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Campfire Chili with Cornbread Topping

Nothing in the world warms the soul like a big pot of homemade chili while you sit by the campfire! Our recipe calls for using ground beef, but you can substitute with ground turkey or even just extra beans instead of meat! We’ve eliminated using a separate pan for cornbread -instead you cook it right on top of the chili (which makes more sense – I mean, that’s how you want to eat the cornbread anyway!)

Campfire Chili with Cornbread Topper

This 1-pot Dutch Oven recipe can be scaled up or down depending on how many hungry people you're camping with!


  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 pkgs Chlli seasoning (ex. McCormicks)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz), drained
  • 1 can kidney beans (14.5 oz), undrained
  • 1 can pinto beans (14.5 oz), undrained

Cornbread Topper

  • 1 pkg cornbread mix ((pick one that only needs water added to make life easy!))

Chili Toppings

  • 4-5 chopped green onions
  • 1 tub sour cream
  • 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a 10" (4-qt) Dutch oven, over medium heat, saute diced onion and bell pepper until soft, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, stir constantly for additional minute.

  2. Add ground beef and cook until almost all pink is gone. Add the 2 packages of Chili Seasoning mix (I like the McCormick 30% less sodium one), stir to combine.

  3. Dump in kidney beans (undrained), pinto beans (undrained), diced tomatoes (drained). Stir to combine. Simmer on med-low while you mix up the cornbread package.

  4. Prepare cornbread mixture according to package directions. Scoop batter over chili so that you have an even layer covering all of the chili. Place cover on Dutch Oven and move it over to the campfire coals. Nestle Dutch Oven in coals and shovel embers and coals onto the top. You need at least 16-20 HOT coals on top of Dutch Oven to properly cook cornbread.

  5. Cook without opening lid for 20 minutes. Carefully remove coals and open lid to check cornbread. Poke with long skewer. If the stick comes out dry – the cornbread is ready. If it comes out wet, cook an additional 10 minutes before trying again. Chili is ready when cornbread test-stick comes out clean.

  6. Serve in bowls with chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

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