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Cornbread-and-Beef Skillet Pie

Leave the baking sheet in the cabinet, and bake a batch of golden brown cornbread biscuits atop a tasty mix of beef and bell peppers, on the table in 45 minutes. This dinner-in-a-skillet packs generous amounts of beef, mushrooms, and red peppers; the tastes meld with the cornbread biscuits as they bake together.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Cornbread-and-Beef Skillet Pie

Photography: David Loftus

Source: Everyday Food, November 2007


  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 package (10 ounces) white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.

  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add peppers, onion, and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing occasionally.

  3. Raise heat to high; add beef and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons flour and 2/3 cup water; season with salt and pepper.

  4. Make cornmeal batter: Add sour cream and egg to reserved cornmeal mixture; stir just until moistened. Drop tablespoons of batter over beef mixture in skillet, 1 inch apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Reviews (26)

  • irisflowers1 5 May, 2014

    See earlier note: 1 c. cornmeal (not cornbread!). Under "MEAT," the ingredients are in addition to the 1 1/2 lbs. ground sirloin. For additional flavor, I brown the onions and mushrooms, each separately and set aside. Then, I sauté the peppers and add the garlic and seasonings to bloom their flavors and set this mixture aside. Finally, I brown the meat (adding salt and pepper) and then add the tom. paste and diced tomatoes with its liquid. Combine all "MEAT" ingredients and adjust seasonings.

  • irisflowers1 5 May, 2014

    A very good foundational recipe, easily adapted for your individual family. Here's my riff:

    CORNBREAD--1 c. yellow cornbread, 1/4 c. all purpose flour, 1 T white sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt (sea), 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 egg, 3/4 c. sour cream, 1 T melted butter, add to batter 1/2 c. fresh or frozen corn.

    MEAT--baby bellas, 1/2 c. tom. paste, 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tom, 2 T minced garlic, 1 jalapeño, 2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 T brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cayenne. Raves!

  • lhallasmuchow 13 Dec, 2013

    This is a family favorite with one change - I mix in a little chili powder for a little more flavor. The cornbread recipe turned out well for me, sometimes I mix in a little cheddar.

  • sonyaloveskorn 10 Jul, 2012

    My family loves this recipe. I took out the peppers, onion n mushrooms as I am allergic to most vegitables. But even without the ruffage it was a big hit.
    Thanks Martha

  • thegreenninja 13 Mar, 2011

    This dish definitely needed some more spice. I added in some Tony's and it tasted great. The cornbread though, was not so good. Next time I make this dish, I will use Jiffy cornbread mix instead.

  • tmehlin 1 Feb, 2011

    I added 1 jalapeno

  • tmehlin 1 Feb, 2011

    I added 1 jalapeno

  • KBOWERS09 30 Jan, 2011

    This is a great recipe. I added crushed red pepper and powdered garlic. It could still use more spice so next time I'll add one diced jalapeno.

  • drkristen 10 Jan, 2011

    I used a couple canned chipotle peppers with some sauce, and worchestershire sauce for the beef portion. I also nixed the tomato paste and added a small can of diced tomatoes. The cornbread had a wonderful light-cakey texture, but was a bit tart from the sour cream, so next time I'm going to substitute a little melted butter for some of the sour cream and maybe even add some corn and/or honey to the batter as well to bring out more corn flavor. Other than that, I'm ready for more!

  • levine allison 19 Sep, 2010

    Made the biscuits with soy sour cream and added 2 spoonfuls of sugar, they came out great! The filling needs some spices, maybe rosemary or thyme, but was pretty tasty. My husband had thirds.

  • Elizsafox 20 Aug, 2010

    This was kind of bland, even after I added worscestershire sauce and paprika and a bit of cumin. Ok for a regular cheap weeknight meal.

  • rotsol 27 Feb, 2010

    I like to use corn instead of mushrooms (drained canned or thawed frozen) and more seasoning - depending on my mood maybe chili powder or Italian or ...

  • m1981b 23 Oct, 2009

    This was really good. Next time, I'd probably add a little more salt and some sugar to the biscuits. I used a 9x13 pan instead of a skillet. Definitely something I'll make again.

