Tex-Mex Casserole

I’ll be honest, I usually call this Mexican Lasagna [mostly in my head…because I’m not talking about it all that often to other people in casual conversation] but I feel like its never referenced as that when I’m searching for similar recipes so we’ll just go with Tex-Mex Casserole.  This is mostly because I love casseroles, and the idea of a one dish, comfort food for a family.

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Just look at that cheesy goodness, gosh I’m proud of that and its making me a little hungry again.

I did research a few recipes to get ideas, then kind of figured it out as I was going along. I know thats not super helpful if you’re trying to copy this recipe but here goes:

010Brown some ground beef (I’m sure turkey could work just as well), Mom was a great hand model here.  She was nice enough to supervise the meat while I was chopping up red and green pepper, and a small onion.

Mom drained the beef in a colander, and the same pan was used to soften up the peppers.  I added chili powder and garlic powder to both the beef and the peppers.  I didn’t cook the peppers to 100% softness, because I wanted to reserve some texture for the final dish.

I cooked the onion with some Trader Joes frozen corn.  I love this stuff, its the fire roaster or grilled corn, something like that; it has a great flavor and can instantly pump up eggs or taco salad with minimal reheating.

Then came the fun part, assembly.  I used store brand, whole wheat tortillas because that’s what I decided on in the supermarket, no real reason. Use whatever you want, go nuts.

Cut the tortillas in half, so they can fit in the pan easier. Here’s the layering I went with:

  •  I did a light layer of enchilada sauce (canned, yup no shame), then tortillas
  • Thick layer of refried beans (also canned, please don’t tell me to make them myself when I can buy these babies so easily)
  • Beef and enchilada sauce
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • Tortillas
  • Peppers, onions, corn
  • enchilada sauce

The whole thing was then covered with aluminum foil and baked for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Uncover, put as much cheese and you can fit on the pan and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until browned and bubbly.  [I did increase the oven temp in the last 5 minutes just to help hurry up the melty goodness]

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After letting it cool for about 5 minutes, we dug in and oh man was it good.  Sour cream and guacamole on the side, fresh jalapeno for me as well.

It has the fire roasted flavor and pop of the corn, the crunchy peppers and onions, melty cheese, hearty refried beans, protein, not a ton of carbs and was really good.  I’m sure it will be even better reheated when it’s had a chance to really stick together a little more.

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