Corn bread hamburger casserole is a hearty and comforting dish that brings together the wholesome flavors of ground beef, savory vegetables, and the delightful sweetness of cornbread. This one-dish wonder is not only easy to make but also a crowd-pleaser, making it the perfect addition to your family’s dinner table or potluck gatherings.
The Appeal of Corn Bread Hamburger Casserole
Corn bread hamburger casserole is a classic American comfort food that marries the familiar tastes of a juicy hamburger with the satisfying texture of cornbread. The dish is known for its simplicity, versatility, and ability to be customized with your favorite ingredients. It is a delicious way to bring warmth and flavor to any mealtime.
Ingredients for Corn Bread Hamburger Casserole:
- 1 pound (450g) lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 package (8.5 oz) cornbread mix (or you can use homemade cornbread batter)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional toppings: sliced green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream
Preheat and Prep: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or casserole dish with cooking spray or butter.
Brown the Ground Beef: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until it’s no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the skillet.
Add Vegetables and Seasonings: Add the chopped onion and diced red bell pepper to the skillet with the ground beef. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are softened.
Combine with Corn and Tomatoes: Stir in the thawed corn kernels and drained diced tomatoes into the beef and vegetable mixture. Cook for another couple of minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
Layer the Casserole: Transfer the beef and vegetable mixture to the greased baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the mixture.
Prepare the Cornbread Batter: In a separate bowl, prepare the cornbread batter according to the package instructions. Usually, this involves combining the cornbread mix with milk, egg, and vegetable oil until well mixed.
Top with Cornbread Batter: Pour the prepared cornbread batter evenly over the beef and vegetable layer in the baking dish.
Bake and Serve: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the cornbread is golden and cooked through. Insert a toothpick into the cornbread; if it comes out clean, the casserole is ready.
Garnish and Enjoy: Once the casserole is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Slice and serve while still warm.
Customizing the Casserole:
The beauty of corn bread hamburger casserole lies in its versatility. You can customize the dish to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs. Here are a few ideas for variations:
- Vegetarian Version: Substitute the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or add extra vegetables like mushrooms and zucchini.
- Spice it Up: Add some diced jalapenos or a dash of chili powder to give the casserole a spicy kick.
- Cheesy Twist: Mix different types of cheese or use a cheese blend to create a gooey and flavorful topping.
Conclusion: A Hearty Family Favorite
Corn bread hamburger casserole is a beloved comfort food that brings together the heartiness of beef, the sweetness of cornbread, and the richness of cheese in a delightful harmony of flavors. This easy-to-make casserole is not only satisfying and delicious but also perfect for feeding a hungry crowd or enjoying as a comforting family dinner. With its versatility and customizability, it’s sure to become a treasured addition to your recipe collection. So, gather your ingredients, preheat the oven, and savor the warmth and deliciousness of corn bread hamburger casserole!