Cornbread Taco Bake with Spicy Pinto Beans

I’m spending a leisurely morning sipping on French Pressed coffee while searching through my recipes.  I like to plan out the family menu for at least a week or two at a time. Truth be told, I’ve gotten into a rut lately – we’ve been eating a ton of chicken. That’s okay because we like chicken and there is so much variety in the preparation of poultry. But I wanted something easy that didn’t include boneless chicken breasts in the ingredient list. That’s when I remembered a family favorite that I haven’t made it a while.

This dish is so easy, perfect for a weekday meal.  And I’ve got all the ingredients handy, which is always a plus.  The taco bake has all the yummy ingredients of a taco, but without the shell.  Instead the filling is baked beneath a layer of sweet corn bread. (It reminds me of tamales). I wouldn’t recommend Jiffy Corn Bread and Muffin mix for cornbread – especially when corn bread from scratch isn’t difficult to make.  But for this dish, the mix is the perfect consistency and so super easy to make. On busy week nights, short cuts are always welcome.  The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix because I am a huge fan of Costco – and we use a lot of taco seasoning in our house. If you buy your seasoning in the small packets, one package is all you’ll need.

I like to serve my taco bake with Mexican Style Pinto Beans, the ones you find in a can in the international or Latin section of your supermarket.  The fact that the beans come in a can adds to the convenience since you skip the soaking and long hours of cooking to achieve a soft bean. However; they aren’t spicy enough for my gang.  So I add a little “kick” to the  mix with a little taco seasoning and a chopped roasted jalapeno.  That’s all it takes to make perfectly spiced pinto beans.

To add a little color to the table, toss a simple salad of tender spring greens and bright red tomatoes.  And if you have a little avocado left from the garnish, just throw it into the salad.  It doesn’t get much easier to make a meal the entire family will enjoy.

Cornbread Taco Bake with Spicy Pinto Beans
Cornbread Taco Bake
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning Mix
1 Can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes, drained
1 Cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
1 Can Mexican-Style Corn, drained
1 Box Cornbread and Muffin Mix (such as Jiffy)

Topping (Optional)
8 oz Sour Cream
1 Chopped Avocado
1 Can Sliced Black Olives

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a large cast iron skillet, brown meat over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain well. Add taco seasoning mix. Stir in tomatoes and ½ cup of cheese. Set aside

In a batter bowl, prepare corn muffins according to package directions. Stir in Mexican-Style corn and remaining ½ cup cheese.

Spoon ground beef mixture evenly onto bottom of 8-inch square baking. Top with cornbread mixture, spreading evenly to edge of pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve with Whole spicy pinto beans on the side. Top with chopped tomatoes, sliced olives and sour cream, if desired.

Spicy Pinto Beans
1 Can Mexican Pinto Beans
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1 Jalapeño Pepper, chopped
1 pinch cayenne pepper, if desired

Pour Mexican Pinto Beans into a saucepan. Add seasonings and Jalapeño Pepper. Heat over low heat until hot, stirring occasionally.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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