Recipe: Veggie Chili Beans with Cornbread Dumplings

Veggie Chili Beans with Cornbread Dumplings
Veggie Chili Beans with Cornbread Dumplings

Sarina likes what I cook at home, but sometimes she wishes I'd make more comfort food. I'm admittedly an oddball; comfort food for me ranges from Waffle House hash browns (scattered, smothered, and covered please) to idli with sambar and everything in between. But I know what she means, and it seems only fair to try and hook her up sometimes.

I figured anything with a biscuit or dumpling top is a guaranteed winner, so I made some simple cornbread batter and dropped it on a casserole dish full of beans, onions and veggie sausage. It is pretty darn rare that I make anything that involves so much canned food, but this came out tasty. I served it with grated cheddar, Louisiana hot sauce, and a quick salad of diced cucumbers and radishes with dill, parsley and mint and a lime dressing.

The cornbread was based on this Emeril recipe, adjusted to what I had on hand. Heck, if I'm busting out the canned food, might as well make with the Food Network stars too, right?

Veggie Chili with Cornbread Dumplings
Serves 4 as a main course
Vegetarian, not vegan or gluten-free but could be adjusted

  • 1 white onion, medium diced
  • 2 small cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen fire-roasted (nice smoky flavor)
  • 2 links Field Roast Mexican Chipotle vegetarian sausage (kinda spicy), or 8 oz. other veggie meat of your choice, cut into bite size chunks
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt
  • optional: tabasco, chili flakes, chili powder, ground ancho chilis, green chilis, whatever heat you like
  • grated cheddar for serving
  • 3/4 c. cornmeal (I used de la Estancia polenta, which has a wonderful fresh-corn flavor)
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. yogurt
  • 1/4 c. whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  1. Preheat the onion to 400 degrees.
  2. Put the onions, pinto beans, tomatoes, veggie sausage and olive oil in a casserole. Season with salt and add optional heat to your taste. Cover and put in oven to start heating while you make the dumplings.
  3. Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Beat the yogurt, milk, egg, and vegetable oil in another. Quickly mix the wet and dry ingredients without overbeating.
  4. Remove the casserole from the oven, remove the lid, and drop the dumpling dough on in chunks a bit smaller than a golf ball, leaving spaces between them. (See picture above)
  5. Bake about 20 minutes or so (uncovered) until the beans are hot and the dumplings are golden brown and baked through. Check them with a toothpick if you aren't sure.
  6. Serve it up with grated cheddar and hot sauce on the side.

Veggie Chili Beans with Cornbread Dumplings
Veggie Chili Beans with Cornbread Dumplings and Cucumber & Radish Salad


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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, March 10th, 2008 in Main Courses, Recipes.

4 Responses to “Recipe: Veggie Chili Beans with Cornbread Dumplings”

  1. Snacky Pants Mom
    March 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    So…did it met S’s need for comfort food? Also did mini-me like it? Sounds good to me.

  2. March 12, 2008 at 7:27 am #

    This looks awesome – i’m a big fan of anything with beans. As for the Waffle House – scattered, smothered and covered is the way to go!! I miss the Waffle House!

  3. parker in the house
    November 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    Just let me say that your gentle mention, honor, effort and thought about Sarina makes me want to visit your blog (or whatever you call it) again! There are a lot of things on the net that are all about “me; I like; my fave; etc. but I love the ones like yours that graciously embrace and talk about a significant other as well as your audience.

  4. Anonymous
    May 27, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    Sorry, I WAS going to post a positive critique of your Veggie Chili Beans with Cornbread Dumplings recipe, but then I read parker in the house’s response and couldn’t make heads nor tail of it. parker in the house… get off drugs!

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