Four Bean Chili with Cornbread Dumplings

Serves 6 Prep Time 10 minutes   Cook Time 40 minutes   Rated:

This delicious vegetarian bean chilli topped with cornbread dumplings is cheap, cheerful and full of yum.

Let me be clear, anything with dumplings gets my vote. I think I’ve actually used semantic licence calling this cornbread crust “dumplings” but whatever you want to call them, they taste delicious. It’s not the first time I’ve got confused over food names that get lost in translation… Remember that Beef Stew with Muffin Top?

Four bean chilli with cornbread dumplings 8

I’m a big fan of bean chillis because beans are nutritionally dense and budget friendly and I’ve covered all my beany bases with my Smoky Bean Chilli, this Slow Cooker Mixed Bean Chilli and this Black Bean Chilli. But this is the first time I’ve topped my chilli off with dumplings. These cornbread dumplings are super easy and very forgiving and turn this dish into a one pan wonder! I like to think of this is as a kind of veggie pie but instead of a pastry top, there’s some delicious cornbread. It’s seriously good.

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  • Chilli
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) BUY
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green capsicum/pepper, diced
  • 3-4 Teaspoons Mexican spice blend (Herbies have a great one)
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 375 Milliliters liquid veggie stock
  • 2 x 400 Grams diced tomatoes
  • 400 Grams tinned pinto beans
  • 400 gram Tins black beans
  • 400 Grams tinned borlotti beans
  • 400 Grams tinned kidney beans
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • Generous Handfuls coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Cornbread Dumplings
  • 110 Grams self raising flour
  • 125 Grams yellow polenta
  • 90 Grams butter cubed BUY
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 40 Grams cheddar, cubed
  • 60 Grams corn kernels, cut from the cob or equivalent frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or more if needed



Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry onion, garlic and capsicum until onions softens. Add Mexican spice and cumin and cook, stirring until fragrant.


Add undrained tomatoes, stock, beans and tomato paste and bring to the boil.


Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.


Stir in the coriander and season to taste.


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.


To make the dumplings; Place polenta flour and butter in the Thermomix bowl and mix 5 sec/speed 6 until breadcrumbs. Add rest of ingredients and mix on 5 sec/Reverse/speed 4.


Spoon the bean mixture into a 2 litre pie dish and drop level tablespoons of corn mixture on top of the chilli. Bake uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the cornbread dumplings are golden brown.

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