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May 17

Chili Cornbread Bake

Chili Cornbread Bake

This Chili Cornbread Bake is just the right amount of slightly sweet and spicy, and it’s sure to hit the spot for your comfort food cravings. Chili and cornbread are such a great combination, and with this dish you can bake them both together and serve them up as one! The bottom layer is a lightly sweet, super moist seasoned cornbread and it’s topped with layer of hearty chili and finished off with some melted cheese. YUM, right? If you’ve ever made the Chicken Tamale Bake on my blog from a few years back, I used the same cornbread layer for this recipe. As an added bonus, this Chili Cornbread Bake is super easy to make and doesn’t take long at all – perfect for a weeknight meal!

Chili Cornbread Bake

Looking for more lightened up comfort food casseroles like this Chili Cornbread Bake? Check out my Bubble Up Chicken Pot Pie Casserole, Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Casserole, Eggplant Parmesan Casserole, Beef Enchilada Quinoa Bake, Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake, Bubble Up Pizza Casserole, Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole, Deep Dish Sloppy Joe Casserole and many more in the Casseroles category of my Recipe Index!

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Chili Cornbread Bake

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, divided
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy corn muffin mix (or similar brand)
  • ¾ lb 95% lean ground beef*
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz 50% reduced fat Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (such as Cabot)

*if you replace the ground beef with 99% lean ground turkey breast a serving will be 7 SP on WW Freestyle


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, milk, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1/8 teaspoon of the cayenne, creamed corn, diced chilies and corn muffin mix. Stir together until fully mixed and pour into the prepared baking dish. Spread into an even layer and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out smooth. Keep oven at 400.
  3. While the cornbread layer is cooking, bring a large saute pan or medium pot to medium heat and add the ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces as it cooks. When the meat is breaking up and almost browned, add the onions and the garlic and stir together. Continue to cook another few minutes until the meat is browned and onions are softened.
  4. Add the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne to the meat mixture and stir together until well combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
  5. Use a fork to poke holes all over the prepared cornbread layer. When the chili is done, spoon it over the top of the cornbread layer to form another even layer. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the chili and return it to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
8 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on OR 7 SP if using ground turkey breast or ground chicken breast

Weight Watchers PointsPlus:
7 per serving (PP calculated using a Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below)

Nutrition Information:
293 calories, 38 g carbs, 11 g sugars, 8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 18 g protein, 5 g fiber (from

An Emily Bites Original, base layer lightly adapted from Cooking Light


42 Responses to “Chili Cornbread Bake”

  1. #
    Amy — May 18, 2016 @ 10:53 am

    I made this last night. It was a huge hit!!! Thank you Emily for your yummy recipes!!!! Subbed ground turkey. It was delicious!

    • Emily Bites replied: — May 18th, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

      I’m so glad you loved it, Amy!

  2. #
    Barbara — May 18, 2016 @ 1:09 pm

    What do you think about using black beans instead of the kidney beans? Just not a kidney bean fan. thanks

    • Emily Bites replied: — May 18th, 2016 @ 1:20 pm

      I love black beans. I think it would be great!

  3. #
    Jean — May 18, 2016 @ 2:59 pm

    Emily I love anything with cornbread, as does my family, chili rates HIGH on that list! And I love black beans!

  4. #
    Lisa — May 18, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

    OK so pretty much every meal I cook now is one of yours. This looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it!

  5. #
    Felicia — May 18, 2016 @ 4:18 pm

    How many servings does this make and what is each serving size? Thanks! Looks like a great recipe and I will try it!

  6. #
    Felicia — May 18, 2016 @ 4:19 pm

    Sorry, I saw that it makes 8 servings, after I posted my comment! Ha!

  7. #
    Sarah — May 19, 2016 @ 9:31 am

    How did you know I had all of the ingredients to make tamale bake except chicken and I was contemplating using ground turkey? You are so amazing!!! I am making this on Saturday. Will report back! 🙂

  8. #
    Lisa — May 23, 2016 @ 8:08 am

    This might be my new favorite! Perfect amount of spice. And I’m a sucker for cornbread so this was just the ultimate dinner for me. Thanks, Emily!

  9. #
    Sarah — May 23, 2016 @ 1:11 pm

    OMG it was so good! I added a can of rotel to the chili mixture and used ground turkey instead of beef, but otherwise kept it the same. YUM YUM YUM. I would eat anything on top of that cornbread!

  10. #
    Tessla — May 25, 2016 @ 2:19 pm

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try — definitely adding it to my meal plan for next week. Do you happen to know if it freezes well? Either pre- or post-baking? Thanks in advance, and thank you for all your wonderful + delicious recipes!

    • Emily Bites replied: — May 25th, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

      Hi Tessla, I don’t freeze anything so I am the worst at answering this question! If you try it out let me know!

  11. #
    Jessica — May 26, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

    Another phenomenal recipe! Was a huge hit with my family. Thanks for helping us eat healthier without getting bored. 🙂

  12. #
    Dulce — May 26, 2016 @ 9:23 pm

    This is a great recipe Emily! I doubled the recipe since friends were coming over and everyone loved it! Since I was doubling it I used half ground turkey and half hamburger and it was so delicious. This recipe is a keeper!

  13. #
    Kerri — June 9, 2016 @ 7:38 am

    This recipe is great! My husband and I both love it! 🙂

  14. #
    Val — June 20, 2016 @ 8:45 pm

    Emily, I’m in love with this dish!! I meal prepped it for my husband and I and we bother love it! Thank you thank you!

