This chili cornbread casserole is a hearty dinner your family will love! Homemade chili is topped with a sweet cornbread crust and cheese, and it all comes together in under an hour.
When it comes to satisfying recipes, you can’t do much better than chili. Between the beans and the ground beef, it’s definitely a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. And that’s before you add sour cream and cheese to the top! This Chili Cornbread Casserole is a little bit like a bowl of homemade chili with a side of cornbread, except instead of two separate recipes, they’re made in a single casserole dish!
Hearty Chili Cornbread Casserole Recipe
If you need a make-ahead dinner, this Chili Cornbread Casserole is perfect because you can make the chili a day or two in advance, then assemble and add the topping before baking. It’s also great for freezer cooking!
Serve it as-is, or add a dollop of sour cream over the top, then garnish with additional scallions, pickled jalapeños, or any other toppings you like on your chili. It’s sure to be a hit!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Vegetable oil – Avocado oil, olive oil, or canola oil will work, too.
- Ground beef – You can substitute ground turkey or a plant-based ground for the beef.
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
- Pepper flakes
- Crushed tomatoes
- Kidney bean
- Jiffy cornbread mix – Or make your own!
- Cheddar cheese – A Mexican blend or Monterey jack will also be fine in this recipe.
How to Make Chili Cornbread Casserole
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 375ºF and grease an oven-safe 9×13 baking dish.
- Cook the Beef: Add the oil to a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the beef and cook it until browned and crumbly, about 8 minutes. Stir in the carrot, onion, celery, and spices, and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
- Finish the Chili: Add the crushed tomatoes and kidney beans; stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low while stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make the Cornbread Batter: While the chili cooks, prepare the cornbread batter according to the package instructions and set aside.
- Assemble: Spread half of the cornbread batter into the prepared baking dish. Pour the chili over this, then the remaining cornbread batter.
- Bake: Bake the casserole uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the cheese and scallions over the top, then bake for 5 minutes more. Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Chili Cornbread Casserole
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can reheat leftover Chili Cornbread Casserole in an oven-safe dish in a 350ºF oven or in the microwave. Frozen Chili Cornbread Casserole will last for up to 3 months; I recommend thawing it in the refrigerator before reheating.
Yes! This casserole works because cornbread is the perfect pairing with chili. The slight sweetness is so good with spicy chili.
This recipe uses kidney beans, but black beans and pinto beans are also common choices for chili. Feel free to substitute one of these for the kidney beans if you prefer.
More Hearty Casseroles to Try
Chili Cornbread Casserole
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb 90/10 ground beef
- ½ cup carrot small dice
- ½ cup onion small dice
- ½ cup celery small dice
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp pepper flakes
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15oz can kidney bean, drained and rinsed
- 1 15oz box Jiffy cornbread mix (or make your own!)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup scallions green ends sliced thinly
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease an oven-safe 9×13 baking dish.
- Add oil to a pot or dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the beef and cook until browned and crumbly, about 8 minutes. Add carrot, onion, celery, and spices and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes and kidney beans and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low while stirring and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the chili continues to cook, prepare the cornbread batter according to the package instructions and set aside.
- Spread ½ the cornbread batter into the prepared baking dish. Next, add a layer of chili followed by a final top layer of cornbread.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle cheese and scallions on top and bake for a final 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.