Cattle Drive Casserole

Looking for a hearty and delicious meal that the whole family will love? Try this Cattle Drive Casserole! Packed with ground beef, beans, corn, and topped with a cheesy cornbread crust, this casserole is perfect for a cozy family dinner. Here’s how to make it.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (8 oz) corn, drained
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chilies, diced
  • 1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 package (8 oz) cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk


1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) to get it ready for baking the casserole.

2. Cook the Beef and Onion: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and chopped onion over medium heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the skillet.

3. Combine Ingredients: Stir in the black beans, corn, green chilies, taco seasoning, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Spread this mixture evenly into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.

4. Prepare the Sour Cream and Salsa Layer: In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and salsa. Spread this mixture over the beef and bean layer in the baking dish.

5. Prepare the Cornbread Topping: In another bowl, prepare the cornbread mix according to the package instructions, using the egg and milk. Spread the cornbread mixture over the sour cream layer in the baking dish.

6. Add the Remaining Cheese: Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top of the cornbread mixture.

7. Bake the Casserole: Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown and cooked through.

8. Serve: Allow the casserole to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy this hearty dish warm for the best flavor.

Serving and Storage Tips :

Serving Suggestions:

Side Dishes:

  • Green Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette pairs well with the hearty casserole.
  • Avocado Slices: Serve with fresh avocado slices for a creamy and nutritious side.
  • Tortilla Chips: Offer a side of tortilla chips for a crunchy contrast. They can also be used to scoop up the casserole.
  • Rice: For an extra hearty meal, serve the casserole alongside some steamed rice.


  • Fresh Cilantro: Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro over the top for a burst of fresh flavor.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Add diced fresh tomatoes for a juicy and refreshing topping.
  • Sliced Green Onions: Garnish with sliced green onions for a bit of mild onion flavor and a pop of color.
  • Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream on top adds a cool and creamy element.


  • Iced Tea: A glass of iced tea complements the savory flavors of the casserole.
  • Lemonade: Refreshing lemonade can balance the richness of the dish.
  • Beer: A cold beer, especially a light lager or Mexican beer, pairs well with the flavors of the casserole.

Storage Tips:


  • Storing Leftovers: Place any leftover casserole in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: To reheat, place a portion of the casserole on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes, or until warm.


  • Freezing the Casserole: You can freeze the baked casserole for up to 2 months. Allow the casserole to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  • Thawing: To thaw, move the casserole to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
  • Reheating from Frozen: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through. Cover with foil if the top begins to brown too much.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Preparing in Advance: You can assemble the casserole up to the point of baking and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, simply add a few extra minutes to the baking time to account for the chilled ingredients.
  • Separate Layers: If you prefer, prepare the beef mixture and the cornbread topping separately. Store them in the refrigerator and assemble just before baking.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure your Cattle Drive Casserole remains delicious whether you’re enjoying it fresh out of the oven or as leftovers.

Variations :

1. Vegetarian Option:

  • Black Bean and Veggie Casserole: Omit the ground beef and add extra black beans, diced bell peppers, and zucchini. Season with taco seasoning as usual and proceed with the recipe. This variation is hearty and packed with flavor, perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking to reduce their meat intake.

2. Chicken Cattle Drive Casserole:

  • Chicken and Cornbread Casserole: Swap out the ground beef for cooked, shredded chicken breast. Season the chicken with taco seasoning for flavor. Layer it with the beans, corn, and green chilies, then top with the sour cream mixture and cornbread topping. Bake as directed. This variation offers a lighter twist on the classic casserole.

3. Tex-Mex Twist:

  • Enchilada Style Casserole: Instead of layering the ingredients, mix everything together in a large bowl. Spread a layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish before adding the beef mixture. Top with shredded cheese and then the cornbread topping. Bake as usual. Serve with additional enchilada sauce and toppings like sliced olives, diced tomatoes, and avocado.

4. Southwest Casserole:

  • Southwest Style Casserole: Add diced jalapeños and bell peppers to the beef mixture for an extra kick of spice. Use pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar for added heat. Top with sliced green onions and cilantro before serving. This variation brings a bold and zesty flavor to the classic casserole.

5. Cheesy Beef and Bean Casserole:

  • Extra Cheese Casserole: Increase the amount of cheese in the recipe for a cheesier dish. Mix some shredded cheese into the beef mixture before layering it in the baking dish. Add an extra layer of cheese on top of the cornbread topping for an indulgent treat. This variation is sure to please cheese lovers!

6. Mediterranean Twist:

  • Mediterranean-Inspired Casserole: Add Mediterranean flavors by using feta cheese instead of cheddar and adding ingredients like diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and artichoke hearts to the beef mixture. Season with oregano and garlic for a Greek-inspired twist. Serve with a side of tzatziki sauce for dipping.

7. Spicy Chipotle Casserole:

  • Chipotle Beef Casserole: Add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the beef mixture for a smoky and spicy flavor. You can also mix chipotle powder into the cornbread batter for an extra kick. Serve with a dollop of sour cream to balance the heat.

8. Taco Pie Casserole:

  • Taco Pie Variation: Instead of layering the ingredients, press the cornbread mixture into the bottom of the baking dish to form a crust. Top with the beef mixture and cheese, then bake until bubbly and golden brown. Serve slices of the casserole with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sliced avocado.

9. Loaded Casserole:

  • Loaded Cattle Drive Casserole: Amp up the toppings by adding crushed tortilla chips or Doritos on top of the cheese before baking. After baking, garnish with sliced green onions, diced avocado, and a dollop of sour cream. This variation adds extra crunch and flavor to the casserole.

10. Breakfast Casserole Twist:

  • Breakfast Style Casserole: Serve the casserole for breakfast by adding cooked breakfast sausage or bacon to the beef mixture. Mix in some scrambled eggs before adding the cornbread topping. Bake as usual and serve with a side of salsa and sliced avocado for a satisfying morning meal.

These variations offer a range of flavors and ingredients to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or try one of these creative twists, Cattle Drive Casserole is sure to be a hit at the dinner table!


1. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef? Yes, ground turkey is a leaner option and works well in this recipe.

2. How can I make this casserole spicier? Add diced jalapeños or use a spicier taco seasoning mix to increase the heat.

3. Can I prepare the casserole in advance? Yes, you can assemble the casserole up to the point of baking and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.

4. What sides go well with this casserole? Serve with a simple green salad, avocado slices, or tortilla chips on the side.

In conclusion, Cattle Drive Casserole is a versatile and satisfying dish that can be customized to suit a variety of tastes and dietary preferences. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with different variations, this hearty casserole is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any meal. With its layers of savory beef, beans, corn, and cheesy cornbread topping, it’s a comforting and flavorful dish that brings families together around the dinner table. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a delicious homemade meal that’s easy to make and full of delicious flavors!