chili and cornbread

Welcome to our Simple, Sustainable & Fun Family Dinners series!  At SHF, we know planning your family dinner menu for the week can be stressful and we want to help you with that process.  This is the 3rd week in a 7 week series where we will be highlighting a Family Dinner that you can implement in your kitchen any night of the week that everyone in your family is sure to love!

Our dinner series has been a huge hit and we know that Part 3 is going to be no exception!  This week we are sharing about a simple dinner that is perfect for any cold, winter night…Chili & Cornbread.  Chili & Cornbread is a heart & soul warming meal that can accommodate so many taste preferences and dietary lifestyles.  With so many ways to vary this meal, you can certainly put it on your weekly menu often and your family will enjoy each and every variation.

With or without beans???

This debate may cause division in your household, but at SHF we are in favor of either option!  Let’s break down this debate:

WITH: Adding beans is a great source of nutrients, especially if you have vegetarians or vegans in your family.  You can add a variety of beans (black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, etc.) to increase the flavor, texture and consistency.  Beans will give your chili extra protein…especially if you use lentils, large white beans and adzuki beans.

WITHOUT: some people just don’t like beans!  And if you are following a Keto or Paleo lifestyle…no beans for you!  But no beans, doesn’t mean no flavor.  You can still add other veggies, a variety of meats and ALL THE SPICES to make your chili hearty and yummy.

What about vegetables?

One of our favorite things about chili is how versatile it is!  And if your family has a hard time eating all their veggies, this is a great meal to “sneak” some in.  Try adding root vegetables like carrots, turnips and potatoes for a hearty chili.  Or make it with tomatoes, bell peppers, kale and onions!  Chili works with any vegetable that you like…just pay attention to how long some vegetables need to cook versus others.


The protein options are endless when it comes to chili.  Whether you like ground beef, ground turkey, steak, chicken, pork, lamb…any of it and all of it will work!  Sausage is another great one to add some fun flavors and textures to your chili pot.


Cheese is probably the classic, but others to consider:

cornbread mix


 Cornbread–the Best Side to any Chili dinner

The best part about cornbread is that it’s so easy.  There are so many great options that mix and bake right from the store (Check out Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix…one of our favorites!)!  You can even find varieties like gluten-free or low-fat.  If you want to make cornbread from scratch that is always an option too and most recipes are not too labor intensive.  Make a side of honey butter to go with your cornbread and your family will be extra happy!  Simply mix 1-2 teaspoons of honey (we prefer raw honey) into softened butter (we prefer Kerrygold) and you have the perfect spread.


Meal PrepCrock pot


The best part of having chili for dinner is that you can throw all the ingredients into your crock pot or Instant Pot and let them do their thing.  Get your kids to help chop the veggies and then let them throw the ingredients into your favorite chili cooker and it’s a family affair!

We are not hosting an SHF chili cook-off yet, but if we were, what would be in your favorite chili recipe?  Comment on our Facebook page and let us know!