Home Healthy food Cowboy Dinner {Cornbread Beef and Bean Casserole}

Cowboy Dinner {Cornbread Beef and Bean Casserole}

by Contributing Author

The Cowboy Dinner is a hearty casserole of flavorful beef, corn and beans topped with layers of soft, fluffy cornbread and cheese. very delicious!

This easy and comfort food casserole has been a family favorite for over 20 years. For a long time, you’ve known recipes must be keepers!

Layers of beef and beans

This casserole consists of two parts. First layer of beef and beans.

It’s very easy. Cook ground beef and onions together, then add:

  • beans (pintos are my favorite for this recipe, but black, kidney, and white beans work too)
  • frozen corn
  • salsa

Important note: Pick your favorite salsa, as most of the flavor of the beef and bean filling comes from its ingredients.

Salsa, pinto beans, corn and beef in a stainless pot.

cornbread layer

Next is the cornbread layer! Taking notes from this favorite cornbread recipe, the cornbread topping is an easy one-bowl recipe.

Dry ingredients:

  • cornmeal
  • flour
  • sugar
  • baking powder + salt

Wet ingredients:

  • oil or melted butter
  • egg
  • milk or buttermilk

As with good cornbread, don’t overmix the dough. Stir until combined to make the baked cornbread light and fluffy.

Place the cornbread batter in a glass bowl and whisk.

Assembling a cowboy dinner

Do not blink. You’ll miss it (it’s very easy).

  1. beef and bean filling
  2. shredded cheese
  3. Corn bread

Adding cheese adds a creamy texture factor between the filling and the cornbread, as well as a pleasantly salty flavor.

Glass bread mixed with beef, beans and corn. Glass bread with cheese on top of beef mix. A glass pan with cornbread dough on top of a casserole. Baked cornbread casserole and glass pan.

Weeknight Wonder

This simple and satisfying cornbread casserole may not win any gourmet food awards, but it’s a great weeknight meal that’s super tasty.

It also makes a great takeout meal. Very family friendly. I have brought it to many new moms and friends in need over the years.

The filling is not overly saucy. It’s delicious on its own, but if you like a more saucy filling, add 1-2 cups of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce (seasoning salt, pepper, and tomato sauce as needed). Add other seasonings).

PS: This cowboy dinner also makes a great Dutch oven meal for camping, and lends itself well to the cornbread, beef, and beans chalkwagon vibe.

9X13 inch glass pan filled with beef, beans, corn, salsa and cornbread.

5 star review

See other rave reviews of this casserole (don’t just take my word for it!).

Winnie says: I never thought I would find an empty pot with a request to have it made once a week. they loved it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

J. Wayne says: It’s been a family staple for years. Sometimes I add a little more filling and a little less topping. It depends on how adventurous we are. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

chrissy says: After I gave birth to my second child, a neighbor made it for me. It’s been a staple in our house since the moment the air became fresh. I made this for a friend who is going through a heartbreak or childbirth. Ultimate comfort food! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

tian says: thank you very much! My whole family loves this recipe and makes it often! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A fork sip of beef and bean casserole topped with cornbread.

1 year ago: Cranberry Pomegranate Salad
Two years ago: Amazingly Easy Fluffy Blender Roll {My Thanksgiving Roll}
3 years ago: Chewy Malt Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar
four years ago: Fresh Cranberry Apple Relish
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8 years ago: Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie
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10 years ago: Chocolate and Coconut Cream Pie Bar

Cornbread topped beef and bean casserole and fork on white plate.

Cowboy Dinner {Cornbread Beef and Bean Casserole}

Beef mixture:

  • 1½ to 2 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tea spoon salt
  • ½ tea spoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 ½ cup salsa, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, pinto beans, white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread toppings:

  • ½ cup (85 g) cornmeal
  • 1 ½ cup (213 g) flour
  • cup (71 g) Granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Baking powder
  • ½ tea spoon salt
  • cup oil
  • 2 big egg
  • cup milk
  • Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch skillet and set aside.

  • In a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef, onions, salt, and pepper until meat is fully cooked. Drain the grease from the pan.

  • Stir in corn, salsa, and beans. Spread beef mixture evenly over prepared pan and set aside.

  • For cornbread, whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a hollow in the center and add oil, eggs and milk. Whisk until combined (do not overmix).

  • Sprinkle cheese over beef mixture. Pour the cornbread dough over the top and spread it evenly around the edges.

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until cornbread is browned. Inserting a toothpick into the center should clean it and the top should bounce lightly. Let the casserole rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serving: 1 serving, calorie: 477kcal, carbohydrate: 43g, protein: 29g, thick: twenty oneg, saturated fat: 6g, cholesterol: 110mg, sodium: 1137mg, fiber: 3g, sugar: 14g

follow @MelsKitchen Cafe On Instagram, use the hashtag to show the recipes you are making from my blog #mel kitchen cafeI love seeing all the goodness you are creating in your kitchen!

Recipe source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

The recipe was first posted in January 2011. Updated November 2022 with new photos, recipe notes, and more.

Dinner with beans and corn cornbread on a white plate.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.com and affiliate sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn income from qualifying purchases.

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