    • Emily Bites replied: — July 1st, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

      I’m so glad! Thanks for letting me know if was a hit 🙂

  15. #
    Amanda — August 29, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

    Literally eating this right now for lunch (and for the next 3 days). Came on to double check the points value, and decided to leave a message saying how delicious it is! Plus easy to make, doesn’t required a ton of expensive ingredients, and great to prep ahead for lunches for the week. Basically, this will be a new staple.

  16. #
    Deanna — September 18, 2016 @ 6:27 pm

    I work nights and found this while researching interesting casserole ideas (my family got sick of tuna noodle very quickly). This was so easy. I made it ahead of time and my husband popped it in the oven. My family loved it and said it needs to be on the regular rotation now

  17. #
    Suzette — September 19, 2016 @ 6:57 pm

    I really dislike corn, have never used cream corn. Do you think it would be okay if I ran it through a stick blender to make it super smooth before I add to the recipe?

  18. #
    Marilyn — September 20, 2016 @ 9:59 am

    OMG! I have made many of your recipes and they are all great so far. This one is the BEST! It was wonderful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  19. #
    DeeDee — September 22, 2016 @ 6:16 am

    I made this tonight. I upped the meat amount with a mix of lean ground beef and ground chicken breast and since I’m a boymom with a military husband, I added extra spice too. This was perfect. Very filling and liked by all. Even with my tweaks, it was only 10 points a serving. Husband asked for the leftovers to be added to his lunchbox tomorrow. As my hubby said, this recipe could be changed around just by changing the chili. Thank you for a great recipe. I’ll be making it again.

  20. #
    Britney — October 15, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

    I have made this before and LOVE this recipe! My company is having a chili cookoff & I want to make this (bc I know I’ll win 😉 ) but it has to be made in a crock pot for the competition. I’m going to try to play around with it tomorrow, but do you have any ideas/suggestions for crock pot cooking this??


  21. #
    Jane — November 13, 2016 @ 9:35 pm

    We loooooved this! Thank you so much!

  22. #
    joan — November 22, 2016 @ 9:05 pm

    Looks great, but I don’t eat meat. What do you think of adding more beans and regular peppers?

  23. #
    Julie — November 28, 2016 @ 6:09 pm

    I’m pretty much addicted to this chili cornbread bake. Hubby and I LOVE it!!

  24. #
    Debbie — December 22, 2016 @ 8:55 pm

    Made 2 of these tonight one made with hamburger and another made with Trader Joe’s Beefless ground beef, for my vegetarian daughter. Actually the vegetarian looked better. But thanks for a great recipe! Oh my daughters name is Emily, too.

  25. #
    Erin — January 10, 2017 @ 11:25 pm

    I loved this, but it was wayyyyyyy too spicy!
    Next time I’m leaving out the cayenne

    • Mike replied: — April 13th, 2017 @ 7:44 pm

      I think you mean leave out the 2 tablespoons of chili powder. Hot hot hot

  26. #
    Jennifer — February 4, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

    Wow! We just had this for dinner! So flavorful!

  27. #
    Jenny — March 4, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

    I made an account just to comment on this recipe. I made it tonight and it is amaaaazing. The only swap I did was ground chicken since I had it on hand, and I upped the spice because I like my chili to buuuurn. The cornbread base is to die for. It’s recipes like this that really make me feel like I can succeed on my weight loss journey 🙂 thanks so much!

  28. #
    Margie McCord — March 29, 2017 @ 9:24 pm

    I made this tonite and my husband and I loved it. Thank you Emily for you wonderful recipes.

  29. #
    Margie McCord — March 29, 2017 @ 9:34 pm

    I have tried many of your recipes. My husband and I both love them. They are helping me with my Weight watchers journey. Thank you so much. I am sure my weight watchers group is tired of hearing about your web site. I’m making your ham and cheese quiche for a bridal shower brunch in a couple of weeks. Keep up the great work. Thank you again.

  30. #
    Mike — April 13, 2017 @ 7:37 pm

    This is insanely spicy. 2 tablespoons of chili powder is way too much. I think you meant to type 2 teaspoons. Other than that, it’s delicious.

    • Emily Bites replied: — April 13th, 2017 @ 7:44 pm

      Nope, I meant 2 tablespoons! We actually just made this again tonight for dinner :). Feel free to adjust to your tastes. My family loves it this way!

  31. #
    Melody Vallier — May 15, 2017 @ 3:07 pm

    Hey! I’m not a fan of creamed corn. Would I be able to swap with regular corn?

    • Emily Bites replied: — May 15th, 2017 @ 3:12 pm

      I haven’t tried it that way but I really encourage you to try it with the creamed corn because you will never know it’s there, I promise. I also do not eat creamed corn, this will not taste like it!

  32. #
    Melody Vallier — May 21, 2017 @ 7:52 pm

    Tried it tonight and went with the creamed corn… You were right! I didn’t even notice it. Turned out delicious and the boyfriend gobbled it down!

  33. #
    Tia Murphy — May 24, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

    I loved this! What a great recipe! You know it is good when you go to work the next day and you can’t wait to get home to eat some leftovers. LOL. My boyfriend loved it just as much. Thanks for sharing.

  34. #
    Olivia — September 18, 2017 @ 10:00 pm

    Made this tonight and was soooo good! Ultimate comfort food for fall! My guy even liked it even though he new it was one of my “healthy” recipes

  35. #
    Kathie — February 22, 2018 @ 7:45 pm

    I loved this recipe, but the spouse did not. I’m not sure what happened, but my cornbread was very soggy. I cooked it 22 minutes to start then another 15 with the chili and cheese. I am presently freezing half a pan of it into individual portions because I refuse to let it go to waste. (Sigh)

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