Loaded Mexican Cornbread Casserole (Easy + Flavorful!)

Mexican Cornbread Casserole is an easy, comforting dish featuring a layer of taco-seasoned ground beef mixed with salsa, black beans, corn, and olives, and topped with green chile cheddar cornbread!

Mexican Cornbread Casserole with text overlay.


 

Sometimes you just need a fast, simple supper, whether it comes in the form of slow cooker suppers or one pot wonders or quick, cozy oven bakes. Enter this Mexican Cornbread Casserole!

This is one of those stand-by, ever popular recipes that I've had in my arsenal since I was a sprightly young newlywed.

Is it fancy? No.

Is it complicated? No.

But is Mexican Cornbread Casserole speedy to make and pleasing to ingest by pretty much everyone? YES. Why yes, it is.

Mexican Cornbread Casserole with beans and corn, on plate and in baking dish.

Ingredients

Mexican Cornbread Casserole is obviously not "Mexican" in the sense of authentic cuisine from the heart of Mexico...so don't judge my title here. 😉 (In fact, you can call it Taco Cornbread Casserole if you like!)

Rather, it's got more of an Americanized Tex-Mex vibe going. And you can make it either totally from-scratch or with shortcut ingredients, as explained further down below:

Labeled ingredients to make Mexican Cornbread Casserole.
  • Ground beef. You could use ground turkey instead.
  • Salsa. Either homemade salsa or a store-bought jar will work. Use mild, medium, or hot to control the spiciness of your finished dish.
  • Taco seasoning. Either homemade taco seasoning or a store-bought packet will work.
  • Black beans. Canned. Rinsed and drained. Alternatively, you could swap in pinto beans.
  • Corn. Frozen. Honestly, it doesn't even have to be completely thawed. I typically toss my frozen corn in a colander on top of the black beans and rinse everything together, which partially thaws the corn. Or drained canned corn could be used in this recipe instead.
  • Sliced black olives. Drained. And optional, since people tend to have strong feelings about olives. 🙂
  • Cornbread mix. Either homemade cornbread mix or a store-bought box will work. Are we sensing a theme here yet???
  • Cheddar cheese. Grated. Or you can opt to sub your favorite shredded cheese instead...a Mexican blend, Monterey jack, or pepper jack (to kick up the heat) would all be yummy.
  • Mild diced green chiles. To jazz up the cheesy cornbread, although you may certainly leave them out if you wish. Or you could increase the heat by swapping in some minced jalapeños instead.
Taco Cornbread Casserole in glass baking dish.

From-Scratch Shortcuts

As alluded to above, I always keep a jumbo jar of Homemade Taco Seasoning and a colossal container of Homemade Cornbread Mix in my pantry, and I use them both all the time.

I like the convenience of having a prepared mix on hand without having to worry about the preservatives and questionable ingredients found in a lot of store-bought seasonings and mixes.

It makes recipes like this Mexican Cornbread Casserole that much faster to put together while allowing me to control exactly what I'm feeding my family. (And if you're interested in making your own mixes and kitchen staples, I'm always adding new recipes to that section of the blog!)

Aerial view of Mexican Cornbread Casserole on plate and in dish.

Variations

Even though this Mexican Cornbread Casserole is fairly "loaded," you may certainly simplify the concept and omit specific additions...for picky eaters perhaps? Not that I know anything about that. Ha.

For example, if your family doesn't enjoy black olives or green chiles, simply leave 'em out!

Similarly, if you wanted to add a particular ingredient (such as stirring a can of Rotel into the ground beef mixture), you could do that, too!

This recipe is easy to customize to your liking.

Mexican Cornbread Casserole on plate with lime wedges.

How to Make Mexican Cornbread Casserole

(The below photos are intended to be helpful, but please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for FULL DIRECTIONS.)

Making this Mexican Cornbread Casserole recipe is quick and simple.

  1. Brown and drain the ground beef.
Ground beef in a pot.
Browning ground beef for Mexican Cornbread Casserole.
  1. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning, then bring to a low simmer.
Adding salsa and taco seasoning to ground beef.
  1. Stir in beans, corn, and (if using) black olives.
Adding black beans, corn, and black olives for Mexican Cornbread Casserole filling.
Taco Cornbread Casserole filling mixed together in pot.
  1. While the ground beef mixture is going, whip up a batch of cornbread.
Ingredients for cornbread topping in glass bowl.
  1. Mix in diced green chiles and plenty o' grated cheddar cheese for good measure.
Adding cheese and green chiles for Mexican casserole with cornbread.
Topping in bowl for Mexican Cornbread Casserole recipe.
  1. Transfer the ground beef mixture to a prepared baking dish.
  2. Spread the cornbread batter on top.
Filling in baking dish for Mexican Cornbread Casserole with beans.
Taco casserole with cornbread and black beans, ready for oven.
  1. Bake the whole shebang until it achieves a lovely shade of golden brown and the cornbread topping tests done with a toothpick.
Mexican Cornbread Casserole recipe fresh out of oven.
  1. Serve your Mexican Cornbread Casserole with a dollop of sour cream, additional salsa, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, more black olives, or whatever else floats your boat. Prepare to go to bed full and happy!
Aerial view of taco casserole with cornbread and black beans.

