Bean Casserole is a staple dish at our house. The recipe is from Jonny Bowden’s cookbook The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes On Earth. The recipe is titled Healthy Jalapeño Cornbread Chili, but my 4-year-old calls it bean casserole and she loves it. I’ve made this many different ways and I don’t think you can mess it up, although my MIL says she did once. Despite the title of the cookbook, this recipe takes longer than 15 minutes to cook but it does come together quick and freezes well.


  • 2-1/2 cups whole-grain cornbread mix (I use this.)
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounces cottage cheese, about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup milk, any kind
  • 1-2 TBSP canned chopped jalapeño, or to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken, well browned and drained
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa (use your favorite)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans (light or dark), drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar or a mix)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the cornbread mix, eggs, cottage cheese, milk and jalapeño (if using) and mix until just combined. Spread a thin layer in the bottom of prepared pan.

Next, layer as follows: browned meat, salsa, beans, corn and cheese. Top with remaining batter. Use a wet spoon or wet fingers to spread the batter over the top. It will be sticky and may not cover the entire surface. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cornbread is cooked through.

“Kid-friendly” version: omit the jalapeños and salsa. Serve sliced jalapeños and salsa on the side for the grown-ups.

Vegetarian version: replace meat an additional can of beans.  I use pinto.

Extra cheesy version: top with extra cheese!

There is a side note in the original recipe that suggests you could “thaw and add a box of frozen chopped broccoli to the cornbread mix”.  I’ve never done it but let me know if you do!