Southwestern Cornbread Casserole

Finished casserole

This recipe will provide your family with a hardy fall meal with plenty for left-overs.  Spice it up or tone it down.  Use shredded beef, chicken, pork, hamburger, or left over turkey.  It is a great way to use whatever you have on hand and create a delicious meal.

Grinding Corn

We love cornbread made from fresh-ground corn or popcorn using my WonderMill. I use the “course” setting to get a bit more texture from the corn.  Use your favorite cornbread recipe for this casserole or the one I have posted that is adapted from a recipe in The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon.

If you wish a thinner layer of cornbread, cut down the cornbread recipe by 1/3 to 1/2.  I use melted lard in the bottom of a hot skillet because we like a crispy crust.  We store powdered buttermilk and use it for cornbread instead of regular buttermilk which I rarely have in the refrigerator.  You may adjust the sugar up or down depending on how sweet you like cornbread.


I created the filling using some ingredients we had available from the garden (chili peppers, garlic, egg from my chickens), the freezer (left-over chuck roast), and the pantry.  I used cans of corn, enchilada sauce and black beans.  If I had more time, I would have cooked dried black beans.

If you or your family prefer your food without any hot peppers, replace the chili peppers with green and red bell peppers.  You can also use tomato sauce instead of enchilada sauce, although you may want to add some additional herbs for flavor.

I used cheddar cheese and queso blanco (Mexican white cheese) because that is what I had available.  Other cheeses may be substituted or added such as Jack Cheese.

I baked the cornbread separately while heating all the ingredients for the filling using a 13″ cast iron skillet.

Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread base

1 1/2 cups fresh-ground cornmeal

1/2 cup fresh-ground Prairie Gold hard white wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cultured buttermilk blend powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups water (or 1 1/4 cups buttermilk deleting the buttermilk powder above.)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 small cans diced green chili peppers (optional)

2 tablespoons lard (or coconut oil, bacon drippings, vegetable oil)

  1. Preheat the oven and cast iron skillet with the 2 tablespoons of lard to 375°.
  2. Sift or blend together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and buttermilk powder. (I use a wire whip.)
  3. In a smaller bowl, stir the baking soda into the water. Whisk in the sugar, egg, oil and canned peppers.
  5. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and tilt to coat the bottom and sides with the lard.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine them quickly, using as few strokes as possible.  Quickly scrape the batter into the skillet and bake until the cornbread is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Casserole Filling

Meat filling heating in skillet

2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

1 large onion, diced

3 large chili peppers, diced

1-2 jalapeno peppers, small diced

2-3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 lbs cooked shredded beef (or chicken, pork, hamburger, turkey)

1 tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 15 oz can corn, drained

1 15 oz can black beans, drained

2-3 10 oz cans red enchilada sauce (Green sauce is good with chicken.)

3-4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, queso blanco, etc.)

  1. Heat oil in large skillet.  Add diced onions and peppers to cook over medium heat until soft.  Add garlic and heat for 30 to 60 seconds.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until all ingredients are hot.
  3. Before going in oven

    Spread hot meat filling over baked cornbread.  Cover with shredded cheese.

  4. Put the skillet of cornbread and filling in 400° oven.  Bake until cheese melts and starts to bubble about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let the casserole set for 5 or 10 minutes.  Slice and serve with sour cream, sliced green onions, or diced chili peppers.





About NC Preppers

NC Preppers live on top of a hill in Western North Carolina. They lived and worked most of their adult lives in and around large cities.  They are now happily settled in the country with no other houses in sight waking to the crowing of their rooster and going to sleep listening to a whippoorwill.

They grow much of their own food and have become more self-sufficient.  Their prepping has evolved over 30 years from primarily food storage to a more sustainable lifestyle including grinding grain to bake all their own bread and other grain products.  They enjoy cooking and baking, experimenting with a variety of techniques. They make favorite, traditional recipes healthier, tastier, and more frugal by using a wide variety of fresh-ground whole grains. They share much of what they have learned on their blog, NCPreppers ( and Facebook page (

I was honored to be accepted as a contributor to the Grain Mill Wagon challenge and join the ranks of some friends who I admire for their whole grain cooking skills. I learned a lot as I researched recipes and experimented using my WonderMill Grain Mill. I continue to learn and enjoy browsing through all the wonderful recipes other people have posted on the Grain Mill Wagon. The recipes I posted are all meant to be used as a starting point for your own exploration based on the ingredients you have on hand and your family's preferences. I tried to suggest options and encourage creativity. Cooking from scratch is fun and shouldn't be intimidating. The WonderMill has become my favorite mill for grinding popcorn, wheat, and spelt. It is easy to operate, maintain, and clean. If you are lucky enough to have a WonderMill Grain Mill, store it someplace convenient so it becomes an important tool in providing economical, healthy food for your family.
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One Response to Southwestern Cornbread Casserole

  1. yogi walker says:

    love these wonderful recipes!

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