Zucchini Chili Cornbread Casserole

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By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D.

This casserole is a family favorite. I always use black beans because I prefer black beans and they are higher in dietary fiber and other nutrients compared to other beans like kidney beans. If there are leftovers, the good news is that it’s excellent warmed up!

Per Serving:  370 calories, 17 grams protein, 5 grams of fat, 68 grams of CHO,  21 grams of fiber, 887 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 5 minutes Bake Time: 30 minutes  

Serves:  6


1 tbsp oil

1 pound zucchini, chopped (about 4 cups)

1 red or green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced or 1/8 tsp minced garlic

2 cans (15- oz each) black beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained

¼ cup Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

1 tbsp chili powder

1 package (6 oz) cornbread mix or ingredients to make homemade cornbread

Healthy Living Photo


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add zucchini, pepper, celery and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in beans, tomatoes, hot sauce and chili powder.  Heat to boiling, stirring often. Prepare cornbread mix according to package directions. Pour ingredients into a large glass baking dish.  Spoon batter on top of chili mixture, spreading to ½ inch from edges. Bake until 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown and mixture is bubbly.

Shopping List

1 pound zucchini

1 red or green bell pepper,


clove garlic

2 cans (15- oz each) kidney beans or black beans

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

chili powder

1 package (6 oz) cornbread mix

Homemade Cornbread Topping

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup cornmeal

¼ cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ teaspoon salt (optional)

1 cup skim milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 egg whites or 1 egg, beaten


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry cornbread ingredients.  Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir chopped green pepper into chili mixture. Pour chili mixture into an ungreased 8-inch (2-quart) baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Smooth cornbread ingredients evenly over cheese.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 45 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Sports Performance Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara is a power walker, cyclist, hiker, a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.

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