A square helping of chili cooked with ground turkey, peppers, onions, and cheese baked with a chive cornbread topping served on a white plate with some green jalapenos and a lime

Tex Mex Casserole

A delicious combination of ground meat, peppers, onions, corn and cheese baked with a chive cornbread topping


This recipe was actually thought up in a long, traffic packed car ride home from work, many years ago

My cousins from the city would laugh at what we think of as traffic since we live in upstate New York, which means single lanes, slow drivers and school buses…

But however you define traffic, whether city or country, it is the perfect time to come up with ideas and in this case recipes

We were thinking tacos, or maybe quesadillas, hmmm, possibly chili perhaps? I knew we had some good tex mex style ingredients but we wanted something different

Well, we just love corn bread….and chili and cornbread really hit it off, so an idea formed

The Tex Mex casserole!

The best parts of tacos, chili and cornbread all brought together in delicious harmony

Lets start with the basics

We will need 1 red bell pepper, 1 large onion, 2 garlic cloves and 1 jalapeno

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Cut the stem from the jalapeno, cut the pepper in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds and ribs

Leaving the ribs in the pepper will actually add to it’s heat

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Remove the seeds from the bell pepper, remove the skin from the onions and garlic and give everyone a chop

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Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat and add in the veggies

Sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper

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Cook 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables start to caramelize and the onions are slightly translucent

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During these “interesting times” we are dealing with we like to try and get some leftovers out of a meal so we are using 3 pounds of groud turkey

You can certainly use any type of ground meat just keep in mind to drain off some of the fat if using ground beef

If you using less then 3 pounds adjust the seasoning to taste

Add the meat to the pan

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Flip and turn the meat and cook 8-10 minutes breaking it up into smaller pieces as you go

Once the meat is all browned I like to use a potato masher to finish breaking it up

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Next we are going to need 3-4 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning (taste as you go, you can add more, but you can’t take away), 1/2 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of Gravy Master and 2 cups corn (frozen or canned)

If using canned corn drain it

You can make your own taco seasoning by clicking the link below

Taco Seasoning

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Add the taco seasoning, water and Gravy Master to the meat and stir to combine

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Add in the corn and mix to combine

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Next up is our favorite part

Cheese!!!

We are using 8 ounces of shredded extra sharp white cheddar

We suggest buying an 8 ounce block and shredding it yourself as it tastes way better then the pre-shredded cheese in the bags

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Add the cheese to the pan

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Fold the cheese into the meat mixture, remove from the heat and set aside

What do you mean by fold it in?

Folding is a method of combining two or more ingredients of different thickness and weight using a spoon or in this case a rubber scraper to gently to get them mixed together without ruining the integrity of the ingredients

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Preheat your oven to 400 F

Typically we would make homemade corn bread to top the meat with but times being as they are we didn’t have all the ingredients we needed

What we did have was a couple of boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix which happens to be a great brand and will work just fine especially when we spruce it up a bit

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In a large bowl empty out the contents of the corn muffin mix

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Next add in 2 eggs and 2/3 cups of milk

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Whisk the ingredients together

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Now for the sprucing up part I mentioned earlier

We happened to have a bountiful amount of chives this spring

I mean like no kidding

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So we grabbed a bunch and gave them a fine chop

You can be as creative as you want with corn bread batter and add in fresh cilantro or diced jalapeno, etc

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Fold the chopped chives into the batter

Let the batter rest for around 10 minutes, this will allow it to rise a bit and not be as dense

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I transferred the meat mixture into a large baking dish sprayed with cooking oil

Now I could have used the pan since it is oven proof but I wanted a more even layer of corn bread and it will be easier to cut out squares

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Pour in the batter and spread evenly to cover the meat

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Place in the oven

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Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a tester comes out of the corn bread clean

Let this rest for 10 minutes before cutting

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Serve and dig in!!

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A square helping of chili cooked with ground turkey, peppers, onions, and cheese baked with a chive cornbread topping served on a white plate with some green jalapenos and a lime

Enjoy!!!

Simply Sundays! ~ Tex Mex Casserole

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients

For the Meat Mixture

3 pounds of ground turkey

1 red bell pepper

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1 jalapeno

sprinkle each of kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3-4 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning

1/2 cup of water

3 tablespoons of Gravy Master

2 cups of corn (drained)

8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese

For the Cornbread

2 –  8.5 ounce boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix

2 eggs

2/3 cup of milk

1 large bunch of fresh chives chopped (optional)

Directions

For the Meat Mixture

Cut the stem from the jalapeno, cut the pepper in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds and ribs.  Remove the seeds and top from 1 red bell pepper, remove the skin from 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves and give everyone a chop including the jalapeno

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat and add in the veggies.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper.  Cook 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables start to caramelize and the onions are slightly translucent

Add 3 pounds of ground turkey (or a ground meat of your choice).  Flip and turn the meat and cook 8-10 minutes breaking it up into smaller pieces as you go.  Once the meat is all browned I like to use a potato masher to finish breaking it up

To the meat add in 3-4 tablespoons of taco seasoning, 1/2 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of Gravy Master and mix to combine. Add in the corn mix.  Grate 8 ounces of extra sharp cheddar cheese, fold into the meat mixture and remove from the heat

Preheat your oven to 400 F

For the Cornbread

In a large bowl empty out the contents of two 8.5 ounce boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix.  Add in 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of milk.   Whisk the ingredients together.  Fold in 1 large bunch of fresh chopped chives.  Let the batter rest for around 10 minutes, this will allow it to rise a bit and not be as dense

Place the meat mixture in a large baking dish that was sprayed with cooking oil. Pour the cornbread batter over the top of the meat and spread out to evenly cover. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a tester comes out of the corn bread clean

Let this rest for 10 minutes before cutting

Tools used to make this recipe

Cuisinart Boxed Grater

Architec Carving Board, Gripperwood

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Mini Prep Glass Bowl

NuWave Flex Precision Induction Cooktop

KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel Wire Masher, Black – KN008OHOBA

Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup, Red Graphics, Clear

Silicone Flexible Rubber Baking Spatula

OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk

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