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.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS
- 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.