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Fiesta Casserole with Cheddar Cornbread Crust

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Fiesta Casserole with Cheddar Cornbread Crust

Fiesta Casserole with Cheddar Cornbread Crust

Jessica Braider
Scramble fan Betsy Goldstein shared that serves this casserole to her hungry boys all the time. It’s sweet and zesty Southwestern comfort food, and it also looks quite lovely coming out of the oven, so it would be great to serve to guests (you may want to double the recipe).
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Tex Mex
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 lb. ground turkey, lean beef, or meatless crumbles
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced 1 cup
  • 1 pkg. (8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy) or make the batter for The Scramble’s Sweet Whole Wheat Cornbread (see below)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz, canned diced green chilies optional
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup salsa (look for brands with no sugar added), plus additional for serving
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh, frozen, or canned,
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach thawed and pressed to remove excess liquid


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a nonstick skillet, cook the meat and onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the meat is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, prepare the muffin batter according to package directions or The Scramble’s Sweet Whole Wheat Cornbread , stirring in the cheese and chilies (optional).
  • Drain any excess liquid from the meat if necessary, mix the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, salsa, corn, and spinach into the skillet, and cook for 1 – 2 more minutes, until heated through.
  • Transfer the meat mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish, smooth it down, and top it evenly with the corn muffin batter. (Note: the casserole can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking, if desired.)
  • Bake it, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve it immediately with additional salsa, if desired, refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • There is no need to pre-cook the meat and onions. Prepare the muffin batter as directed, adding the cheese and chilies (optional). Leaving the batter for last, combine all the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker, stir to combine, then top it evenly with the batter. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 6 hours. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion, shred the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, combine the spices, thaw the spinach, prepare and refrigerate the meat mixture, assemble and refrigerate the dish, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add the optional green chilies and use pepper jack cheese instead of Cheddar cheese.
Tip: Betsy buys large packs of ground beef, browns it with garlic and onions, divides it into 1 pound portions and freezes it.  That way, when she needs it for a recipe that calls for ground beef, all she needs to do is defrost it and combine it with the other ingredients called for in the recipe.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 355, Total Fat: 13g, 19%; Saturated Fat: 6g, 31%; Cholesterol: 62mg, 20.5%; Sodium: 909mg, 38%; Total Carbohydrate: 39g, 13%; Dietary Fiber: 3g, 12%; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 33g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword Dinner, Fall, Freezer-Friendly, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Potluck/Buffet, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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