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+ servings

One-Pot Campfire Three Bean Chili with Cornbread Topping

A hearty three bean chili and cornbread recipe that can be made over an open fire in one pot.

Course Main, Soup
Cuisine Vegetarian
Keyword chili, cornbread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
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 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 *


  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. Sauté 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!

Recipe Notes

*I suggest getting a non-dairy travel size milk carton if camping since it doesn't have to be refrigerated.