This Southwestern Casserole with a Sweet Corn Crust makes a filling one dish meal and it's packed with vibrant colors and flavor to boot. Serve it with your favorite taco toppings and it's a homemade fiesta at your own kitchen table.
Southwestern Casserole with a Sweet Corn Crust
Who doesn't like a casserole, right? We all have those days when we have to be creative with what we have on hand. I originally shared this recipe in the early days of my website, and wanted to bring it forward as we still enjoy this dish today. This easy casserole combines spicy Southwestern flavors with a sweet cornbread topping. It's reminiscent of a classic Mexican tamale like these green chile tamales from Epicurious. At our house, this is the sort of dish my sons really go for as it encapsulates the combination of flavors they both love. That makes me happy as most of the ingredients in this dish are pantry shelf items. Combined with fresh toppings, it completes this one dish meal. It's very much like my Southwestern Cornbread Salad that can be served as a dip, a side dish or a meal. They also love my Beefy Tamale Pie.
Tips for Cornbread Casserole Success
- I prepared this casserole in an 11 x 7 inch 2 quart baking dish, which made the sweet corn crust a bit thinner. If your family enjoys a thicker crust, use an 8 x 8 dish instead.
- In keeping with the Southwestern flavors, you may also add black beans to this casserole, if you like. 1 cup of fully cooked rinsed black beans will add more flavor plus stretch the dish a bit further.
- You may add ½ cup of the cheese to the cornbread batter, if you like.
- Cilantro is one of those herbs people either love or hate. We're in the love category so, I usually toss some into any dish with these flavors. I didn't include it as an ingredient but, please add some if you love it, too.
- This dish is flexible and stick to your ribs good.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Southwestern Casserole With A Sweet Corn Crust
Servings: 6 servings
- 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
- 1 medium sweet onion diced
- olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes seasoned for chili
- 1 1.25 oz package taco seasoning
- ¼ cup water or beef broth
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup Mexican corn well drained
- 4 oz onion and chive cream cheese
- 2 ½ cups shredded Colby-Jack or Mexican cheese blend divided
- Assorted toppings: cilantro sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, jalapeno pepper slices
- Sweet corn crust:
- 1 8.5 oz box yellow corn muffin mix
- ½ cup buttermilk or milk
- ½ cup cream style corn
- 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies drained (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 11 x 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
- Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil. Cook the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Add garlic cooking for 1 minute. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
- Next, add tomatoes, taco seasoning, water and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
- Add cream cheese and corn to the pan. Stir until cream cheese is completely melted and mixed through. Remove from heat.
- Crust: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the muffin mix, ½ cup of buttermilk and ½ cup of cream style corn. Add green chilies, if using. (Cook's note: You may add ½ of reserved cheese to batter, if preferred)
- To assemble the casserole: Pour the ground beef mixture into dish and sprinkle with 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese. Spread corn bread batter evenly over beef mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the corn crust comes out clean.
- Serve immediately with sour cream, lettuce, chopped tomatoes or any of your favorite taco toppings.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 656kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 948mg | Potassium: 685mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 874IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 452mg | Iron: 5mg