Trader Joe’s Cheesy Chili Cornbread Casserole

Baked Casserole

File this under easy kid-pleasing weeknight dinner or simple side dish. Much like banana bread is really banana cake, cornbread is really more like corn cake and who wouldn’t want to have cake for dinner, right?

We ate this dish for dinner, and my kids cleaned their plates…even my picky girl. This works an entree, but it would also be a great side at a BBQ. The mildly spicy chili paired with the sweet cornbread and the gooey salty cheese is an excellent combination. One of the keys to the kid-friendliness is the Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Chili. It is very very mild. If you are making this for a spicier crowd, you might consider another kind of chili or adding more spice to the chili.

Like an omelette, quiche or pizza, this recipe is easy to modify to your taste and ingredients on hand. You could easily add more chili, a different chili, or chunks of meat. Try it with any number of additions like onions, frozen corn or other vegetables, different cheeses, etc. This would also be a great new way to use up leftovers.

Ingredients - Cheesy Chili Cornbread

Adapted from a sample I had at Trader Joe’s

  • 1 Box Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil (slightly less than the box calls for)
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 2-3 cans Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili
  • 8 ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Here are the super duper easy instructions:

  1. Grease a 9 X 12 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the Cornbread Mix, Egg, Vegetable Oil and Milk in a bowl. Stir until combined.
  3. Pour the cornbread batter into the pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cornbread springs back when lightly touched. Don’t overbake, because you are going to bake it a little more before you are done.
  5. Pour chili over the cooked cornbread and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  6. Bake another 10 minutes to heat the chili and melt the cheese.
  7. Broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the top.

TA DA! Dinner.

Baked Casserole in Bowl

TASTING NOTES: My seven-year-old daughter thought it was perfect. My oldest daughter loved the dish, but wanted more chili. I used two cans, so next time I may add another can. I thought it was delicious and comforting. If I had an onion, I would have chopped some on top because I like onion. Overall, super yummy.


  1. This is a GREAT idea, Heather! My 9 year old had a tortilla soup with beans this weekend, and he loved it, so now I know we could do the mild veg chili with cornbread an he might live it even more. Thanks!

  2. Nice!!!   – Anne

  3. Heather –
    I’ll add a shot of vodka and some mozzarella and call it, “Siberia White Chili.” Just kidding, this sounds great and we’ll try it. Especially for during the week when we’re really busy. Thanks!!!


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