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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.


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 cups diced zucchini
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • 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 ¼ 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.
  • Meanwhile, whisk cornmeal, baking powder and the remaining ¼ 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.
  • 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.

AUTHOR EatingWell Test Kitchen
BRAND EatingWell

YIELD 5 servings
ACTIVE TIME 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME 45 minutes


Per serving 491 Calories
Total Fat 21 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Mono Saturated Fat 8 g
Cholesterol 92 mg
Sodium 670 mg
Fiber 8 g
Protein 28 g
Potassium 999 mg
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Sugars 12 g
Calcium 182 mg
Chromium 12 mcg
Folate 72 mcg
Omega-3 1 g
Omega-6 4 g
Vitamin B12 1 mcg
Vitamin E 7 mg
Zinc 3 mg
Vitamin B3 4 mg
Carbohydrate Servings 3 ½

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