Simple Cowboy Casserole Dinner in the Air Fryer

4.41 / 5 ( 5 Reviews )
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air fryer cowboy casserole

Hearty and Healthy Cowboy Casserole Recipe

Need a quick, simple, inexpensive, and delicious dinner on the table fast? Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Well, I am happy to share that it isn’t too good to be true! I have a incredibly tasty air fryer recipe for you today that costs only $1.46 per serving and takes 30 minutes to make.

This cowboy casserole with beans, salsa, corn, and cheese is a simple and easy dinner that everyone will love! It takes like a simple cornbread chili, but in casserole form!

Learn how to make this amazingly simple air fryer dinner!

What is a cowboy dinner?

A cowboy dinner is a quick, inexpensive modge podge of meat, beans, vegetables, and a bread that you can whip up in a single dish. You will find that this cowboy dinner is so simple to make and perfect if you are looking to save a couple of dollars on your grocery budget.

easy cowboy dinner recipe ingredients

Ingredients You Need

To make a cowboy casserole, you will need:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 cups salsa, jarred or homemade
  • 1/2 (15-ounce) can black, pinto or white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 box Jiffy Cornbread

Cowboy Dinner in the Air Fryer

air fryer cowboy dinner

I love this recipe because it is so simple to make and you can make it in your air fryer! This cowboy casserole serves 2-4 individuals, depending on how hungry everyone is!

You will love how quick and easy this cowboy casserole recipe comes together!

Can you air fry a casserole?

air fryer cowboy casserole

I love the air fryer because I can make so much more than frozen French fries. Did you know you can make a casserole in the air fryer? Casseroles are a great dish to make in the air fryer, especially if you want to only serve 2-4 people, and if you don’t want to heat up the house by turning the oven on!

Cornbread Cowboy Casserole – Simple and Easy Air Fryer Recipe

This cornbread cowboy casserole is simple and easy. Here are a few quick tips for you when you want to make this recipe!

Tip 1. Brown the ground beef.

how to brown ground beef

First, you need to brown the ground beef. There are two different ways you can do this.

Option 1. Cook the ground beef of the stovetop. 

If you don’t want to get your air fryer dirty before cooking your casserole, I recommend using the stovetop method for cooking your ground beef.

Option 2. Cook the ground beef in the air fryer

If you like quick and easy cooking, then cook your ground beef in the air fryer. Check out these tips for cooking ground beef in the air fryer.

Tip 2. Add the ingredients

After your beef is done cooking, stir in the corn, salsa, and beans.

Tip 3. Make the cornbread mixture.

Make the cornbread mixture according to the package directions. If you want to make homemade cornbread, try this amazing recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Tip 4. Assemble.

how to make cowboy casserole in the air fryer

Now that all your ingredients are ready, assemble the casserole in a 9×7 air fryer safe dish. Layer, the ground beef mixture, then add cheese, then add the cornbread batter on the top layer.


  • Any dish that is oven safe is air fryer safe.
  • I used a 5.8 Cosori air fryer to make this recipe. If you have a different air fryer, you will need to find a dish that fits your air fryer basket.
  • If you have a smaller air fryer, you can cook the casserole in batches, and save the rest for later.

Tip 5. Air fry

air fryer cowboy dinner recipe

Cook in the air fryer at 330 degrees Fahrenheit or 165 degrees Celsius for 15-17 min.

Cover the casserole dish with foil if it is starting to burn and the corn bread isn’t cooked all the way.

Final Thoughts

cowboy casserole dinner

Cornbread cowboy casserole is a quick and easy meal that you can enjoy in 30 minutes. The casserole cooks perfectly and quickly in the air fryer. And, it serves the perfect amount without needing to heat up your house.

You will love this recipe for the ease of making it and its great taste! Share with us in the comment section what you love about this air fryer recipe.

air fryer baked chili casserole

More easy one pot air fryer dinner recipes

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Get the Yummy Air Fryer Recipes Cookbook for more delicious and simple air fryer recipes!

cowboy casserole dinner in the air fryer

air fryer cowboy casserole

Simple Cowboy Casserole Dinner in the Air Fryer

This cowboy casserole recipe is the perfect meal if you need a quick, easy, inexpensive, and incredibly delicious dinner recipe!
4.41 / 5 ( 5 Reviews )
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Adjust Servings: 4



  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • ¼ cup yellow onion diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels
  • ¾ cup salsa
  • ½ 15 ounce can black beans pinto or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 box Jiffy Cornbread or 1/2 of this homemade cornbread recipe.


  • On the stovetop, brown the ground beef with the onion, salt and pepper, until fully cooked. Remove the grease from the ground beef. (Or, see air fryer instructions for cooking ground beef).
  • Combine the corn, salsa, and beans with the fully cooked ground beef.
  • Make the cornbread mixture according to its package directions.
  • Using an oven safe dish that will fit in your air fryer basket, (I used a 9x7 dish in my 5.8 Cosori air fryer), layer the ground beef mixture, then the cheese, then the cornbread batter. Be sure to evenly spread the the cornbread to the sides of the pan.
  • Place the pan in the air fryer. Cook for 15-17 minutes at 330 °F. If the cornbread starts to burn, cover it with foil so that it can finish cooking.

Recipe Notes

Can I freeze cowboy casserole?

Double the recipe and freeze half of the meat mixture in a freezer safe bag to enjoy later. 
When ready to use from the freezer, let the mixture thaw. Add it to the casserole dish, add the cheese, then cornbread mixture. Cook at the recommend temperature and time. You may need to add a couple of extra minutes if your meat mixture is still cold. 


Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Sodium: 1314mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g

Recipe Adapted From: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients: Beans, Beef, Cheese, Corn, Onion, Pepper, Salsa, Salt
Meal Type: 30-Minute Meals, Main Dish, Back to School, Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
Categories: Casserole, Air Fryer

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