I don’t usually post holiday-appropriate recipes on here, but I have to admit I’m excited for Cinco de Mayo. I love Mexican food (though I realize Cinco de Mayo is a bigger deal here in the U.S. than in actual Mexico, ha) and I haven’t posted any Latin-inspired recipes lately.
This recipe is inspired by a frozen meal that I used to buy all the time in college: Cedarlane Three-Layer Enchilada Pie. I used to find it in the organic/natural foods section of my grocery store and loved that it was quick and easy but still managed to be fairly healthy. My version of enchilada pie includes beef, which I somehow have never included on this blog, but you can easily make it with chicken, pork, or leave the meat out all together!
My Beef Enchilada Casserole includes layers of soft corn tortillas, juicy ground beef, enchilada sauce, Mexican spices, and plenty of veggies and cheese. This is a great meal to serve to friends or family, and heats up nicely, too. I really love meals where every bite is filled with flavor and variety, and all the protein/veggies/calcium you need – such as stir-fry, soup, casseroles, etc, rather than having your food groups separated. I thought this meal was the perfect way to celebrate one of my favorite cuisines
Beef Enchilada Casserole
makes 4 servings
- 1/2 of a medium onion, diced
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 10 oz. can Rotel, juices drained (or diced tomatoes if Rotel is not available)
- 1/3 cup enchilada sauce, reserving 2 Tbsp
- 3/4 cup pinto or black beans
- 6 8-inch corn (or flour) tortillas
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- optional: black olive and jalapeño slices to garnish
Your spices (alternatively, you could use pre-made taco seasoning)
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Add diced onions and diced green bell pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until veggies are softened.
- Add garlic and ground beef and turn heat up to medium. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is lightly browned. Stir in spices. (Beef does not have to be 100% cooked through, because it will continue cooking in the following steps.)
- Stir in Rotel and enchilada sauce and cook until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. You should also preheat your oven to 400ºF at this time, too. Stir in pinto beans and remove from heat.
- Lightly spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and layer tortillas as shown in the photo below. Layer half of enchilada mixture on top, along with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat this step once more. Finish off with a third layer of tortillas and spoon remaining 2 Tbsp of enchilada sauce on top, along with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty and golden-brown. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream and scallions.
Saute up your onion, pepper, and garlic, and add ground beef and spices.
Mix in Rotel and enchilada sauce, and cook until sauce has thickened – about 10 minutes. You will also want to preheat your oven at this time.
Stir in beans and remove from heat.
Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray, and layer your tortillas as shown: 1 in the middle, and another torn in half on either side. (At this point I realized I was using 6 inch tortillas instead of 8 inch. Oh well.)
Pour half of the enchilada mixture on top of the tortillas, along with 1/4 cup of cheese. Repeat this process 1 more time.
On top of your second layer of enchilada mixture, add another layer of tortillas and spread the remaining 2 Tbsp enchilada sauce on top.
Top off with your remaining 1/2 cup of cheese, sliced olives and sliced jalapenos.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is nice and melty. Let cool slightly before serving.