One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole Over the Open Fire

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One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole Over

Man, all this talk about getting older, family members passing away, and animal cruelty is exhausting. How about we keep this one light today, cool? Cool because I’m about to overload you with photos from our trip last month!

One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole OverOne Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole OverOne Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole Over

People always talk about apple picking this time of year but what about camping? For some reason, camping gets lumped into summer activities but have you ever tried to go camping in July? If the heat doesn’t eat you alive then the bugs will. So many people I talk to won’t go camping after Labor Day even though this is the best time of year to be outside. What is better than spending all day hiking around in the woods while the leaves change colors? And what is better than getting a huge fire going to keep you warm in the evenings and to roast your ‘mallows over? And what is better than zipping two sleeping bags together so you have to snuggle really close to your significant other to keep warm at night? Not much if you ask me.

One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole OverOne Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole OverOne Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole Over

We were staying at a cabin when we whipped up this recipe but it would also be so easy to make out in the woods with a little beforehand prep. Measure out the dry ingredients for the cornbread and stick them in a gallon bag labeled ‘cornbread’. You’ll then be able to just dump your wet ingredients into the bag and mix it altogether right before throwing over the chili. I’d also suggest measuring out the spices for the chili beforehand and sticking in a little baggie. You should be able to pick up a little travel size vegetable broth carton and even a small non-dairy milk carton that won’t need to be refrigerated. You can slice the vegetables beforehand if needed or just bring a small knife and find a somewhat clean flat surface to chop them up on.

And finally, camping is fun and meant to be relaxing so don’t take the recipe too seriously! You don’t need to actually measure out 1/4 cup olive oil – just eye ball it! Same goes for most of the other ingredients listed below – chili has a way of being fantastic even if something is off by a teaspoon or two so no need to be exact.

One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole recipe below:

One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole OverOne Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole OverOne Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole Over

One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole Over the Open Fire
chili recipe stolen from this recipe. / A hearty chili and cornbread recipe that can be made over an open fire in one pot.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
For the chili:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 2 bell peppers , chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves , minced (feel free to substitute in 3 teaspoons garlic powder if camping)
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3- 15 oz . cans black beans , drained
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 8 oz . jar salsa
  • 1 can corn , drained
For the cornbread:
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 butter , melted (or vegetable oil if it's easier for camping since it won't need to be refrigerated)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk (I'd suggest getting a non-dairy travel size milk carton if camping since it doesn't have to be refrigerated)
  1. Place a cast iron pot over your open fire (I used this but some campsites have a grill grate already at the site).
  2. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic until softened and fragrant (about 5 minutes but it'll all depend on how hot your fire is).
  3. Next, mix in chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, beans, vegetable broth, tomatoes, salsa, and corn. Bring to a boil.
  4. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter, maple syrup, and milk.
  6. Slowly whisk together the wet ingredients and then start incorporating the dry ingredients as you whisk until a thick batter as formed.
  7. Lightly spread evenly over the chili mixture to create a cornbread top and cover.
  8. Let simmer for 20 minutes (but check often as fires are unpredictable and could cook faster or sooner).
  9. Remove from heat once the cornbread is cooked all the way through and enjoy!



Shelly is the creator of Vegetarian Ventures. She is also the Creative Director of Driftless Magazine and likes to wear wolf shirts, drink peppermint tea, and dance to Stevie Nicks.



  1. Reply

    Warm Vanilla Sugar

    September 28, 2014

    This is such a fun post, and I love that cooking contraption you guys used! Lovely recipe 🙂

  2. Reply

    molly yeh

    September 28, 2014

    you cooked dinner over a fire every night??! save for the random hot dog roast, i don’t think i’ve ever done that! i am so with you on the whole fall camping/camp fires are far superior to the buggy summer ones. i might have to set up camp in my backyard. and i love that you cook the cornbread on top of the chili– my mom does that too! such a fun post, shelly!!!!

  3. Reply


    September 28, 2014

    After just returning from a holiday that involved a two day hike into the mountains with a gas burner (and pot noodles) I decided I need more recipes for camp fires, gas burners, hikes etc. And voila, here you are posting this amazing dish. Love the bread topping! (Cannot wait to go on holiday again)

  4. Reply

    Millie | Add A Little

    September 28, 2014

    Looks amazing! I love the look of the chilli and the cornbread can easily be veganised which I love!

  5. Reply

    Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table

    September 28, 2014

    Earlier this month, we also spent a week camping. Tofu, beans, and bread have made frequent appearances, though never in chilli and cornbread form. Leaves something to aspire to for next time!

  6. Reply


    September 29, 2014

    I need all this in my life right now. We had planned a mountain camping trip for this weekend but had to reschedule – life and its craziness got in the way. So I’m taking an extra moment to soak up all these beautiful pictures! And that chili looks like the perfect thing for this dark and rainy Monday – yum!

  7. Reply

    Alanna Taylor-Tobin

    September 29, 2014

    Genius! I can’t believe how good that bowl of cornbread topped chili looks, and it’s so simple. Camping suddenly sounds quite appealing (though I may have to cheat and make this in my oven instead…)

  8. Reply

    Vanessa @ VeganFamilyRecipes

    October 1, 2014

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning! I’ve never much been into camping but if I know I can make a bowl of chili that looks that good in the woods then I might be convinced. Great recipe!

  9. Reply


    October 1, 2014

    ummm AMAZING. Love your photos, love this fire-cooked chili!

  10. Reply

    Valentina @Hortus

    June 25, 2015

    That place looks amazing! As does the chilli! I’ve never had the all-american experience of outdoor camping, but I’d really love to – especially now that I see all the camping + grilling posts popping up! I love the idea of cooking on an open fire. It’s truly wonderful to stop and reconnect with nature for a few days 🙂

    • Reply


      July 1, 2015

      Couldn’t agree more! Hope this inspired you enough to plan a little weekend trip! : )

  11. Reply


    March 24, 2018

    This looks amazing! I’m excited to try it out! Does anyone know how many this feeds?