Corn and Sausage Casserole – Vintage Recipe (with a modern twist!)

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on February 14, 2011

So we’re just going to jump right into this one.

So I can show you were we went from vintage to modern!

But first….

The Alternate Title: Upside Down Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Chop the green peppers.

Do the same to the onions.

Brown a pound of sausage in a cast iron skillet.  Set aside on a plate.

(Drain off any juices if you like.)

(But keep a few, because you’ll want some to saute the peppers and onions.)

Add the diced peppers and chopped onions.  Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.

Stir in the frozen corn and undrained can of diced tomatoes.

Stir together and let simmer 10-15 minutes, or until juices cook off.

Add the sausage back in with the veggies.  Add a little Italian seasonings.


Now entering “modernized recipe zone.”

Here’s where I got stuck.

“1 cup rice cereal”

At this point, according to the vintage recipe, you are to top with rice cereal and bake for a bit. 15 minutes, a bit.

Rice cereal.

As in “the stuff that I have leftover from the 3 days that Tyler actually ate rice cereal” rice cereal.

I didn’t get it. I still don’t get it.

I couldn’t do it.  Didn’t even want to try it.

The recipe must be referring to some other “rice cereal” product?!?

So I topped with some dairy-free, soy-free shredded mozzarella cheese. About 1 cup.

(Which is more expensive…but I will include the regular price for shredded cheese below.)

(This is where I would have added some Parmesan cheese too. About 1/2 cup.)

Mix up the dough ingredients in a bowl and pour over the top.



Polish off the entire skillet.

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Upside Down Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Adapted from Corn Sausage Casserole in Grammy’s 1942 Church Cookbook


  • 1 lb. Italian sausage ($2.29)
  • 1 green pepper ($.68)
  • 1 small yellow or white onion ($.20)
  • 1 bag frozen corn ($.88)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes ($.16)
  • About 1 tsp Italian seasonings ($.05)
  • About 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ($.67)
  • Optional, about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ($.25)
  • 1 cup milk ($.10)
  • 3 Tbsp oil ($.15)
  • 1 egg ($.10)
  • 1 cup flour ($.20)
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Brown the Italian sausage in a cast iron skillet and set aside on a plate once browned.  Drain off most of the drippings.
  • Saute the chopped green pepper and chopped onion in the skillet.  Add the frozen corn (no need to thaw), and the undrained can of diced tomatoes.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the browned sausage in with the veggies and stir in the Italian seasonings.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese of the sausage and veggies.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, egg, flour and salt.  Pour over top the cheese. (What I did not do, but what you could do at this point is sprinkle some yellow cornmeal over the batter.  Give it that extra pizza taste.)
  • Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, or until begins to turn golden on top.
  • Serve Upside Down Cast Iron Skillet Pizza, as is…or with a side of carrot sticks or sliced fruit.

Cost $5.63

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Whitney @ BabyGotBudget February 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm

This looks delicious!!!! I’m going to try this with deer sausage since I have some in the freezer. Thanks for the recipe!


Phoebe @ GettingFreedom February 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Yummy! I inherited all of my grandmother’s old recipes, and I’m noticing that I’ll have to adapt a few for the exact same reasons. Some make me scratch my head, thinking, what on Earth could that even be?!


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy February 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Oh my, this made me laugh! I just fed my baby rice cereal today and I’m picturing that on top of this and just gagging!! Too funny!

I just made and ate your recipe for quinoa ground turkey skillet! Added black beans and corn and it was delicious!! I’ll be posting it on my blog, linking to you in a couple of weeks!


Lynn February 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm

When I read “rice cereal” I thought of rice krispies. But that seems weird too.


Julia in West Des Moines February 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I’ve had a few vintage recipes served by my family — it’s Rice Krispies.


Kerin February 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I thought of rice krispies, too — but then thought maybe rice chex-type cereal? I like your take on it better!


marisa February 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I would have never thought of baby rice cereal! lol! Haven’t had a baby in the house for 3 years. may be why! I think Rice Krispies?


Ashley @ Savings in Season February 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I thought of Rice Krispies too…come to think of it, neither of those sounds appetizing at all. Looks great!


Angela February 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Are the Rice Krispies supposed to be the “crust” in the upside down pizza?


beth February 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

I instantly thought of Rice Krispies too (or could use something like Special K).. maybe if they are crushed it makes a crust for the “upside down” portion? Worth trying sometime! Thanks for the recipe!


Missy February 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

As I was reading, I thought I would add a box of Jiffy Cornbread mix on top and then bake for 20 minutes. This is very similar to my gradmother’s recipe for Hamburger Corn Pone Pie and cornbread is the topping for that. I will try this one as well. Thanks!


Tori Bat September 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I love Jiffy Cornbread mix! I’ll be trying this recipe with the cornbread mix!


Karen February 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

“Rice cereal” stumped me too. But it inspired me to make this gluten free and try a combo of rice and corn flours for the crust. Thanks.


Kristin February 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I would use Rice Chex. I have used these in many recipe’s already as a bredding or as a crust to make a meal gluten free. You would be suprised how good it is.


Jillian February 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I was thinking more along the lines of something like Special K. Many of the casseroles I’ve made called for corn flakes, so–why not?


Chana February 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Ok, I’m old. They want you to use Cream of Rice cereal. For you youngsters, it’s a hot cereal like Cream of Wheat. I would cook it up first.
I would think polenta would work well, too. I would add the cheese over the top of the cereal. I think I will make this up this week if I have the Cream of Rice. Sounds yummy.


Karen February 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I chose to create a “crunchy” version and used Rice Chex w/the cheese. Next time is polenta. Thanks for the excellent advice.


Erin February 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I made this last night & it was fabulous! My husband & I loved it. Next time I think I’ll add mushrooms and sliced black olives and maybe some chopped pepperoni. I’ll definitely make this again!


Carly February 17, 2011 at 11:09 am

When we were eating last night, we were doing the same thing. Planning the next time and what ingredients I should try. :)


Carly February 17, 2011 at 11:08 am

Made this last night – OMG was is good. I just had Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, so I just omitted the Italian seasoning. It was delicious!!! Thanks you so much. And my husband loves it, so that’s always an extra point! :) Love the site, thanks for all you do!!


Josephine Rios-Davis February 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Yummy! I made this for dinner tonite. It was just the three of us (me, husband, and one year old). There was so much food… this could have easily fed a family of 6 people. We have lots of leftovers which I froze.


m February 21, 2011 at 9:10 am

this recipe looks great, will be trying it soon!


Emily February 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

This was just as good as it looked!


Alyssa March 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Just had this for dinner tonight and it was awesome! Unfortunately my pan could not go in the oven so I had to forgo the crust and make garlic biscuits on the side. It was a great meal! Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into your blog. I am a young wife with very little cooking skills and this blog has been a great help so far!


Hannah May 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I don’t have a cast iron skillet, so I just used a glass casserole dish. It was exactly enough to fill my Pyrex to the brim, but it worked just fine.


Kent December 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

The rice cereal reference may be Rice Chex, whole, crumbled, or crushed topped as a finish or more likely topped and baked in the last 15 minutes as you indicated. Just a guess, as I have seen other similar uses.


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