John Wayne Casserole Recipe

The John Wayne Casserole is a hearty, comforting dish that combines savory ground beef, creamy soup, and a cheesy cornbread topping, all spiced up with green chilies. It’s a filling meal that’s perfect for family dinners or potlucks. Here’s how you can make it:


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cornbread mix
  • 1 (4 ounce) can of diced green chilies
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, sliced black olives


  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Cook the Beef:
    • In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef along with the diced onion and bell pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are soft. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Mix the Beef Layer:
    • Add the diced green chilies to the beef mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread this mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  4. Prepare the Creamy Layer:
    • In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. Spread this mixture over the beef layer in the baking dish.
  5. Add Cheese:
    • Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the creamy layer.
  6. Prepare the Cornbread:
    • Prepare the cornbread mix according to package instructions. Spread the cornbread batter over the cheese layer, covering it completely.
  7. Bake:
    • Place the casserole in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cornbread topping is golden and cooked through.
  8. Add Optional Toppings:
    • If desired, add optional toppings such as diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, and sliced black olives in the last 10 minutes of baking or just before serving.
  9. Serve:
    • Let the casserole cool slightly before serving. This allows the layers to set a bit, making it easier to cut and serve.


  • Cornbread Mix: Ensure that the cornbread mix is spread evenly to create a nice topping layer. If the mix is too thick, add a little milk to make it spreadable.
  • Serving Suggestions: This casserole pairs well with a simple side salad or steamed vegetables to balance out the meal.
  • Variations: Feel free to customize the casserole by adding different types of cheese, using cream of chicken soup instead of mushroom, or adding jalapeños for extra heat.


The John Wayne Casserole is a beloved classic that offers a delicious blend of flavors and textures. It’s easy to make and sure to please a crowd with its cheesy, meaty goodness topped with a comforting layer of cornbread. Enjoy this tasty casserole at your next family gathering or weeknight dinner!