July 31, 2010

Three-Bean Chili with Cheddar-Cornmeal Waffles

This chili has three kinds of beans in it.

Need I say more?

Okay, fine, I’ll say a little bit more. I’m admittedly obsessed with beans. From black beans in Pico de Gallo Salad to the pinto beans I always add to my burrito bowl at Chipotle to the kidney beans that cover my everyday salads, I just plain love beans. So when I saw this recipe over on The Little Things, I pretty much died and went to Heaven.

Not to mention the fact that this chili allows me to pretend to be vegetarian for a day, which I always find kinda fun. I think it comes from my dad’s hyper-carnivorous side of the family. They would look at me like I had grown a second head if I suggested a meatless meal. It is that exact reason, among others, why I love vegetarian food. It’s my little way of rebelling.

Yes, I know. I’m incredibly hardcore. Please don’t feel intimidated.

There, I expounded a little on why exactly this chili calls my name. Please don’t ask me to do the same with the Cheddar-Cornmeal Waffles because I really don’t think I’d be able to stop. So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

First off, chop up some onion, garlic, and a Serrano pepper.

Please ignore that poorly-chopped bit of Serrano in the front. I need to get better knives.

Once that’s all ready to go, toss ‘em in a large pot and sauté until softened.

This stuff will smell amazing.

While those little beauties are cooking away, it’s time for a bunch of tomato-y goodness. First, you’ll need to strain two cans of Ro-tel chopped tomatoes.

You can use another brand, but I think Ro-tel gives it a nice, Texan-y flair.

Along with the Ro-tel, add one large can of crushed tomatoes and one small can of tomato paste.

If you want the chili to be a little more soup-like, don’t strain the chopped tomatoes.

Add all the tomato business to the pot and give it a stir.

The beans are coming soon!

Next, add a can of corn.

Another one of the most heavenly ingredients on earth.

And then add the beans.

Here they are! From left to right, we’ve got pinto, kidney, and garbanzo beans.

Pour all that loveliness into the pot and stir it all in.

You’re almost ready to go.

Next, add a packet of McCormick’s Less-Sodium Chili Seasoning.

This takes care of all your salting and peppering. Super-easy.

Following that comes a teaspoon of cocoa powder.

I love unexpected cocoa powder. It instantly makes any savory recipe incredibly fascinating.

Finally, add two bottles of beer.

Preferably of the Mexican variety, but that’s just because we’ve got a bit of a Southwestern thing going on already.

Pour that into the pot and stir it all to combine. Then let it simmer away for about an hour and a half.

While it works its magic, you can start on the waffles!

The first step of the waffles is to combine flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.

The original recipe says to sift them, but I just whisked them together.

Once that’s combined, add in some finely chopped, toasted pecans and a packet of sharp cheddar cheese.

I was really surprised how great the addition of the pecans was.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, club soda, and vegetable oil.

This, admittedly, does not look all that appetizing.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine.

We’re getting there.

Now, using a ¾ cup measure, spoon the batter into a preheated waffle iron, cooking for about 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot the iron is set.

I set mine on “dark” and cooked them for four minutes.

After a few minutes, they’ll look like this!

Crisp, cheesy, chili-sopping goodness.

Repeat the process with the rest of the batter until you’re left with oodles of these crunchy delights.

They’re also great with poached eggs and some extra cheese for breakfast.

After those are all done, set a few on a plate and top with some hot chili, sprinkling a little more cheese over the whole thing. It is truly divine. Plus the leftovers make for incredible chili-cheese hot dogs the next day.

Feeling inspired? Have I made you fall as much in love with beans as I am? Then what are you waiting for?! Get cookin’!

Three-Bean Chili with Cheddar-Cornmeal Waffles

Recipes adapted from “Mani’s Vegetarian Chili” from The Little Things and “Crisp Cheddar-Cornmeal Waffles” from Christmas with Southern Living 2007

Printable Recipe


½ Onion, chopped

2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped

1 Serrano Pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 cans Ro-tel chopped tomatoes, strained

1 large can Crushed Tomatoes

1 small can Tomato Paste

1 can Corn, strained

1 can Garbanzo Beans, strained

1 can Kidney Beans, strained

1 can Pinto Beans, strained

1 packet McCormick’s Less-Sodium Chili Seasoning

1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder

2 bottles Beer

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, and Serrano pepper in olive oil until softened. Add chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Gently stir in the corn and all three kinds of beans. Add seasoning mix, cocoa powder, and beer, stirring to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Variation: Add in the liquid from the chopped tomatoes and beans for a more liquidy chili.

Cheddar-Cornmeal Waffles

1 cup All-purpose Flour

1 cup yellow Cornmeal

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

1 8-ounce package Sharp Cheddar Cheese

½ cup toasted, chopped Pecans

3 large Eggs

1 cup Buttermilk

1 cup Club Soda

1/3 cup Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil

Sift or whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in cheese and pecans.

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, club soda, and oil, stirring to combine; gently stir into dry ingredients just until blended.

Using a ¾ cup measure, spoon the batter onto a preheated, lightly greased waffle iron. Cook 5-10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve warm with chili and extra cheese on top.


  1. yum chili and waffles! Sounds amazing! I love the step by step photos. Great job!

  2. Thanks Marisa! The waffles are for maximum chili absorption, a very important component of chili-making. :D

  3. Hi Koci; This chili was wonderful and I felt that since it was meatless, that it would keep fresh longer in the fridge. I found that I liked the waffles a lot, and to reheat them, I toasted them just like I'd tried with your banana oatmeal pancakes. I liked the crunchy toasted waffles covered with the warm chili and melting cheese. Can't wait to see what we're cooking next.

  4. what a great vegetarian chili....my girls would love this!! and those waffles look amazing...I would love those for breakfast too!

  5. I never would have thought to serve chili with a cornmeal waffle. So creative! And delicious :)

  6. *high five* This looks fantastic! We're glad you enjoyed the recipe :)

  7. @Lady Cooks the Blues~ You'll be the first to know! :D

    @Chef Dennis~ Glad you like it! It's really easy to put together, too.

    @baking.serendipity~ Thanks! The instant I thought of the grooves in the waffles and chili, I was like yessss!

    @Val and Mani~ Thanks for such a great inspiration! :D

  8. God I need a waffle maker, those things are making me wish it was a cold and chilly night...Yum!

  9. I love the waffles! This sounds sabroso! Anything with either chili or waffles is bound to be good, but combined? Utter euphoria!!!

  10. Corn meal waffles??? Genius!

    This recipe looks incredible!

  11. just tried and posted about your recipe. thanks so much for the idea!


  12. @Elizabeth: I'm becoming slowly obsessed with waffly things now that I've rediscovered my waffle maker. :D

    @Becky: hahaha Thanks!

    @Kaitlin: Thank you! The second I saw the recipe I knew it needed to go with chili.

    @Natalie: Oooh how cool! I can't wait to go check it out!


Thanks for commenting! By leaving a comment, you officially become one of my favorite people. Mwah! :D

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