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!
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 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:
- 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.
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!)
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.
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.
- Brown and drain the ground beef.
- Stir in salsa and taco seasoning, then bring to a low simmer.
- Stir in beans, corn, and (if using) black olives.
- While the ground beef mixture is going, whip up a batch of cornbread.
- Mix in diced green chiles and plenty o' grated cheddar cheese for good measure.
- Transfer the ground beef mixture to a prepared baking dish.
- Spread the cornbread batter on top.
- Bake the whole shebang until it achieves a lovely shade of golden brown and the cornbread topping tests done with a toothpick.
- 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!
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!
More Simple, Comforting Suppers
- 30-Minute Skillet Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Chicken & White Bean Chili
- Ground Beef Stroganoff
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich Au Jus
- Italian Baked Chicken
Loaded Mexican Cornbread Casserole (Easy + Flavorful!)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Post originally published on September 2, 2014, and updated on March 5, 2021, and October 23, 2023.