Upside-Down Chili Con Carne Pie

Recipe by Mandy Pagano


When the weather dips a little, chili pretty much always hits the spot. All "con carne" means is "with meat" (and this is certainly meaty!), but in my mind Chili con Carne is always chili served with a sweet cornbread (aka, cake).

Now, I know I've mentioned before that sweet cornbread is a little bit anathema in hard-core Southern homes, but this is the one place that is probably the exception. For reasons that are beyond my ken, and probably beyond my lifespan, chili with sweet cornbread (usually of the Jiffy mix variety) is a thing, and that's what I've tried to re-create here. While this is technically a casserole, I'm in the habit of calling any casserole topped with bready products and baked off an "upside down pie." That's probably just a weird Mandy-ism, but I like it, so that's what this shall be called!

Notes: I made this to be flavorful, but fairly mild heat-wise, so if you like your chili on the hotter side you may want to add some chopped jalapenos or a few generous splashes of your favorite hot sauce to the mix before you bake it.

Upside-Down Chili Con Carne Pie

  •  Author: Mandy Pagano
  •  Prep Time: 10 minutes
  •  Cook Time: 30 minutes
  •  Total Time: 40 minutes
  •  Yield: 8 servings
  •  Method: Baked
  •  Cuisine: American
  •  Keywords: baking, beef, comfort-food, cornbread, easy, quick


For the chili:

  • 1 lb (16 oz/ 454 g) ground beef
  • 1 3/4 oz (50 g) onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can (4 oz/ 113 g) diced green chilies, undrained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 c (4 fl oz/ 118 ml) beef broth
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 8 turns of fresh ground black pepper
  • a few shakes of paprika
  • 2 oz (57 g) shredded cheddar cheese

For the cornbread:

  • 4 oz (113 g) fine almond flour
  • 1 scoop (approx. 1/3 oz/ 10 g) plain powdered collagen peptides
  • 1 oz (28 g) granulated Swerve (or preferred equivalent sweetener)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 stick (2 oz/ 57 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 c (2 fl oz/ 59 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs


Make the chili:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and prepare a 9" deep dish pie plate.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, begin browning ground beef.
  3. Once the beef begins really giving off its juices, add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the beef is cooked through.
  4. Add green chilies and spices to the pan and stir well.
  5. Add broth and tomato paste and stir well. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high to cook a little of the liquid off and to thicken to your liking.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the pie plate and let stand while mixing your batter.

Make the cornbread batter:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, collagen peptides, Swerve, salt, and baking powder and mix well with a fork or a whisk.
  2. Measure out the heavy cream, crack the eggs into it, then beat the cream and eggs together.
  3. Add the egg/cream mixture and the butter to the dry ingredients and stir well with a whisk until smooth, then set aside.

To finish assembling:

  1. Before topping your meat mixture, add the cheese to the pie plate and mix to combine.
  2. Pour the cornbread batter over the top of the chili and cheese mixture in the pie plate and use the back of a spoon to gently spread it over the entire surface of the chili.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until the top is set and fairly deep golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
  • Calories: 415.5 cal
  • Fat: 32.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.4 g
    • Fiber: 2.3 g
    • Sugar Alcohols: 3.1 g
    • Net Carbs [total carbs - (fiber + sugar alcohol)] : 4 g
  • Protein: 25.3 g

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