Thursday, June 12, 2014

Enchilada Casserole

Mmmmmm. This was made on a warm spring day for a few of the volunteers that I coordinate with at church. We had invited them over to dinner on Mothers Day and as it was a holiday of sorts, I asked them if there was anything in particular they'd like. "MEXICAN!" was the resounding and immediate answer.

In my mind, this is pretty Tex-Mex, and not true Mexican food. But, it's still good, even if it's not authentic. They seemed to love it, so I call it a win.

This is easy for a weeknight or make ahead meal, as it's pretty easy to put together and it freezes really well. The most difficult part of this is cooking the meat, which I usually do in a crockpot anyway. Also, by simply not including the meat, this dish easily turns into a vegetarian meal. 

The key to making Tex-Mex food? Spices. Know thy spices! While I'm going to list some here, play around with them to figure out what you like. Some people love more cumin, others like more chili powder, and some prefer more cilantro (although I think technically that's an herb).

Serves 8

1 lb cooked chicken, shredded (Or beef or pork) 
12-18 corn tortillas, halved 
1 16 oz can enchilada sauce 
2 cans refried beans 
1/4-1/3 cup water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 
1-2 cups corn (optional, not shown) 
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese 

2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano 

Scallions, Avocado, and sour cream - used for garnish. 


Preheat oven to 350º

In a large bowl, mix together refried beans, spices, and water, until beans reach a 'spreadable' consistency. I find warming them slightly in the microwave helps. Add more water if necessary. 

In a greased 9x13 casserole pan, spoon about a forth of the enchilada sauce onto the bottom of the pan. Layer on about 6 of the tortilla halves, and spoon over those about 1/3-1/2 of the refried beans. Then sprinkle with 1/2 the chicken, black beans, and corn. Repeat - Sauce, tortillas, refried beans, chicken, corn, and black beans. Pour the remaining sauce over the last layer of corn and black beans, and top with cheese. 

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until warm all the way through. Remove from oven, garnish with diced scallions and avocado, and serve with sour cream. 


Note: The pictures depict a half recipe, as we only needed to serve 4 people. 

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