Taco Cornbread Casserole

My roommate in college made the most amazing taco casserole on the planet. I wish that I was exaggerating, but I promise you I’m not. She made it for me a few times, but I never got the recipe from her. That turned out to be a very bad mistake on my part, because about halfway through our lease, we had a pretty bad falling out. I haven’t talked to the girl in almost three years. It’s really sad for several reasons. She loved holidays and doing cute things and we once had a Tropical Vacation day in the middle of December. (I actually think we might have had The Taco Casserole this very night!) She was actually really great looking back – how cute were we?!
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It’s also sad that we don’t talk anymore, because I never got the recipe for The Taco Casserole! I know, I know, bad decisions all around on my part.

So I spent almost an entire year searching the internet for the perfect taco casserole. There are a LOT of versions out there, but none of them sounded quite right.

Then I found this one. It’s not the same as my friend’s, because I’m pretty sure hers had olives and possibly sour cream, but this one is pretty darn amazing! This taco casserole has become a staple in my household! I make it pretty regularly because it only requires cheap and readily available ingredients, it makes several meals’ worth of food and if I prepare it in advance, my fiance can make it all by himself when I’m out of town. Win, win, win. It’s also one of those throw-in-what-you-got kind of meals, so the exact formula changes with my mood and pantry inventory.

This recipe was something I just had to share with you. Now, I know it’s not the prettiest looking thing, but I promise you’ll love it!

What are some staples in your dinner cookbook?!

*   *   *
Taco Casserole

1 or 2 green peppers, chopped (the official recipe calls for 3, but I usually just throw in what I have, and that’s usually 1 – 2, and that’s usually just fine.)
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can refried beans (optional – could be subbed with chicken, if you’re a carnivore)
1 jar salsa
1 packet taco season (the official recipe calls for 1/2 a pack, but my fiance and I love spices, so I use the whole thing)
8 ounces cheese, shredded (I usually use pepper jack, colby jack or cheddar)
2 packages corn bread mix
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Then saute the peppers and onions until fork-tender, about 5 minutes.
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Next, add your drained black beans, drained corn, refried beans, salsa and taco seasoning. Cook and stir until everything is heated through and your refried beans melt into the mix. (Be sure you pan is nice and big! Mine is a very tight squeeze!)
IMG_4775Pour the mixture in the bottom of pan. The size of the pan will depend on how much stuff you throw into the mix. I used to use a 8×8 baking pan, but I have since moved over to a 13×9 inch pan instead.

Cover the mixture with shredded cheese.
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Prepare cornbread mix by stirring in the eggs and milk. Gently spoon on top of the mixture and spread evenly.
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Pop in a 325˚ oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown.
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Enjoy!

(Please dont judge me for using Christmas plates! They’re just the perfect bowl-plate-fusion dish that I own!)
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