Beef and Bean Chili in Fresh-Baked Dinner Rolls

Savory chili, studded with beans and corn, spooned into fresh-baked rolls and topped with cheese. Total comfort, total wow, totally easy.

I'm telling you... this chili will knock your socks off. Each spoonful is bursting with the flavor of chili, cumin, oregano, garlic, and onion. Plus, the savory beef speckled with nuggets of beans and corn. Nestle that experience into chewy-crisp dinner rolls, top everything with cheese and prepare to be amazed. Everyone in the family will be asking for this winner again. And again.
This chili is super versatile too - it can easily be made with ground chicken or ground turkey instead of ground beef. Use what you have on hand, or what your family prefers. And if you like your chili spicy, use hot chili powder, or add hot sauce to the chili when you add the tomato sauce. You can even add 2 tablespoons of minced chipotle chilies in adobo sauce for a smoky heat. I like to keep my chili mild and serve hot sauce on the side.

Beef and Bean Chili in Fresh-Baked Dinner Rolls 

Cooking spray
9 refrigerated or frozen dinner rolls, thawed according to package directions if frozen (I used Rhodes frozen dinner rolls)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups tomato sauce (or 15-ounce can)
15-ounce can chili beans or red kidney beans or seasoned black beans
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup frozen or canned corn, or Mexicorn (corn with bell peppers)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
For serving (all optional)!:
Shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Arrange the dinner rolls in the prepared pan, allowing room for them to rise as they bake. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown (read the package instructions to make sure the timing is correct - brands differ slightly). Keep the oven at 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until the herbs and spices are fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, beans, broth, and corn and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the rolls have finished baking, use a small knife to make an X in the top of each roll. Press in gently to make an indent for the chili (you don't need to make an actual "bowl", just a small opening). Spoon the chili into the rolls, allowing some to drip over the sides. Top the chili with the cheddar cheese. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Serve the chili and rolls with optional toppings.
Serves 4