recipe: spicy southwestern cornbread skillet

I’m all about keeping things easy for mealtime. After all, it’s not easy being pregnant AND chasing a very active toddler around all day.

Skillets are an awesome way to create a nutritious meal in one pan. 

And while corn (and cornbread) doesn’t really have any nutritional value, it’s delicious AF and I’ve been craving it hardcore during this pregnancy. So, why not make it a small component in an otherwise-healthy meal?



-4 cloves garlic, minced

-1/4 yellow onion, diced

-1 jalapeño pepper, sliced

-handful of green onions, roughly chopped

-1 red pepper, diced

-1 green pepper, diced

-1 lb. ground beef

-1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

-2 tbsp. butter

-1/4 tsp. paprika

-1/2 tsp. chili powder

-2 tbsp. tomato paste

-salt and pepper to taste 

-cornbread mix (and whatever ingredients your specific mix calls for)


Step 1: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Then, heat a cast-iron skillet over a medium flame.

Don’t have a cast-iron skillet? This is the one we have and we love it.

Step 2: mince garlic, dice onion and red/green peppers, slice jalapeño and chop green onions.

Step 3: once skillet is fully heated, melt butter. Add garlic and onion to skillet with melted butter. Stir frequently, cooking until fragrant (about 1 minute). 

Side note: I like my peppers on the firm side, so I won’t add them until a bit later. If you prefer yours to be softer, I’d suggest adding them now. Just remember that the jalapeño will go in your cornbread mix – DON’T add that to your skillet.

Step 4: Add ground beef to skillet. Chop it thoroughly with your spatula, ensuring it’s completely broken up. Add paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Stir occasionally, cooking until beef is completely brown (no pink or red) – about 5-ish minutes.

Step 5: add red/green peppers and tomato paste to skillet. Mix skillet contents thoroughly. Cook 1-2 minutes.

Step 6: meanwhile, mix your cornbread batter together according to the directions on the box. Once mixed, add jalapeño slices and chopped green onions. Mix thoroughly.

Side note: my toddler gladly eats semi-spicy food, but if your kids aren’t into that, you can easily skip the jalapeños.

Step 7: add cheese to skillet and stir.

Step 8: remove skillet from heat. Spoon approximately half of the cornbread mixture over skillet, leaving sides uncovered (this helps with venting, plus it looks neat once it’s cooked). 

Use remaining mixture to make individual muffins, if you wish.

Step 9: move skillet to oven and cook for 18-22 minutes. Cornbread will be golden brown and produce a clean toothpick upon insertion. 

Step 10: serve with sour cream, or, just melt a pad of butter over the top! Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, right in the skillet, for 1-2 days before the cornbread starts getting soggy.

Hey kids! Just a heads up that this post may contain affiliate links to products I love and use. If you take action after clicking one of these links (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase, etc.) I’ll earn a bit of a commission, which helps me keep this blog up and running – so you can keep finding dope recipes and helpful information! Thanks in advance for supporting The Northeast Ginger – xoxo Gossip Girl

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