  • cbau 11 May, 2009

    This was a very good basic recipe. Adjust according to what your family likes to make it your own. I used sliced fennel instead of mushrooms. This one is a keeper!

  • bigcheeser 6 Mar, 2009

    I reduced the meat to 1 lb. and added a couple of garlic cloves to the peppers and onion. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe. I think the garlic was a definite improvement. My husband really liked it and even enjoyed the leftovers.

  • kellyabq 26 Feb, 2009

    I think when cooking for your family and trying to keep a budget in mind I am always looking to stretch my meals. Using the leftovers from Italian Pot Roast...I cut the meat into bite size pieces and stirred it back in to the vegetables and added one small can of tomato sauce. Baked in 350 oven until bubbly added drop cornbread biscuits (jiffy mix) with a little parmesan and baked until golden. It was great. I did not have all the ingredients for this recipe as given so I improvised.

  • pflowe 26 Feb, 2009

    When trying a new recipe, I stick to it . In 30 years of cooking I have only thrown a dish out once--now twice. The corn bread was dry and tasteless. The meat was worse. If I ever tried it again, which I won't, I would greatly doctor it up with spices. It had no flavor. I understand the idea of simple ingredients, but it would be nice to have suggestions of spices that would work for people who are nove very experienced cooks.

  • Junecutie 25 Feb, 2009

    I thought this was a a very good dish. I always add a step after stirring in the flour and water at this point in the recipe: taste and adjust seasonings. If you don't like the way it tastes at this point, you won't like the way the dish tastes at the end. And always understand that the onion and red peppers will have varying sweetness which will cause the recipe to need adjusting. I also used my own cornbread recipe, adding the sour cream to it. YUMMY

  • kellyabq 25 Feb, 2009

    I plan to use my leftover italian pot roast and vegetables(from everyday food). Just cut the meat into small pieces. I will add my own drop cornbread biscuits and bake.I will let you know how it turns out.

  • cookingmylife 25 Feb, 2009

    It does tell you to preheat oven to 425 and then says...Bake until biscuits are golden brown... That seems clear that you take the skillet and put it in the oven for the cornmeal biscuit baking.

    re seasoning, taste certainly varies and this seems mild (yes, bland enough for small children). Adults can add their own heat -chiles, sauce etc

    Just reading the recipe, I'd say it's a good one to teach children (adults) a basic recipe/technique, and a one pan meal to boot.

  • mustardseed 9 Jan, 2009

    This is absolutely disgusting!!! I read the reviews and used southwest seasoning in the meat mixture. That didn't even help. The cornbread has a very odd flavor, tastes nothing like cornbread. The meat mixture was bland. Also, it burned on the bottom while I was waiting for the cornbread to cook. The recipe isn't very clear. It says "bake 15 to 20 minutes. Well normally bake means to put it in the oven. It also does not say to turn the heat down after raising it to high.

  • farmersmarketcooking 26 Sep, 2008

    I made the cornbread skillet pie last night and it was a big hit with the family. I made some changes, however. I used only 1 lb. of beef and 1 pepper. I used prepared salsa in place of the tomato paste, 2 tbsp. flour and water. It added the perfect zip to the dish. I also left out the mushrooms because I didn't have any.

  • Ducheon 24 Sep, 2008

    Great recipe---Bringing back /stick to the ribs cooking. Kids need to get away
    from McD.
    How about a recipe for pasties. ??? Minn. has take out on this (like a pot pie)
    in a pastry crust. Finnish made them for iron ore workers for their
    lunch pails. Turnips/potato/carrots /beef ..keep up the good work.

  • kkach 7 May, 2008

    I haven't tried this yet, but I think looking at your comments, I will put some kidney beans and chili/taco seasoning in it.

  • prweiss65 12 Mar, 2008

    This is the first and only Everyday Food recipe that was a real bomb. The taste was extremely bland and nobody, including me, liked it. These were also some of the worst tasting biscuit/dumplings I've ever made. :-(

  • tliloia 20 Jan, 2008

    Though my family said the dish was good, it lacked a little "oomph" which would have made it great. I might add some adobo seasoning next time to give it some kick.

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