Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Easy Beef Enchilada Casserole

Whenever I'm in the mood for Mexican food, but short on time (or energy), I like to whip up a quick, enchilada-inspired casserole dish. When I was growing up, my mom made Chicken Enchilada Casserole, which included a green-chili sauce, white cheese, and, well, chicken. It was one of my brothers' and my favorite meal (and still is!).

I have made that dish many times since venturing out on my own, but it also inspired me to come up with a similar version, using ground beef and a tomato-based sauce. Thus, my version of a "Beef Enchilada Casserole" was born.

Don't be afraid of the ingredients list. It only appears long because of the seasonings - you probably have everything sitting in your spice cabinet right now. If you want to make it even easier, a packet of taco seasoning instead would do just fine! (But really, I never find it a problem to measure out spices that I have on hand.)

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Rotel tomatoes (tomatoes and spicy green chilies)
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4 oz.) fire-roasted green chilies
  • 2 tablespooons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, to serve

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees (F). In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat with the chopped onion and garlic. Add beans, Rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. As it simmers, you can use this time to shred the cheese, chop the lettuce and tomatoes, and make the guacamole.

2. In a greased 9x13-inch baking dish, lay 4 corn tortillas, overlapping as necessary (you may cut the tortillas in halves to fit them easier). Spoon half of the beef mixture on top of the tortillas and spread evenly, then sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese. Repeat, to form two layers.

3. Bake 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve topped with shredded lettuce and tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream, and guacamole.

Enjoy! (I didn't have any avocados on hand, so no guacamole.)

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