Spicy Chili with Cornmeal Biscuits

Spicy Chili with Cornmeal Biscuits ~ my zesty chili pairs so well with my cornmeal biscuits, they have the crunchy, nutty sweet flavor of cornbread, and the light fluffiness of a biscuit (their golden color is gorgeous.)  This comforting meal is a family pleaser!

Cornmeal biscuits and chili are a match made in heaven.

I love biscuits in the cold weather. They go with so many of the one pot meals that I make during the season. The great thing about biscuits is that you can think of them and make them at the last minute.

I like to make my chili with quality meat and I like it really spicy.

This batch stars steak tips, white beans, two varieties of hot chilies, three different chili powders, ale, and a secret ingredient (sweet potato, shhhhh….)

Other great chilis to try ~

4.63 from 51 votes

Spicy Chili with Cornmeal Biscuits

Spicy Chili with Cornmeal Biscuits ~ my zesty chili pairs so well with my cornmeal biscuits, they have the crunchy, nutty sweet flavor of cornbread, and the light fluffiness of a biscuit (their golden color is gorgeous.)  This comforting meal is a family pleaser!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican/American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Yield 4 - 6 servings
Author Sue Moran



  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal (you can also use white cornmeal)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp (1 and 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut in pieces


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and all, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb steak tips, cut in bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 bottle of beer, any kind you like
  • 1 14 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, pureed or diced
  • 1 small can mexican chilies
  • 1 cup beef stock, I keep those little containers of stock around, you can also use water
  • 1/2 bottle of beer
  • 1 cup cooked white beans, (made from dried is best, but you can use canned)
  • 1 heaping tsp chili powder
  • 1 heaping tsp ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1 heaping tsp chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp masa harina


  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the cornmeal, buttermilk and honey together in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a processor along with the butter pieces and pulse about 10 times until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture and pulse just enough to bring the dough together.
  • Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 10 times until the dough is workable. Add in extra flour if it’s too wet.
  • Pat into a 9 inch round and cut out about 8 biscuits with a 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inch biscuit cutter.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, until they just start to rise, and then turn down the heat to 400F, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden.
  • Cool on a rack.
  • To make the chili: saute the onion, peppers anfd sweet potato in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat a bit more oil over medium high heat and sear the steak tips on all sides. I did this in two batches to get good color. Too much meat in the pan and it just steams instead of sears.
  • Add in the ale and put back the vegetables. Add in the tomatoes, broth, can of chilies and spices. Mix it well and let it simmer on low for about 45 minutes. Add in the beans toward the end of the cooking time. The chili is best if it gets a chance to rest before you eat it, so put it aside to cool, and then refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • When you are ready to eat, reheat the chili. Make a paste out of the masa harina and a little water, and add to the pot. Stir to combine and heat for another 10 minutes. The chili will thicken slightly.

Cook's notes

  • Make sure your biscuit cutter is big enough. I don't have a biscuit cutter, so I first tried using a glass, but I found that it squashed the dough down as it cut. You really need a sharper edge, so after searching around the kitchen I landed on the metal top of a cocktail shaker!  It measured 2 3/4, and it was perfect. You don't want wimpy biscuits.
  • If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to the milk and set aside for 10 minutes. It will do just fine.
    The recipe says to rotate the pan halfway during the cooking.  I didn't do that.  I think that's to insure an even rise.  Some of my biscuits lilted to one side, but I didn't care enough to watch the clock and rotate the pan.
  •  I really like the fiery hot chili tempered by the sweet potatoes and creamy white beans.  You don't really taste the sweet potato, it just melts into the background and gives added richness to the chili.  I think using steak or chunks of beef gives it a much needed variety of texture, and it allows you to actually taste the beef.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    Danette Otte
    March 30, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    5 stars
    I made your biscuits tonight with antelope stew, (can’t wait to try the chili). I usually don’t do this but I did alter it a bit. I searched for sourdough cornbread biscuits yours came up. I did not use buttermilk, but the sourdough starter discard and whole milk. These were so good!! I used the whole cup as well as a cup of discard, I thought I might have ti adjust the flour, but the consistency was perfect. I’ll make these again.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 31, 2022 at 7:11 am

      That sounds amazing Danette.

  • Reply
    Serge Frechette
    February 23, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    5 stars
    I will certainly try the cornmeal buiscuits recipe, if I make the chilli I will use turkey (minced) should work.
    Love all those recipe ideas.

  • Reply
    Brian Galenkamp
    April 13, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    5 stars
    Already had chili buy was deciding between biscuits or buns and came across this biscuit receipe! Amazing!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    5 stars
    When I had seen your recipe for cornbread biscuits; I was intrigued. I made them and they were flakey and yummy.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2020 at 10:21 am

    5 stars
    Hi, which cornmeal the normal coarse one or the much finer precooked cornmeal?????

    • Reply
      October 28, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      I used normal cornmeal, but you could actually use either.

  • Reply
    kathryn monck
    September 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    5 stars
    i have used a tuna fish can for a biscuit cutter. my mom gave me the idea as its what she used, great biscuits thanks .i grew up with biscuits being a staple at family meals.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Sue, this looks delicious. A question about the servings, 4- 6 servings, does that mean this batch will give you 4-6 large size biscuits or the total yield is enough to feed 4 – 6 people ? Sorry for the stupid question.
    Also what is the best way to reheat them ? Thanks in advance

    • Reply
      August 25, 2020 at 5:57 pm

      The biscuit recipe makes about 6-8 biscuits, depending on size, and the chili will serve 4-6, again, depending on size of portions. Not a stupid question at all…this was one of my earlier recipes and I wasn’t super savvy about conveying portion information 🙂

      • Reply
        August 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm

        Thanks so much Sue, that clarifies it . Will let you know how it turns out ?

  • Reply
    August 19, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Hi Sue. This looks just the ticket for dinner tomorrow night. We’re having friends over who like a stick to your ribs type of menu and your Chili looks delicious. Just wondering, beer is listed twice in the recipe and I’ve read the recipe through a couple times but I seem to be missing where I’m adding the second half bottle of ale. Can you please advise me? Thanks so much. And those biscuits will be made. I adore anything with cornmeal.

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