Monday, August 31, 2009

Sausage & Bean Casserole: Recipe & Review

This is a brand-new recipe for me.  I found it in a copy of Southern Living (Aug 2009?) that I was browsing during DD's dance class the other day.  I've tweaked it a bit to use fewer pre-packaged products.  If you're not limited by allergy issues as we are, by all means take advantage of those time savers though!

Sausage & Bean Casserole (serves 8)
1 lb ground pork (original:  1 lb bulk pork sausage)
Breakfast Sausage Spice Mix
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
4-5 c cooked pinto beans (original:  4, 14.5oz cans of beans, drained)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes w/ green chiles, undrained
Cornbread Batter (original:  1 c self-rising cornmeal + 1 c buttermilk)
6-8oz cheddar cheese (opt.)

Breakfast Sausage Spice Mix
1 1/2 t fennel seeds
1/2 t caraway seeds
1 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t ground all spice
1/2 t ground sage
1/2 t garlic powder

Cornbread Batter (this is half a normal cornbread recipe)
1/2 c AP flour
1/2 c cornmeal
2 T sugar (opt)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 c milk
2 T oil/melted shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Brown pork, breaking up as it cooks.  I didn't drain it since it seemed pretty lean and I needed some fat for the veggies. 
  3. Add in the diced onion, bell pepper, and spice mix.  Cook until vegetables are softened.
  4. Stir in beans and tomatoes.  Heat through.
  5. Place meat & bean mixture in a 9x13 casserole dish.  Top with cheese if using.  Pour cornbread batter over the top.  Spread it with a spatula to cover the top of the casserole. 
  6. Bake til cornbread is golden, 30-45 minutes.
The Verdict:  Adults -- A, Kids -- F
DH and I very much liked it although with the diced tomatoes w/ chiles it was "tingley" as my DH said.  Definitely use just regular tomatoes if you're not into hot.  This was an absolute failure with the kids.  I'm not surprised about DD not liking it, but I thought DS would go for it since he likes beans.  Not today.  They might have liked it better with more kid friendly vegetables (I'm thinking corn or similar). 

Also, I discovered that the cheese layer actually serves the important role of allowing the cornbread to really set up by keeping the liquids from the casserole from making the bottom soggy. 


  1. Katie, I think this sounds great! I may borrow (steal!) the recipe from you, with a couple of my own tweeks - homemade breakfast sausage (of which we have PLENTY in the freezer!), fresh tomatoes (since they're taking over my kitchen!), and maybe some fresh corn mixed into the cornbread topping. . .

  2. Please...borrow away. Fresh corn in the cornbread sounds great. And the amount of cornbread batter the recipe above makes really only just coats the top, so if you really like cornbread I'd go with double that amount.


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