Chillin: Favorite Chili, Chowder & Cornbread Recipes

So we've all survived the Polar Vortex but Mama Winter, she's ain't through with us yet. (My northern soul is grateful!) So 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 two 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 & Chowder Recipes with a Side of Cornbread, a recipe collection from Kitchen Parade.

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

Chocolate Chili. Yes, there's a touch of chocolate plus warm savory spices. My oldest (still best!) recipe for chili!

CHOCOLATE CHILI (pictured above) 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! Here's the recipe for Chocolate Chili.

BEST FOR Weight Watchers (just 2 or 3 points per cup) and those who don't like beans in chili (no beans).

COOKED on the stovetop or in the oven.

Crockpot Chili, just cook the ground beef and spicy pork sausage, then dump the rest into the slow cooker. Man-friendly!

CROCKPOT CHILI with SPICY SAUSAGE (pictured above) is my sister's recipe, it mixes ground beef with spicy sausage. Yum! This is a man-friendly chili, rich and extra hearty. 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. Here's the recipe for Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage.

BEST FOR big appetites, heat lovers and slow cooker mavens.

COOKED in a slow cooker or on the stovetop.

White Chicken Chili, a spicy-but-not-too-spicy concoction of chicken, spices, chilies and white beans.

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI (pictured above) is a chili that every so often, I just crave. I think it's the green chilies, it gives the chili a southwestern flair. I always use a rotisserie chicken for the meat, so easy! Here's the recipe for White Chicken Chili.

BEST FOR those who don't eat red meat, those who love the smokiness of green chilies.

COOKED on the stovetop.

Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle

VEGETABLE CHILI with SWEET POTATOES & CHIPOTLE (pictured above) is a brand-new recipe at A Veggie Venture, all vegetables and a confetti of rainbow colors, it's my less-spicy version of a restaurant recipe from here in St. Louis. Here's the recipe for Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle.

BEST FOR vegetarians, vegans and vegetable lovers.

COOKED on the stovetop or in the oven.

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 (pictured above), 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. Here's the recipe for Smoked Turkey Chowder.

BEST FOR a change of pace from chili, feeding a crowd on the cheap.

COOKED on the stovetop or in the oven.

Salmon Chowder, fresh salmon in a creamy broth with carrot, potato, fennel.

SALMON CHOWDER (pictured above) poaches fresh salmon in a milky broth that's slightly sweet, thanks to carrot, potato and especially fennel. It's a study in contrasts, color, texture, shape, flavor. Here's the recipe for Salmon Chowder.

BEST FOR Weight Watchers (only three points per cup) and those who don't eat meat but do eat fish.

COOKED on the stovetop.

Please pass the cornbread. Again, please? And again?

Skillet Cornbread, an adaptable, forgiving recipe, one I've made for many years which remains my favorite recipe. Stays moist for a couple of days.

SKILLET CORNBREAD (pictured above) is my first and still-most-favorite recipe for corn bread. It's so adaptable, so forgiving, accepting with grace whatever I throw at it. Thanks to folding in whipped egg whites, it stays moist for a couple of days. Here's the recipe for Skillet Cornbread.

BEST FOR making ahead of time, preferably the same day but in a pinch, the day before.

Simple Cast Iron Southern Corn Bread, six tips for perfect cornbread every time.

SIMPLE CAST IRON SOUTHERN CORN BREAD (pictured above), that said, 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! Here's the recipe for Simple Cast Iron Southern Corn Bread.

BEST FOR serving hot, straight out of the oven.

Savory Cornbread Muffins, A cornmeal muffin spiked with chili powder, a little jalapeno and red pepper and very decidedly savory.

SAVORY CORNBREAD MUFFINS (pictured above) 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. Here's the recipe for Savory Cornbread Muffins.

BEST FOR big groups and making ahead of time.

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 via 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, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

© Copyright 2014 Kitchen Parade

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