John Wayne Casserole: A Hearty and Flavorful Tex-Mex Dish

Prepare to wrangle your taste buds with the bold flavors of John Wayne Casserole, a Tex-Mex-inspired dish that’s both hearty and delicious. This casserole, named after the iconic Western film star, is layered with savory goodness such as seasoned ground beef, zesty salsa, creamy sour cream, and gooey melted cheese. Topped with a golden crust of cornbread, it’s a meal fit for a cowboy (or cowgirl) that will satisfy even the most voracious appetite. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or feeding a crowd at a potluck, John Wayne Casserole is sure to be a hit.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup cornbread mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish, optional)


  1. Preheat the Oven:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  1. Cook the Ground Beef:
  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned and cooked through, breaking it up into crumbles with a spoon as it cooks.
  • Add the diced onion and red bell pepper to the skillet with the ground beef and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Drain any excess grease from the skillet.
  1. Season the Beef Mixture:
  • Sprinkle the taco seasoning mix over the beef mixture in the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  1. Assemble the Casserole:
  • Transfer the seasoned beef mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly in the bottom.
  • Spread the salsa over the beef mixture, followed by the sour cream.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses over the top.
  1. Prepare the Cornbread Topping:
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cornbread mix, milk, and egg until well blended.
  1. Spread the Cornbread Batter:
  • Carefully spread the cornbread batter over the top of the cheese layer in the baking dish, covering it completely.
  1. Bake the Casserole:
  • Transfer the baking dish to the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cornbread topping is golden brown and cooked through.
  1. Garnish and Serve:
  • Remove the John Wayne Casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired, before serving.
  1. Slice and Enjoy:
  • Slice the casserole into squares and serve hot, savoring the delicious Tex-Mex flavors with every bite.

John Wayne Casserole is a hearty and flavorful dish that exemplifies Tex-Mex cuisine with its bold flavors and comforting layers. This casserole is sure to be a hit, whether served as a family dinner or at a potluck. So gather your ingredients and prepare to impress with this delicious and filling John Wayne Casserole!