August 4, 2021

BBQ Black Beans with Kicked-up Cornbread Waffles

It’s late February, and I am still in full-on comfort food mode. I’m also dreaming of summery things like grilling outdoors, picnics, and twilight dinners in the backyard. BBQ beans are a classic summer dish, but who says we can’t enjoy them in the winter? They’re made from mostly pantry staples, and in the middle of winter, that’s where I’m drawing most of my meals from. These BBQ Black Beans are sweet, smoky, and tangy, and the perfect cold-weather comfort meal to help get me through until summer returns.

I’m serving these beans on top of cornbread waffles. I used one of my reliable cornbread recipes, and instead of baking it in the oven, I scooped it into my waffle iron for something fun and different! Plus, when you use a waffle iron, every.single.inch of the cornbread is crisp and crunchy - the best part!

Plus, bonus! This post is really like getting four recipes in one. 1) BBQ Black Beans, which will be delicious in the summer as a side-dish for outdoor grilling; 2) Cornbread Waffles, which you could totally top with other things like a sausage gravy or even just syrup; 3) the exact cornbread recipe can be baked in a greased 8x8” baking dish at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes instead; and 4) put them together, and enjoy my current comfort food fave, BBQ Black Beans with Kicked-up Cornbread Waffles!

Ingredients assembled for BBQ Black Beans
Start by making the BBQ Black Beans first. Assemble the ingredients.

Stages of making BBQ Black Beans, as outlined in instructions
First saute the red onion and bell pepper, then add spices, then tomatoes, then sauce ingredients, and finally the black beans. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, while you make the waffles.

Ingredients assembled for Cornbread Waffles
Assemble the Cornbread Waffle ingredients.

Cornbread waffle batter preparation
Mix dry ingredients, then wet ingredients, then combine. Fold in sliced green onions and grated pepper jack cheese.

Stages of making Cornbread Waffles, from scooping batter into the waffle iron to crispy, golden waffles
Heat your waffle iron. Spray with cooking spray, then add 1/4 cup of cornbread batter to each well of the iron. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until waffles are golden.

Eight finished Cornbread Waffles on a platter
The cornbread batter should yield 8 waffles. Look at that crispy cheese speckled throughout!

Finished BBQ Black Beans
By now your beans should be thickened and saucy, and ready to serve.

Pot of BBQ Black Beans next to a platter of Cornbread Waffles and a dish of sour cream for serving
Serve your BBQ Black Beans with Kicked-up Cornbread Waffles with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for topping (optional).

Original publication date: February 25, 2021

BBQ Black Beans with Kicked-up Cornbread Waffles

These BBQ Black Beans are sweet, smoky, and tangy, and the perfect cold-weather comfort meal when paired with Kicked-Up Cornbread Waffles.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











For BBQ Black Beans:

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/2 red onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. kosher salt

15-oz. can diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp. molasses

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. ketchup

2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed

For Cornbread Waffles:

(Yield 8 waffles)

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. seasoned salt (or 1/2 tsp. sea salt)

1 cup milk

1/4 cup avocado oil

1 egg

6 green onions (scallions), white and green parts thinly sliced

1 heaping cup grated pepper jack cheese


  1. Start by preparing the BBQ beans. In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed pot, heat avocado oil. Add diced red onion and green bell pepper, and saute until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the dry spices to the pot: smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt. Saute about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Add can of diced tomatoes to the pot, stirring to scrape up toasted spices.
  4. Add the molasses, vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup, and stir to combine.
  5. Add black beans, stir to combine, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Let the beans simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, to thicken and cook through.
  6. While the beans are cooking, make the cornbread waffles. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and seasoned salt. Set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, avocado oil, and egg.
  8. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and gently stir to combine. When just mixed, fold in sliced green onions and shredded pepper jack cheese. Let the cornbread batter rest while heating your waffle iron.
  9. When waffle iron is hot, lightly spray top and bottom plates with cooking spray. Using 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop cornbread batter into each well of the waffle iron, spreading it out gently. Close the waffle iron, and cook 5-6 minutes, until cornbread waffles are golden. Repeat in batches until cornbread batter is gone - in my standard waffle iron, this yields 8 waffles.
  10. To serve, plate 1-2 waffles, and top generously with BBQ Black Beans. Garnish with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional).
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May 24, 2022
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!