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Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole

Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole

In this healthy casserole recipe—sometimes called tamale pie—the cornbread gets crusty at the edges, thanks to a cast-iron skillet. For the best texture, use yellow cornmeal with a medium grind. Serve with lime wedges for a little extra tang.


5 servings

Prep Time

25 minutes

Total Time

45 minutes


  • 4tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2cups chopped onion
  • 3tablespoons chili powder
  • 1pound lean ground pork
  • 2cups diced zucchini
  • 1/2teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 2cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 114-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • 3/4teaspoon baking powder
  • 1large egg
  • 1cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and chili powder; cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add pork, zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the pork is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add corn and tomatoes with their juice and cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk cornmeal, baking powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk egg, buttermilk and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another bowl. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture until combined. Spread the batter over the pork and vegetables. Transfer the pan to the oven.
  4. Bake until the cornbread is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.


To make your own lean option for ground pork, choose a lean cut, such as loin or tenderloin. Cut into pieces and then pulse in a food processor until uniformly ground (being careful not to overprocess, turning the meat into mush). Or ask your butcher to grind it for you.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (recipe makes 5 servings)

Calories 491kcal
Carbohydrate Total 55g
Total Sugars 12g
Added Sugars 0g
Fiber 8g
Total Fat 21g
Saturated Fat 4g
Mono Saturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 92mg
Sodium 670mg
Protein 28g
Potassium 999mg
Calcium 182mg
Chromium 12mcg
Folate 72mcg
Omega-3 1g
Omega-6 4g
Vitamin B12 1mcg
Vitamin E 7mg
Zinc 3mg
Vitamin B3 4mg

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