Monday, November 7, 2011

Cornbread and Chili Bake

"Bake" is such a nicer word than "casserole."  Yet, I must admit, that's probably what your grandma would have called this dish had she been cooking it up for her family of four in the 1950s, in high heels, no doubt. 

"Bake" makes me think of flavors melding together and sending their spices floating through the warm kitchen air.

"Casserole" makes me thinks of cream, and Campbell's soup, and noodles, and coagulation. You won't find those things in here, but you will find a tasty, easy, quick and nutritious meal.

As a college student cooking on a budget of both limited money and time, I tweaked a somewhat fancy recipe to the essentials, but kept all of the taste. 

Now that's something 1950s grandma could appreciate!

Cornbread and Chili Bake
Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 15th Edition, Three Bean Tamale Pie

Yield: 8 servings


2 cans of chili (I like Stag's Vegetarian Chili)
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 4 oz can diced green chile peppers with juices
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 8 1/2 oz package corn muffin mix
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.  Grease a 13x9 baking dish.

In a skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until soft.  Stir in chili, stewed tomatoes, diced green chile peppers, ground mustard, and paprika.  Stir together and heat all the way through.  Pour mixture into baking dish.

Prepare cornbread mix according to package.  Stir cilantro into batter.  Spoon corn muffin mixture evenly over chili mixture.  Sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese.  I had some extra corn nibblets that I sprinkled over the top too for some nice texture.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cornbread mixture is golden brown.  Top with salsa, sour cream, or for the adventurous--hot sauce.

This re-heats really well!  Just cut into portions and freeze individually in Tupperware.  Re-heat in microwave for 2-4 minutes.


  1. i agree that bake is a better word.
    this is such a great recipe. so creative!

  2. I have never tried baking cornbread on top of my chili ... great idea! I love the thought of freezing individual portions too.

  3. I think my grandma in her stilettos would so of loved this recipe. Very nice, can't wait to try. Thanks for posting.

  4. I have a soft spot in my heart (or maybe it's my mid-section) for casseroles, but whatever they're called, baking cornbread on top of chili is next to genius!

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  6. Holy cow this sounds GOOD!! I love the term bake as well, so much better than a gloppy casserole :) great blog, I found you on Keep up your great work!