We're not telling you anything you don't already know by saying that a casserole is one of the easiest ways to get a weeknight dinner on the table. It's filling, economical, and there's enough to feed a crowd (or have leftovers the next day). This tasty cornbread enchilada casserole combines Mexican enchiladas with a cornbread base for a fast dinner that the whole family will love. Some even call it tamale pie!
What makes this comfort food casserole even easier is that you start with a box of cornbread mix or box corn muffin mix. Jiffy is our favorite cornbread recipe, but use what you've got. The sour cream gives the cornbread a tangy smoothness while the creamed corn gives it a nice texture. In fact, you'll want to prepare your cornbread recipe like this from now on.
Pre-Seasoned Cast iron Skillet
The best part about this recipe is that it's so quick and effortless. Bake the cornbread in a cast iron skillet (or baking dish) in your preheated oven while you prep the enchilada part of the casserole recipe. Ground beef and spices like cumin and chili powder are traditional, but for a vegetarian dish, simply swap out the beef for black beans or pinto beans.
In the mood for a chicken enchilada cornbread casserole? Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the deli and shred it with two forks. Replace the beef for shredded chicken. You can really choose your own variations for this tasty meal, adding in beef if you like or even vegan ground beef for a vegetarian version.
Add jalapeños and green chiles for a nice bite of flavor, and then get ready for the fun part. Assembling the casserole is easy (and, honestly, kind of fun): Poke holes in the cornbread and pour red enchilada sauce over it, then spread the filling on top. Top with shredded cheese such as cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack, then bake. To get that crisp cheesy crust, broil the casserole for the last five minutes. It's the main dish your family will beg you to make weekly!
Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
Although classic red enchilada sauce like Old El Paso goes great in this easy dish, you can also DIY it even further by making your own enchilada sauce. There are many variations for this sauce, but this recipe from Cookie and Kate involves lots of tasty spices and seasonings like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and cinnamon. It also includes olive oil, flour, salt, tomato paste, veggie broth, and vinegar. The spices make for a warm, flavorful sauce full of unique tastes that go great with the cornbread. Plus, the tomato paste adds a tasty base that's hard to beat.
Red enchilada sauce is relatively easy to make- just mix the dry ingredients, broth and tomato paste in a pan, whisking together and bringing to medium-high heat. Whisk often as the sauce thickens and the flavors mix together. Taste as you go and adjust to fit your preferences. If you like a kick, add some extra chili powder, or if you want more tomato flavor, put in some extra tomato paste. The vinegar at the end adds the perfect touch of acidity to offset the warm flavors, making for a delectable sauce that will taste amazing in your cornbread.
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Cornbread Enchilada Skillet
This cornbread enchilada skillet comes together in record time for a quick and easy weeknight dinner everyone will love.
- 1 box corn muffin mix ((We love Jiffy))
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup creamed corn
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 lb jalapeños, chopped
- 1/2 cup green chilis, diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/3 cup red enchilada sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare cornbread base by combining corn muffin mix, sour cream, creamed corn, and one egg. Pour into large cast iron skillet (we used an 11-inch skillet).
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool in pan. In the meantime, prep enchilada base.
- In a separate skillet, sauté onions over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When translucent, add garlic. Cook until fragrant.
- Add ground beef, stirring to break up the meat, and add: cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne.
- Add the jalapeños and the green chilis. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Add 1/2 cup each of the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
- Remove skillet from stovetop to drain excess fat.
- Poke surface of cornbread base with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pour enchilada sauce over the cornbread, making sure to cover the entire surface.
- Spread meat mixture over cornbread base. Top with leftover 1/2 cups of the cheeses. Bake for about 20 minutes. To brown the cheese for a crisper crust, broil for five minutes.
- Top with chopped cilantro. Serve immediately, while warm!
Want to watch us make it? You got it!
If you prefer a less spicy version, you can substitute red and orange bell peppers in place of the green chilis and jalapeños.
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