Mexican Cornbread Casserole Recipe

What's for dinner tonight? Let's try a one-dish meal packed with all the yummiest ingredients you can find! Food enthusiast and recipe developer Hayley MacLean has crafted this mouthwatering Mexican cornbread casserole recipe, and it's sure to please the whole family. "This dish is a hit because it is full of flavor, is super simple to put together, and is super hearty and filling," MacLean explains of the dish. "One pan of this will feed the whole family with leftovers to spare." We totally second this. Anything to make dinner quick and tasty, we're here for it!

Hearty dishes are an easy victory for busy families, and they're especially wonderful in the colder months. "I love one dish meals like this in the Fall when the weather begins to cool down and it is not still too hot inside to run the oven," MacLean raves. "Casseroles are always cozy, comforting meals, which are perfect for the darker Fall and Winter months."

MacLean also shared a bit about what inspired her to make this dish. "The 'Mexican' inspiration in this dish comes from the spices and flavors used within," she explains. "All of the seasonings, especially cumin and oregano, are spices that are commonly used in Mexican cooking, and those along with the chilis, garlic, and onion really help bring out those bright and bold flavors regularly found in Mexican dishes!"

Gather the ingredients to make Mexican cornbread casserole

Before you can start making this Mexican cornbread casserole, you'll need to accumulate the right ingredients. First and foremost, you'll need lean ground beef, a large onion, a red bell pepper, garlic cloves, a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis, and a can of creamed corn. Speaking of corn, this recipe also calls for a can of whole kernel corn and lots of spices, including cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, paprika, salt, and black pepper. To complete the recipe, you'll need two boxes of corn muffin mix, a couple of eggs, milk, and a Mexican blend of shredded cheese. "I have always loved a good casserole, and the savory flavors of Mexican cooking are balanced so perfectly by the sweet corn bread — it just seemed like a natural pairing," MacLean explains of her ingredient choices. We couldn't agree more!

Cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and bell pepper

Start by preheating your oven to 375 F. Separately, set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Empty out your ground beef and chopped onion into the pan and begin cooking. Cook them until the meat is completely browned and the onion starts to look translucent. Drain the excess fat from the pan, then put it back onto the stovetop. Add in the minced garlic and bell pepper and cook once again, until the pepper is softened.

Add veggies and spices

Once the ground beef, onion, garlic, and bell pepper have had time to cook, stir in the drained diced tomatoes, half the can of creamed corn, and half the can of whole-kernel corn. Sprinkle in the cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Let the meat and veggies simmer in the spices, and then set the skillet aside. MacLean notes that, while there is some good spice in this recipe, it's not overbearing. "This dish is very low on the spicy-scale — so I would rate it at a 1 or 2," she explains. Of course, if you want more spice, you can simply add more chili powder or top the dish with some hot sauce.

Make the cornbread blend

Time to break out the cornbread! In a large mixing bowl, bring together the corn muffin mix, eggs, milk, and the second half of both the creamed and whole-kernel corn cans. Stir this all together until you have a easily workable consistency.  "The cornbread batter should be loose and pourable, but coat the spatula in a thin layer when mixing," MacLean explains of the desired consistency. "If the batter is too thick and dense, you will end up with a cornbread brick!" If you find the mixture becoming too thick, toss a bit more milk in, in small increments and mix that in, until it loosens up.

Layer the casserole in a baking dish

Let the layering begin! Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and fill the bottom with half of the cornbread mix. Over the cornbread, pour the meat mixture and top it off with a cup of the Mexican shredded cheese. Finish by pouring the remaining cornbread batter over the cheese, and then add the remaining ½ cup of cheese to melt into the very top, thus forming a layered and flavorful casserole.

Bake until browned, then garnish and serve

Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned and the cornbread is cooked through. Once you bring it out of the oven, let it rest for up to 10 minutes before serving. Servings can be cut into small, mini pieces or large chunks, depending on how many people you are serving. "I love serving this with a dollop of sour cream, some crumbled cotija cheese, and thinly sliced scallions on top," MacLean notes of garnish options. "This would also be great with some guacamole and freshly diced tomatoes — or even some pickled jalapeños for a little zing!" Whichever way you serve this Mexican cornbread casserole, it's guaranteed to be a huge hit!

Mexican Cornbread Casserole Recipe
5 from 14 ratings
Food enthusiast and recipe developer Hayley MacLean has crafted this mouthwatering Mexican cornbread casserole recipe, and it's sure to please the whole family.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
mexican cornbread casserole in bowl
Total time: 65 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained
  • 1 (15 ounces) can creamed corn, divided
  • 1 (15 ounces) can whole kernel corn, drained, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (8.5 ounces) boxes corn muffin mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown together the ground beef and onion until no pink remains. Drain the excess fat from the pan.
  3. Add the garlic and bell pepper, and then cook until softened.
  4. Stir in the drained diced tomatoes, half of the creamed corn, half of the whole-kernel corn, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper, and heat through. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the corn muffin mix, eggs, milk, and the second half of both the creamed and whole-kernel corn.
  6. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Top with the meat mixture and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Finish with the remaining cornbread batter and the remaining ½ cup of cheese.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned and the cornbread is cooked through.
  8. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving with your choice of toppings.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 591
Total Fat 28.9 g
Saturated Fat 11.2 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 105.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 60.5 g
Dietary Fiber 7.6 g
Total Sugars 5.8 g
Sodium 1,026.4 mg
Protein 23.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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