it's one of those recipes where you brown the meat, then dump it and everything else into the slow cooker all at once. As easy as it is, it's perfectly balanced, the right amount of spice, the right amount of meat. So good!

  • THE RECIPE Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage Brown the meat, dump and go. (PIN This)
  • BEST FOR big appetites, heat lovers and slow cooker mavens.
  • CLAIM TO FAME That spicy sausage really makes this chili.
  • COOKED in a slow cooker or slow-cooked in the oven or on the stove.
  • PROTEIN burger meat + spicy pork sausage
  • BEANS or NO BEANS? Beans!
  • CALORIES 287 per cup
  • HANDS-ON TIME 20 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 7 - 24 hours

White Chicken Chili ♥, spicy-but-not-too-spicy, just chicken, spices, chilies and white beans.
  • White Chicken Chili has a southwestern flair that I c-r-a-v-e. It's packed with so much goodness: tender pulled chicken, rich poblano, mild green chilis, sweet corn and creamy white beans. So good!

  • THE RECIPE White Chicken Chili An old favorite, a little lighter. (PIN This)
  • BEST FOR those who don't eat red meat; love the smokiness of green chilies; don't like tomatoes or can't tolerate the acidity of tomatoes.
  • CLAIM TO FAME A creamy chili, meaty with chicken, seasoned with mild green chilies.
  • COOKED on the stove.
  • PROTEIN Chicken! I always use a rotisserie chicken for the meat, so easy!
  • BEANS or NO BEANS? Beans, white of course!
  • CALORIES 234 per cup
  • HANDS-ON TIME 30 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 90 minutes - 2 hours

Beefy Tomatillo Chili ♥, the 'sour' of tomatillos really work in chili. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb.
  • Beefy Tomatillo Chili is a great way to "mix it up" when it comes to chili, thanks to fresh tomatillos that have the texture of tomatoes but such a different signature flavor.

  • THE RECIPE Beefy Tomatillo Chili A big pot of low-carb rib-sticking chili with chunks of beef and tomatillos.
  • BEST FOR cooks (and eaters!) who tire of same-old, same-old chili and crave variety without going all weird.
  • CLAIM TO FAME Oh, that distinctive sour of tomatillos! Whether this recipe or another, tomatillos belong in chili!
  • COOKED in a slow cooker or slow-cooked in the oven.
  • PROTEIN Chunks of stew meat.
  • BEANS or NO BEANS? Definitely, beans! I use black beans and chili beans, love the color variation.
  • CALORIES 174 per cup
  • HANDS-ON TIME 40 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 7 hours

Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle ♥, a confetti of colorful vegetables and beans warmed with chili spices.
  • Vegetable Chili is a confetti of rainbow colors, it's my less-spicy version of a restaurant recipe from here in St. Louis. It's 100% vegetables and definitely a vegetarian chili (thank you, chipotle in adobo) and not just a vegetable soup.

  • THE RECIPE Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle Vegan chili, colorful vegetables and beans warmed with chili spices. (PIN This)
  • CLAIM TO FAME Leaning into a plant-based diet doesn't mean giving up chili: just make it a vegetable chili. Here the stars of the show are sweet potatoes plus carrots, celery, poblano, bell peppers, corn and tomato.
  • COOKED on the stove or in a slow cooker or slow-cooker in the oven.
  • PROTEIN All those beans!
  • BEANS or NO BEANS? Beans, for sure, black, kidney and cannellini.
  • CALORIES 159 per cup
  • BEST FOR vegetarians, vegans and vegetable lovers, all the chili goodness, just zero animal protein. And meal prep folks! And intuitive cooks who like to improvise!
  • HANDS-ON TIME 40 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 24 hours (make one day, serve the next)

Favorite CHOWDER Recipes
For Something a Little Different,
Try a Big Pot of Chowder

Not everyone's as keen on chili as well, the rest of us. Maybe it's because so many chili recipes are so-so spicy? I've learned to never order chili out! Too spicy for my taste!

So for a little something different, try making a big pot of chowder. For a big party, you might even serve both side by side, chili and chowder!

Smoked Turkey Chowder ♥, homemade chowder made with slow-cooked caramelized onions, mushrooms, potatoes, smoked turkey, milk.
  • Smoked Turkey Chowder, wow-oh-wow is all I can say. I made a pot this week for the first time in a long while. The mix of smoked turkey (ham would work too), caramelized onions, potatoes, mushrooms and rosemary is homey and comforting, light and filling at the same time, such simple yet elevated fare. So good!

  • THE RECIPE Smoked Turkey Chowder A melding of slow-cooked flavors. (PIN This)
  • BEST FOR a change of pace from chili, feeding a crowd on the cheap.
  • COOKED on the stovetop or slow-cooked in the oven.
  • PROTEIN smoked turkey legs
  • CALORIES 152 per cup
  • HANDS-ON TIME 30 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 3 - 4 hours

Finnish Salmon Soup (Lohikeitto) ♥ Finland's 'soul food,' steaming bowls of salmon and potato in a creamy broth.
  • Finnish Salmon Soup is so much more than the sum of its "fish and potatoes" parts. It may be simple but it's also delicious, no wonder it's considered "soul food" in Finnish cuisine.

