Chili Cornbread Casserole

Chili Cornbread Casserole

25 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2010

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.

Ingredients 8 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Chili
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound 95%-lean ground beef
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Cornbread
  • 1¼ cups cornmeal
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1½ cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  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.
  • 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; c
  • Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 494 calories; 18 g fat(7 g sat); 13 g fiber; 55 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 89 mcg folate; 82 mg cholesterol; 11 g sugars; 3 g added sugars; 1,742 IU vitamin A; 24 mg vitamin C; 298 mg calcium; 6 mg iron; 914 mg sodium; 1,040 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), Vitamin A (35% dv), Iron (33% dv), Calcium (30% dv), Folate (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

Reviews 25

March 29, 2016
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Fabulous recipe- whole family loved it This recipe is fantastic, the whole family loved it! I don't know that I can eat boring chili again. I was able to make some simple modifications to the recipe and it was fantastic: gluten free flour, reduced fat cheese. Pros: Tasty, reheats well, easy to make modifications for special diets Cons: Takes some prep work
March 28, 2016
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Loved this recipe and the family did too!! This was fabulous!! I made a few modifications to cut fat: used reduced fat cheese and only 1tablespoon of oil in the cornmeal, it tasted fantastic!! This was very popular with the whole family and is worth the effort. Pros: Taste, reheats well Cons: Takes some prep work
October 20, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Lower sodium version The most significant source of sodium in this recipe is in the cheddar cheese; if you eliminate the cheese, rinse the beans, and do your own tomatoes, this recipe would easily fit into a low-sodium diet.
February 03, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Lower Sodium To further lower sodium you can cook your own beans (without sodium) or use no salt added canned beans and tomatoes. Pros: healthy
November 16, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Modifying Recipe I made this for myself and my husband, but instead of following the cornbread recipe I used Marie Callenders cornbread instead for ease. Having the cornbread baked into the chili gives the chili a bit of a sweetness, which is delicious. Pros: The chili is really good!
March 17, 2013
profile image
By: Jilary
I thought this was good, but not great. I did alter the recipe a fair amount, partially because I'm vegetarian, and I also wanted to reduce the calories. I replaced the ground beef with 1 1/2 cups of cooked wheat berries that I had left over from the wheat berry chili recipe. I only used 1 can of black beans and used 5 tomatoes on the vine instead of canned tomatoes. Because I didn't have the extra liquid from the tomatoes, I also added 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. I like spicy so I added 2 habaneros to the chili and one to the cornbread, but it still wasn't spicy in my opinion. I tasted the chili and thought it needed more, so I added 1tsp salt, 1/4 cup cilantro and the juice of 1 lime. The lime definitely helped, as did the salt. I made the chili one day ahead then made the cornbread batter and assembled it right before baking, and it took nearly twice as long to bake! After 20 minutes the cornbread topping was still almost all liquid. I think I baked it for 45 min total. If I make this again, I may use the second can of beans instead of the wheat berries and maybe add some frozen corn, or charred corn to the cornbread topping. I also can't say I tasted the cheese at all, which is a little disappointing.
January 23, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
i just found this recipe and intend to try it. note to anonymous; i don't think this is high in sodium compared to processed foods, but if you are concerned about it, use 'no salt added' diced tomatoes. dole has them as do (just as good) generic brands like spartan (much cheaper). that sould take care of the sodium concern.
November 14, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Cooking time is much longer with multiple pans I used shallots, cumin, turmeric, pepper in the chili mixture and ginger and diced green chilis in the cornbread mixture. I made a double batch to share at a potluck and it took an hour to fully cook. Was awesome. Raves and raves.... Pros: Great for pot lucks
November 01, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Used Ground Turkey This was so good, the layers of chili, cheese and cornbread create a harmony of deliciousness! The cornbread topping is so good, especially with the added cilantro. Pros: Easy to make, feeds alot of people, fills you up Cons: nothing
More Reviews