Mexican Cornbread Casserole Recipe

Mexican cornbread casserole in a skillet pan and a small dish beside a dip on a wooden background.

Loaded with the familiar flavors of cheese, cornbread, and tacos, this recipe for Mexican Cornbread Casserole is an unusual twist on your favorite Taco Tuesday meal. This casserole comes together quickly and can remake leftovers into a new and exciting dish that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

Preparation time: 20 to 25 minutes

Baking time: 35 to 40 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Our recipe for Mexican Cornbread Casserole includes all of the flavors of tacos in a hearty casserole. It is perfect for cooler days when a traditional taco meal might be a little less appealing. With a cheesy cornbread topping and a spicy, well-seasoned base, this casserole will quickly become a family favorite.

Kids who won’t eat anything different or new can be incredibly frustrating for parents. Everyone knows that kids need to eat a varied diet and learn to try new things, but children are smart and can be incredibly stubborn about what they do and do not want to eat. Smart parents know that you have to have a few tricks up your sleeve to get a picky child to try something new.

Instead of arguing about what a kid eats for dinner, parents can try presenting familiar flavors to their children in unusual formats. Often, this allows the child to experience a tiny taste or two of a new texture or flavor without realizing what the parent is really up to. This recipe for Mexican Cornbread Casserole is a perfect dish to help try to expand the palate of a picky child.

The flavors are familiar but they include a few new things as well. The design of this casserole also allows the child to be able to avoid the things they are not crazy about.

If you are not looking for a recipe to cater to kids who are rather particular about every bite that goes into their mouths, this recipe can be easily jazzed up to kick up the fun flavors of Mexican food. Stir a can of diced green chili peppers into the ground beef base to add more spice.

Add a teaspoon of hot sauce to the cornbread mixture or top the cornbread mixture with shredded pepper jack cheese. Top the whole thing with a few chopped jalapeno peppers before you add the cheesy topping and pop it in the oven. Use our recipe as a suggestion and get creative with the taco night ingredients that you may have in your kitchen.

This recipe is also a great way to use up taco leftovers. If you have extra taco meat from dinner earlier in the week, you can reinvent those leftovers by creating this delicious casserole. The bonus is that this casserole reheats very well, so everyone will be up for it for lunch the next day. That is, if there is any of it left, which may not necessarily be the case.

Mexican Cornbread Casserole Recipe

Base Layer Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 fifteen ounce can of tomatoes with diced chilies
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Basic layer ingredients consisting of iodized salt, onion powder, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder.

Cornbread Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal mix
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ can cream style corn
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can use regular milk if you don’t have buttermilk on hand)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread topping ingredients consisting of oil, egg, cultured buttermilk, cornmeal mix, and cream style sweetcorn.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. A 9 by 13 pan will work just fine if that’s what you have on hand.

Brown the ground beef and chop it into small bits. Drain the fat and place it in the prepared casserole dish. Stir in the seasonings and the can of diced tomatoes with green chilies. Stir well to make sure that the seasonings are fully incorporated.

Baked ground beef with diced tomatoes and chilis.

Step 2: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cornmeal mix, egg, oil, and buttermilk.

Stir in the cream style corn. Spread the cornbread mixture over the top of the meat and tomato mixture. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the whole casserole.

Cornbread mixture spread on top of the meat and tomato mixture.

Step 3: Place the casserole in the center of the preheated oven and bake it for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Casserole baked to golden brown.

Step 4: Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for ten to fifteen minutes. Serve in large bowls.

A bowl of Mexican cornbread casserole.

Step 5: Store the leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat, place each serving into an oven-safe dish and heat in the oven at 350 degrees for fifteen to twenty minutes. You can use the microwave, but often the cornbread topping gets chewy and hard when microwaved.


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