If I were to rename this recipe, I’d call it something like “cheesy chili-polenta casserole”. But alas, I didn’t name it or create it. Also as a disclaimer, my photography skills didn’t magically improve overnight. I didn’t take that photo (it’s via traderjoes.com).
We’ve been shopping a lot at Trader Joes, but (secretly) anxiously awaiting Sunflower Market’s grand opening down the street. And (not-so-secretly) anxiously awaiting for the time when I have a desire to cook again. I miss it. I feel like nearly this entire pregnancy I’ve hated food. It’s good for my figure, but not so good for the babe (I’m only up to an 8 or 9 pound weight gain this pregnancy? wha??!). The struggle continues.
While looking for easy, quick things to throw together for dinner (because I don’t like food anymore, so cooking disgusts me) I came across the small collection on Trader Joe’s website. I’m trying really hard to not give into the “everyone is having cold cereal for dinner tonight because mama doesn’t feel like cooking”, even though that’s all I really want to eat. But it’s getting better; last night I had toast instead of cheerios. This week we are trying the tortilla soup (tonight) and the Tamale Pie (Tuesday night). The tamale pie was excellent (I ate half of my plateful!), and even better than our usual “chili-cornbread casserole”. I’ll share recipes for both below.
- 2 cans chili
- 1/2 cup salsa
- shredded cheese
- 1 package jiffy cornbread mix, prepared per package instructions (plus a bit more milk to thin it out)
Mix the chili and salsa, and dump in an 8×8 pan. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Pour the cornbread mixture over the top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake per instructions on the cornbread box, or until cornbread it thoroughly cooked (about 15 min at 350). Serves 6.
The Improved Version of Chili-Cornbread Casserole (aka Tamale Pie, recipe courtesy of Trader Joes)
- 1/2 jar TJ’s Corn and Chile Tomato-Less Salsa
- 1 can TJ’s Chicken Chili
- 1/4 teaspoon TJ’s Cayenne Pepper
- TJ’s Olive Oil Cooking Spray
- 2 packages TJ’s Fully Cooked Polenta
- 1 bag TJ’s Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
- TJ’s Fresh Green Onions, TJ’s Fresh Cilantro, TJ’s Sour Cream, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the corn salsa, chili and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside. Grease an 8″ x 8″ casserole dish with olive oil spray. Set aside. Cut the polenta into 1/4-inch slices. Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a layer of polenta rounds (one package). Pour chili mixture over the polenta and top with half of the cheese. Top the chili & cheese with the remaining polenta slices. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top and place in oven to bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve and garnish with chopped onions, cilantro and/or sour cream, if desired. Serves 4-6. <– We had green beans as a side dish, but between the three of us we only finished 1/3 of the entire casserole. It’s quite filling, so I’d say it serves closer to 6-8.