Well, that's pretty much it, folks! Even if the temperatures haven't quite reached comfort food status yet where you live (it's back and forth every day here!), they'll get there soon enough.

In the meantime, I'm taking full advantage of every quick, easy meal in my repertoire...and Mexican Cornbread Casserole happens to be an old standby that's always a hit. Hope you enjoy it, too!

And if you love this recipe, for a similar idea -- with a totally different flavor -- this Tamale Pie is topped with a masa topping (instead of regular cornbread) and tastes amazingly like a beef tamale!

Close-up of Mexican Cornbread Casserole on plate.

More Simple, Comforting Suppers

Mexican Cornbread Casserole on plate with limes.

Loaded Mexican Cornbread Casserole (Easy + Flavorful!)

Mexican Cornbread Casserole is an easy, comforting dinner featuring a layer of taco-seasoned ground beef mixed with salsa, black beans, corn, and olives, and topped with green chile cheddar cornbread!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 332kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning, OR 1 package store-bought taco seasoning
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 batch Homemade Cornbread Mix, OR 1 (8.5-oz.) package store-bought cornbread mix, plus ingredients to prepare as directed
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles

Instructions

  • With oven rack in center position, preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Set a pot or large skillet over medium heat and cook ground beef until browned. Drain grease, stir in salsa and taco seasoning, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes on low until thickened. Stir in black beans, corn, and black olives, and transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, spreading it in an even layer.
  • Prepare cornbread batter according to package directions, stirring in cheddar cheese and green chiles until just combined. Spread batter over beef mixture, smoothing to edges of dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown and tests done with a toothpick. Serve with sour cream, additional salsa, cheddar cheese, black olives, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, or your favorite garnishes.

Video

Notes

  • You may use something other than an 8-inch square baking dish as long as it has a similar capacity. Just make sure it's not too deep or the cornbread may not cook through.
  • Use mild salsa, or even tomato sauce, for a mild dish. Use hot salsa if you prefer more spice. You may omit the green chiles if you wish, but they are typically pretty mild (unless they are labeled hot).
  • Corn does not have to be completely thawed. I typically toss it in a colander on top of the black beans and rinse everything together, which partially thaws the corn.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 1011mg | Potassium: 772mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 517IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 4mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on September 2, 2014, and updated on March 5, 2021, and October 23, 2023.

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5 from 13 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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24 Comments

  1. Made a batch for home and some for my client. Everyone said make it again. It was so easy and had a wonderful taste and can be pretty healthy. Just buy low sodium and home make as much as possible. Great meal, can always add a salad.

  2. 5 stars
    This was so good! The cheesy green chile cornbread topping was our favorite part. We all agreed that it was a nice change for Taco Tuesday!

  3. 5 stars
    My mom made a recipe like this when I was a kid so I was happy to find it! My whole family enjoyed this casserole and said I can make it again, which is always a win. 🙂

    1. Sure! Just make sure you cook it before freezing, so that the topping is baked cornbread and not raw batter. Alternatively, you can just freeze the meat mixture and then make the cornbread batter and bake when you're ready to serve. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I tried your recipe yesterday for a pot luck and it was a HUGE hit. I also made a vegetarian version using chopped cremini mushrooms and it turned out well. Thanks for sharing!

    1. So happy to hear it, Kathi! And I love the idea of your cremini mushroom version...thanks for sharing that! 🙂

    1. Ha, Karen...thanks! That little hand found its way into a lot of my food photos over the years... 😉

  5. Hello. My question is when adding the ingredients I noticed it didn't say add water. Was this accidentally omitted? I added about 1/2 cup since the taco mix called for 1cup.
    Let me know
    Thanks
    Charles

    1. Hi Charles! Great question. 🙂 I usually don't add water with the taco seasoning when making this recipe since the salsa is already pretty liquid-y. That being said, feel free to add some water if it seems to help the beef absorb the taco seasoning. I don't think you can go wrong either way. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed this recipe, and I hope you have a great rest of the week!

  6. 5 stars
    My picky eaters and I all loved this recipe! My entire menu for the week is from your blog! Can't wait to try the King Ranch Chicken and the Chicken Spaghetti. I have never made either and I'm sure your recipes are the best to start with!

    1. I'm so happy that y'all enjoyed this, Tina! I hope that the rest of your menu this week goes over just as well... 😉 It makes my day to hear that you're having success with my recipes. Thanks for taking the time to let me know, and I hope you're having a wonderful week!

    1. I'm so happy to hear that, Cara! I'm glad that your family enjoyed this and I really appreciate you taking the time to come back and let me know. 🙂 Hope your week is off to a great start!

  7. Delicious! I love anything with the flavors of Mexican food! Pinning for later....have a wonderful rest of the week!

    1. Thank you, Deb...I hope you enjoy this one! Hope you've had a great week and that your weekend is even better! 🙂