  • THE RECIPE Finnish Salmon Soup (Lohikeitto) Finland's "soul food," fish and potatoes in a creamy chowder broth. (PIN This)
  • CLAIM TO FAME I serve Finnish Salmon Soup when we invite friends for an annual solstice dinner on the shortest day of the year in December, the table always turns to silent slurpy appreciation.
  • COOKED on the stovetop.
  • PROTEIN all that beautiful salmon!
  • BEST FOR fish lovers, as the recipe works not just for salmon but also with cod, walleye, other whitefish.
  • HANDS-ON TIME 25 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 35 minutes

Favorite CORNBREAD Recipes
Please Pass the Cornbread.
Again, Please?

What tastes best with chili? chowder? Cornbread, of course! No surprise, different styles of cornbread appeal at different times. Southern-style, no sugar. Northern-style, sweet albeit sweet with honey. And my forever favorite, I think of it as a "border" cornbread, a touch of sweet, but thick and moist.

But cornbread is so versatile! Muffins!

Southern Corn Bread ♥, my favorite simple southern-style savory cornbread. Plus six tips for perfect cornbread every time.
  • Southern Corn Bread is the recipe I carry along when we travel, small bags of stone-ground cornmeal, flour and leavening, needing only egg, oil and buttermilk onsite. I take it along so often, it's become a signature recipe! We even make it over an open fire!

  • THE RECIPE Southern Corn Bread Six tips for perfect cornbread, this recipe or yours. (PIN This)
  • CLAIM TO FAME It's sugar free, no added sugar or sweetener! Make a big batch, a small batch, either way.
  • BEST FOR serving hot, straight out of the oven.
  • CALORIES 103 per slice
  • HANDS-ON TIME 15 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 45 minutes

Sweet Cornbread ♥, sweetened with honey, moist and tender, a total treat!
  • Sweet Cornbread is an easy cornbread to love: sweet but not too sweet, rich but not too rich, so very tender but not one to fall apart. The men at my table? It's their #1 favorite ...

  • THE RECIPE Sweet Cornbread A "northern" take on cornbread that's moist and tender, a total treat.
  • CLAIM TO FAME Sweetened with honey, not processed sugar.
  • BEST FOR Kids and anyone accustomed to sweet Jiffy-style cornbread.
  • CALORIES 277 per slice
  • HANDS-ON TIME 15 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 40 minutes

Skillet Cornbread ♥, an adaptable, forgiving recipe. Rises Tall. Stays Moist. Not Too Sweet. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.
  • Skillet Cornbread just might be the most perfect cornbread ever, to my taste anyway. It bakes out tall and moist, stays fresh for a good while.

  • THE RECIPE Skillet Cornbread My first and still-favorite cornbread, stays moist for days. (PIN This)
  • CLAIM TO FAME Just as good on the second day as the first,
  • BEST FOR households that can't finish a whole skillet of cornbread the day it's baked.
  • CALORIES 175 per slice
  • HANDS-ON TIME 15 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 45 minutes

Sweet Potato Cornbread ♥ Gorgeous golden color from a pile of sweet potatoes. Naturally wheat-free, gluten-free, no unusual ingredients.
  • Sweet Potato Cornbread is one great recipe to keep in your back pocket: first because it's gluten-free (without any special flours) and second because it has so much natural sweetness and extra nutrients thanks to an entire pound of cooked sweet potato.

  • THE RECIPE Sweet Potato Cornbread Golden color + naturally gluten-free = a total winner.
  • CLAIM TO FAME Entirely wheat-free and gluten-free!
  • BEST FOR households who limit processed sugar.
  • CALORIES 279 per square
  • HANDS-ON TIME 25 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 1 hour

Savory Cornmeal Muffins ♥, spiked with chili powder, a little jalapeno and red pepper, very decidedly savory. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Excellent with Chili, Mexican & Cajun Food.
  • Savory Cornbread Muffins are perfect for smaller bites for a crowd, you could even make these in mini muffin tins. I love that they are decidedly savory, not sweet at all, with chili powder, a little jalapeño and red pepper. They pair especially well with chili and Cajun food but also with breakfast egg dishes. For my style, muffins are extra good when having people over: it's just easier for someone to grab a muffin than to cut than lift a slice of cornbread out of a skillet. We make these allllll the time!

  • THE RECIPE Savory Cornbread Muffins Cornmeal muffins spiked with chili powder, a little jalapeño and red pepper. (PIN This)
  • CLAIM TO FAME They're topped with cilantro, so pretty!
  • BEST FOR big groups and making ahead of time.
  • CALORIES 192 per muffin
  • HANDS-ON TIME 15 minutes
  • TIME TO TABLE 45 minutes

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If these recipes inspire you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Chillin: Favorite Chili & Chowder Recipes with a Side of Cornbread, cold-weather, football-friendly favorites in another recipe collection ♥ Kitchen Parade.

~ PIN This ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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2014 & 2024 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna,
    I really like how you laid out this post--it's a terrific resource for chili lovers (and chili haters) everywhere!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna