Celebrate National Great Outdoors Month With This Easy Campfire Recipe!

What is camping without a hearty helping of chili, especially after a fun-filled day of outdoor activities – no matter the season! Check out our new recipe below for the full details on this one-pot smokey camp chili and cornbread!

Serves 8 to 10 adventurers


  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 16-ounce can black beans
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 8.5-ounce boxes Jiffy cornbread mix (or brand of choice)
  • Eggs and milk for cornbread mix

Packing Cookware Needed

  • 8-quart Dutch oven
  • Hot coals or other heating source (wood fire and grill grate, etc.)
  • Measuring spoons (or prepare herbs and spices ahead of time in a bag!)
  • Spatula for browning meat and veggies
  • Mixing bowl (for cornbread)
  • Fork or whisk for mixing cornbread
  • Two large spoons (for raw cornbread and for serving)
  • Skewer, fork or toothpick for checking doneness of cornbread
  • Bowls and spoons for devouring!


  1. Form a layer of hot coals on the ground. Or prepare your heating source, like a wood fire with grill grate, for cooking stability.
  2. Place your Dutch oven over the heating source and allow it to get hot.
  3. Brown your ground beef until it’s cooked through.
  4. Add in the onions, garlic and pepper to cook until softened.
  5. Sprinkle in the chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Add in the water and beans. Stir then cook your chili for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Mix the cornbread ingredients in a bowl.
  8. Pour the cornbread mix over the top of your chili, in the same pot.
  9. Cover the Dutch oven and add roughly 20 coals to the top.
  10. Cook for 10 minutes and check for doneness of your cornbread with a skewer, fork or toothpick. When your utensil comes out clean, it is done!
  11. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • The only ingredients that need to be kept chilled are the beef, eggs and milk.
  • This recipe calls for an 8-quart Dutch oven, but you can use a smaller option and adjust ingredient amounts accordingly.
  • The chipotle powder is what gives this dish its smokey heat. Omit it if you want a gentler option.
  • The cornbread expands quite a bit; one to two boxes of mix go a long way.
  • Try measuring the dried spices and herbs before your trip and store them in a container.
  • Try chopping the onion and pepper ahead of time.
  • Strain and rinse the beans prior to the trip for faster prep! 

Recipe adapted from honestlyyum.com