Chili Cornbread Casserole

Chili Cornbread Casserole

I love recipes that can be improvised.  Most can be, and it’s really about learning a method, and then you can experiment with your own substitutions and additions.  Turkey Chile Cornbread Casserole is one of my favorites to improvise with.  I first saw the recipe on Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show, but I’ve completely changed the recipe to suit my tastes.  And when you make it, you can do the same thing.

Instead of using ground beef, as the original recipe did, I use lean ground turkey because that’s what my family likes.  I also don’t buy chili or taco seasoning.  I prefer to make my own, and I always add cinnamon to mine.  If you don’t like the idea of cinnamon, skip it.  If you don’t want any heat, skip the cayenne. 

Also, instead of using the salsa and taco sauce, you can substitute only salsa, or even a can of Rotel.  I’ve done it all the different ways depending on what I have on hand. 

For the cornbread mix, I like adding the Greek yogurt to mine because it makes it extra creamy and fluffy.  It’s kind of like adding mayonnaise or pudding to a cake.  Again, if you don’t want to add Greek yogurt, don’t.  But I highly recommend it.

[Note:  I wrote this recipe in Sept. 2016.  I held it over because I hated the photos.  Then I re-did the photos with my point-and-shoot and thought they were much better.  Then I finally got a “real” camera, and now I don’t like these photos anymore, but I’m just tired of sitting on this recipe because it IS delicious!]


Total Time:  1 hourgood

Serves:  6

Difficulty Level:  Easy



1 onion

20 ounces lean ground turkey

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ cup Taco sauce

½ cup Salsa

1 can of whole kernel corn, drained

1 box of Jiffy cornbread muffin mix

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

½ cup greek yogurt

Sour cream

Shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Dice the onion, and sauté over medium heat with a splash of olive oil.  Add the turkey and cook until browned.  Add all the dried dried spices and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add the taco sauce, salsa, and corn.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has begun to absorb into the turkey.
  2. Spread out the meat mixture in a casserole dish and let cool for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Prepare the corn muffin mix. To the box of mix, add the milk, egg, and yogurt. Mix together with an electric hand mixer until combined.  Carefully spread the mixture evenly over the meat mixture.
  4. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.  Serve with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

(inspired by Trisha Yearwood)