Go Back

Chili Cheese Polenta

5 from 3 votes
Leave a Review »


small batch chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 ounces ground beef, I used 90% lean
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato puree


  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup polenta, coarse grind cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup freshly snipped chives
  • a few handfuls of corn chips
  • sliced limes for spritzing


small batch chili

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, peppers and garlic. Stir to coat in the oil then cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add in the tomato paste. Stir well to distribute the spices and paste, cooking for another 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef cooks through, about 10 minutes.
  • Add in the sugar, canned tomatoes and puree, stirring well. Bring the soup to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes or so. After 30 minutes, taste and season additionally if desired. Sometimes I like to add more cumin, salt or pepper. Go by your tastes!


  • While the chili is simmering, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta Turn the heat down to medium low and continue to stir until the mixture thickens. Once the mixture has come together and the cornmeal is thoroughly combined, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook until the polenta is creamy and resembles the consistency of oatmeal, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. If at any time the polenta looks parched, dry or too thick, add in some extra chicken stock ¼ cup at a time. After 30 minutes, stir in the butter, cheese, salt and pepper.
  • To serve, spoon the polenta into bowls, jars or cups. Cover with a hearty helping of chili (add some cheese in between if desired), then add all the toppings: cheese, sour cream, cilantro, red onion, chives and chips. EAT.


Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Potassium: 0mg, Vitamin A: 0IU, Vitamin C: 0mg, Calcium: 0mg, Iron: 0mg

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to follow @howsweeteats on instagram and tag #howsweeteats. You can also post a photo of your recipe to our facebook page.
I appreciate you so much!