Photo Credit: Eugenia Uhl

Red Bean Chili with Jalapeño-Cheddar Waffle Bowls


An expert in New Orleans cuisine, Chef Kevin Belton’s recipe for chili will have you feeling like you’re right in the middle of Cajun country.

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A red bean chili is simply a classic hearty dish. I wanted to revisit this classic and use the red beans we are known for here in New Orleans. Making the waffle bowls means that you can eat everything on the plate! 

Recipe Type: Entree
Serves: 6 to 8
Author: Kevin Belton, New Orleans Kitchen


Red Bean Chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground bison or beef
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Waffle Bowls

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced


  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot on medium heat, add oil. When hot, add meat and sauté, breaking up into crumbles until browned; remove to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add onions and Creole seasoning, and sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic, stock, tomatoes, coffee and tomato paste; stir well. Add brown sugar, chili powder, cocoa powder, jalapeño, cumin, coriander and beans. Stir well and return meat to the pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered, for 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasoning. Continue to simmer on low, stirring often. The longer the chili cooks, the richer and more flavorful it will become.
  3. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Combine flour, oil, cornmeal, cheese, baking powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir until well-combined. Add eggs, milk and jalapeños; thoroughly combine. Scoop batter into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Remove waffle while warm, and place in a soup bowl to cool and form. When cool, fill with chili.

Excerpted from Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen by Kevin Belton. Gibbs Smith, 2018. Reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith.

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