Vegetarian Skillet Chili Topped with Cornbread



2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 lb(s) (about 4 cups) store-bought diced butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes with chiles, drained

1 14.5-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp sugar

5 oz (about 6 cups lightly packed) baby spinach

Cornbread Topping

¾ cup fine cornmeal

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp baking soda

3 Tbsp sugar

Kosher salt

½ cup whole milk

¼ cup sour cream, plus more for serving

1 large egg

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

¾ cup shredded Cheddar (about 3 oz)

Pickled jalapenos, for serving



1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and a pinch of salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Remove the squash from the pan and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the chili powder (use less if you like milder chili) and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, beans, sugar and cooked squash and bring to a simmer. Cook until all of the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. (If the liquid reduces to less than three-quarters of the way up the sides of the squash, stir in a little water.) Stir in the baby spinach by the handful until all is incorporated and wilted.

Cornbread Topping

1. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk, sour cream and egg together in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until well combined. Stir in the melted butter and Cheddar. Drop spoonfuls of the batter on top of the chili, leaving space in between. (The batter will not completely cover the chili.)

2. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and springs back when touched and the chili is hot and bubbly, about 18 minutes. Serve with more sour cream and pickled jalapenos.


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