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BBQ Ground Beef Cornbread Casserole

A ground beef casserole with a barbecue and baked bean filling, sharp cheddar cheese, and a scratch-made buttermilk cornbread crust.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword beef and cornbread casserole, ground beef and cornbread casserole, ground beef casserole, ground beef cornbread casserole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 579kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 8 ounces (about 8 strips) uncooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ of a small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) can baked beans
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, well shaken
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix, NOT plain cornmeal (I prefer White Lily brand)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 2 ½ - 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings in the skillet; discard the rest.
    Crispy chopped bacon draining on paper towels on a plate.
  • Using the same skillet, cook the ground beef, bell pepper, and onion in the reserved bacon drippings over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Drain off excess grease. Stir in bbq sauce, baked beans, and cooked bacon. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and bubbly, about 3-5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
    Bbq ground beef filling with baked beans in a cast iron skillet.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, and egg. Add the self-rising cornmeal mix and sugar. Stir just until combined. Spread the cornbread batter over the top of the cheese and warm beef mixture.
    Wooden spoon stirring together cornbread batter.
  • Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and cooked through, about 35-40 minutes.
    Overhead shot of ground beef cornbread casserole in a white square baking dish.


  • Make sure that you’re using self-rising cornmeal mix — not plain cornmeal. The self-rising mix includes some flour, salt, and leavening agents in addition to the cornmeal.
  • Use a 10-inch cast iron skillet to cook the ground beef filling. Add the cornbread batter on top, and transfer the skillet to the oven. This gives you one less dish to wash at the end, since you don't need the casserole dish.
  • Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste preferences. For instance, you might like to add cayenne to make it spicy, or a dash of cumin for a smokier flavor.
  • Garnish the casserole with your favorite fresh toppings. Good options include fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped green onions or minced red onion, grated cheese, sour cream, diced avocado or guacamole, halved cherry tomatoes, or sliced black olives.
  • Insert a toothpick in the center of your casserole to make sure that the cornbread crust is completely cooked through before removing the dish from the oven. You shouldn’t see any wet batter on the toothpick.
  • If the top of your casserole starts to get too dark before the cornbread is cooked through, tent the top of the dish loosely with foil for the remaining baking time.
  • Cooking for a larger family? Double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch dish. You’ll need to increase the total baking time by a few minutes.


Serving: 1/8 of the casserole | Calories: 579kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 1538mg | Potassium: 721mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 517IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 335mg | Iron: 5mg