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Cornbread Casserole

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Though we hate to admit it, we LOVE Jiffy cornbread mix. It's easy to make, and it's damn good. If you want to go the homemade route, I'd suggest halving our homemade cornbread recipe, which is just as delicious. But first we have to discuss the base of this casserole because that’s what makes the cornbread pop. Who doesn’t like a good hearty chili with tomato, red beans, and lots of warming spices? We did the hard work for you by topping off the chili with a layer of cornbread. So now you don’t have to dirty another baking dish or worry about cutting those perfect squares.

Corn pudding is great on its own but it could also accompany a variety of dinner time salads. And, if you want other ways to cook chili- say you’re not a beef eater- then substitute in a vegetarian chili, vegan chili, or white chicken chili. Otherwise substitute the meat in this recipe for ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, or vegan meat.

 Who started making casseroles with cornbread?

Cornbread has a vast history and cornmeal even more so. Cornmeal is seen as a hearty grain that could hold up for long periods of time. It’s a Native American staple but also very popular in southern cooking. It has morphed into many dishes over many decades. Many quote how popular corn pudding became post Civil War. Many years later Jiffy came about with their own corn casserole dish which they marketed as corn bowl and later changed to spoonbread. All of this to say that cornbread casseroles or corn puddings have been around for what it feels like forever.

 Are corn casserole and corn pudding the same?

Pretty much the same corn casseroles or corn puddings are tender and crumbly made with creamed corn, butter, sour cream, eggs, and corn kernels. Did you know that corn pudding can also be referred to as spoonbread or hoppy glop? Yup, go figure! They aren’t meant to be eaten by hand just with a spoon. Our casserole is called “cornbread” casserole because we didn’t create a creamy corn pudding-like topping. Instead we followed suit on a basic cornbread with Jiffy mix which adds a hint of sweet.

Can you freeze this after making it?

It’s a tough call to make but we don’t recommend freezing it prior to baking. If you want to make, cool, and freeze it’s best to do this only a few days in advance. We recommend eating this as soon as it’s cooked or refridgerating after it’s cooled.

Can I prep parts of the recipe ahead?

If you don’t feel like making chili and cornbread mix in the same evening we get it! Chili will hold up well in the fridge for 1 to 2 days if you want to make ahead. That way all you have to do is pour it into the casserole dish and layer on the cornbread mixture which is super easy to make on the spot. 

What are other types of casseroles to make?

Here at Delish we love a good casserole! Chicken pot pie is great but what about in casserole form? Try the chicken pot pie casserole this weekend. Eggplant parm is always amazing and yes, we consider it a casserole too. Breakfast and brunch have a place in our hearts too. This brunch casserole is where it’s at.

Made this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This recipe was updated on August 24, 2022.

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Yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
For chili
1 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil


onion, chopped


cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp.

tomato paste

1 lb.

ground beef

1 tbsp.

chili powder

1 tsp.

ground cumin

1 tsp.

dried oregano

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


(15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained


(28-oz.) crushed tomatoes

For cornbread

boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix

1 c.

frozen corn

1 c.

sour cream

4 tbsp.

butter, melted


large eggs

For topping

Sour cream, optional 

Shredded cheddar, optional 

Sliced green onions, optional 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more, then add tomato paste, stirring to combine. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain fat.
  2. Return beef mixture to skillet and add chili powder, cumin, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Add kidney beans and crushed tomatoes. Bring chili to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, 20 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, make cornbread: In a medium bowl, stir together corn muffin mix, corn, sour cream, melted butter, and eggs until combined. 
  4. Pour chili into a 9"-x-13" baking dish. Top with cornbread batter and spread in an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, cheddar, and green onions.

Parker Feierbach
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