Chili Cornbread Casserole

Chili Cornbread Casserole

Here’s a fun way to serve chili and cornbread together. Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you—this casserole is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser.

From EatingWell: September/October 2010
Yield: 8 servings
Active Time: 60
Total Time: 90



  1. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 pound 95%-lean ground beef
  6. 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed
  7. 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  8. 3 tablespoons chili powder
  9. 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  10. 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  11. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  2. 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  8. 1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
  9. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  10. 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  11. 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese


  1. To prepare chili: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes and their juice, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne (if using). Bring to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. To prepare cornbread: Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, milk and oil in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with cilantro and stir until just combined. Transfer the chili to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Spread the cornbread batter evenly over the chili.
  4. Bake the casserole until the top springs back when touched lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare chili (Step 1); cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months; defrost chili (if frozen) and continue with the recipe, baking the casserole for 50 minutes. Or prepare and bake the casserole as directed; let cool for 1 hour; cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then reheat at 350°F for 50 minutes.


Nutrition Per Serving: 494 calories; 18 g fat (7 g sat, 7 g mono); 86 mg cholesterol; 56 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 13 g fiber; 799 mg sodium; 1046 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (44% daily value), Vitamin C (43% dv), Zinc (36% dv), Iron (34% dv), Calcium (31% dv), Magnesium & Potassium (30% dv), Folate (22% dv).

3 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 fat