Spicy Bean Chili and Fiesta Cornbread

spicy bean chili

For Christmas my boyfriend got me The China Study Cookbook, something I had really wanted, and I was finally able to try a recipe from it! I don’t think I even like cornbread all that much, but when I saw the picture in this book for “Fiesta Cornbread” it just looked so good. I knew I had to try it! And what goes well with cornbread? Bean chili of course. So this past weekend I set out to make the Fiesta Cornbread from my new cookbook and a homemade plant-strong spicy bean chili.

Bean Chili Comfort Food

It’s been freezing outside lately, and chili is such a comfort food it’s no wonder I’ve been craving it. It’s also incredibly easy to make. Simply add all of the ingredients to a pot and let it simmer for about 30-45 minutes. You can make this bean chili super spicy if you want, or not spicy at all. It’s very versatile, and the combinations of veggies you can add are endless!

If you’re interested in trying a plant-strong chili that’s packed with flavor then I encourage you to give this one a try! To make the chili and cornbread all you need is about 30 minutes, so it is perfect for a quick meal during the week.

vegan bean chili and cornbread

Spicy Bean Chili

Spicy bean chili that can be made in 30-45 minutes. It's a healthy, whole foods plant-based comfort food recipe!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner, Entree
Cuisine: Chili, Southern
Servings: 4
Author: Spartan Life


Main Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of white beans
  • 1 can of diced green chilis
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 cup of diced yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth I use low-sodium


  • 2 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or less, depending on your spicy tolerance
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Avocado cubes
  • Chopped Cilantro


  • Add the vegetable broth and tomato paste to a large pot and stir so to combine
  • Rinse and drain your cans of beans – set aside
  • Dice your celery, carrots, onion (and any other vegetables you may want to add, such as bell peppers, etc.)
  • Combine all ingredients and spices to your pot and stir well to combine
  • Turn the burner on medium-low to low and let the pot simmer for 30-40 minutes so all of the flavors can meld


How easy is that?? There’s nothing to cook here really, you just throw everything into a pot and let it simmer for awhile so the flavors can soak into each other. Depending on how spicy you like your chili you can add more cayenne pepper or less (to be honest, after you make this bean chili a few times you can “eye-ball” the amounts of spices you use to suit your tastes – that’s what I do). You can also add in as many other vegetables as you want! For a more soup-like chili you can add more vegetable broth to the mix. I like my chili chunky, so I don’t use too much broth.

While the chili is simmering you can make the cornbread.

Ingredients for cornbread:

  1. 1 cup cornmeal
  2. 1 cup whole wheat four (or almond/coconut flour alternative)
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp of fresh minced tarragon
  7. 3/4 cup corn, fresh off the cob or thawed
  8. 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  9. 1-2 Tbs of maple syrup (I used one)
  10. 1 egg replacer = 1 Tbs ground flaxseed meal with 3 Tbs water
  11. 1 + 1/3 cups or soy/almond/coconut milk (I used coconut milk)


Instructions for cornbread:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. Place the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and your seasonings in a large bowl and mix well
  3. Add the corn, applesauce, and maple syrup to the dry ingredients and mix
  4. Add the egg replacer and milk, and stir until everything is well mixed (if the mixture seems too dry you can add a little bit more coconut/soy/almond milk)
  5. Pour into a 9 x 9 non stick baking dish
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is firm and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

That’s it! I would let the cornbread sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving, but definitely eat it while it’s still warm out of the oven! Also, topping your bowl off with chunks of fresh avocado and cilantro is a must.

This meal can be thrown together in about 30-35 minutes, it’s super filling, full of vegetables, full of protein, and very healthy for you. The cornbread recipe was the first recipe I tried out of my new cookbook, and I have to say I’ll definitely be making it again. It has a hint of sweetness to it because of the maple syrup, and the tarragon gives it a unique flavor on top of that as well. I look forward to trying more recipes out of it in weekends to come and writing reviews about them here – so stay tuned!

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