Merit & Fork Bean-Free Chili & Our Paleo Life No-Corn Cornbread!

Bean-Free Chili + No-Corn Cornbread

Chili chili cocoa pop <(‘-‘<), chili chili pow! (>’-‘)> Who doesn’t love chili! And cornbread! (and a dancing Kirby!) This cornbread recipe from Kendra at Our Paleo Life is actually corn-free and although I personally eat corn & peas, they are technically forbidden by the paleo police. I also eat butter, rice, & potatoes. (This is great ’cause white potatoes were recently given the O-K from Whole30 so I no longer have to feel guilt when putting them in my recipes!) ;P


Merit & Fork Bean-Free Chili & Our Paleo Life No-Corn Cornbread!

Merit & Fork Bean-Free Chili & Our Paleo Life No-Corn Cornbread!


So, back to the chili. I like to make chili the night before I plan on serving it. FACT: Chili ALWAYS tastes better 24 hours later, after all the flavors have melded. In fact, I’ve never made chili that didn’t taste better as leftovers the next day. It made me think, “why have I been making fresh chili my entire life?” and “why haven’t I always abided by the prepare-in-advance rule?!” All those chilies I made over the past few years could’ve tasted even better.




In my humble opinion, there’s just nothing that more perfectly accompanies a bowl of thick, bean-free, meaty, veggie-packed chili than a slice of warm cornbread… slathered in butter. :) I now serve this “cornbread” every time I make chili and James and my entire family willingly eat it! That should say something, no?! Who’da thunk you could make cornbread sans corn! It’s sweet, moist, and while I planned to adapt this recipe to add my own personal flava to it, I simply couldn’t replicate the corn-less perfection. Hence: Bean-Free Chili & OurPaleoLife Cornbread Minus the Corn.



Bean-Free Chili
  • For the Chili:
  • 1/2 tbsp bacon fat, or oil of choice
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (8oz.) cans tomato sauce/puree
  • 1 (14oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne/chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp fresh OR dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao (or cocoa) powder
  • 1 tsp honey/coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Optional Additions: (I use some of these every time)
  • 1 handful torn kale/swiss chard leaves, chopped (opt)
  • 1 fresh corn cob, kernels cut off (opt. – not paleo)
  • 4 sliced button mushrooms (opt)
  • 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash/sweet potato, puréed or diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder (opt.)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (opt. – depending how spicy you like it)
  • Fresh cilantro (opt.)
  1. Heat oil for chili in a dutch oven or large pot over med high heat.
  2. Sauté carrot, onion, bell pepper, celery, and kale/optional additions, if using, with a hefty pinch of salt until soft – about 6-8 mins.
  3. Add ground beef/turkey into veggie mixture and brown for another 5 mins.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients except cacao/cocoa, including freshly ground black pepper and a hefty pinch of salt.
  5. Let simmer, covered, over med low heat for 45 mins until flavors blend, stirring occasionally while making cornbread. After 45 mins, add cacao/cocoa, sweetener, and mustard, then, simmer another 15 mins until done. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired – serve with No-Corn Cornbread & a side salad.
*This cornbread tastes even better when the recipe is doubled – yields a nice thick piece of cornbread.
No-Corn Cornbread
  • For the Cornbread: (from
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp ghee, melted
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (I use butter instead of ghee & oil)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond (I actually use 1/2 almond milk & 1/2 canned coconut milk – The coconut milk keeps it nice and moist.)
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or other non-stick covering, or grease well.
  3. Blend all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  4. Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  6. If you used parchment to line the pan, grab the flaps and lift the bread out of the pan. Cool and slice.


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