I know there are hundreds of versions of Mexican casserole out there. This is my version and I incorporated a few of my favorite ingredients, rice and beans, to make it a little more filling and a little more wholesome.
As I've said before, I usually make a big batch of brown rice at the beginning of the week, so it's ready when I need to throw it into something. I also always have several different types of canned beans, as well as dried beans in my pantry. Beans are just plain healthy AND cheap. And versatile. They can be thrown into soups, stews, and casseroles. They can be made into dips and even used in salads.
Throwing beans into my meals helps me cut down on our meat consumption. It's not that I don't love meat--I do--but meat can be an expensive protein.
I do usually use ground beef because of the price, but you can certainly substitute ground chuck. When I cook my ground beef, I drain it, then I add a little hot water to the skillet and swish the meat around, then drain again. This will really help get most of the fat and grease off the meat.
Use any type of cheese you like in this casserole. I used Colby jack. Don't forget to add the cilantro and lime; they both add a lot of fresh flavor.
Loaded Enchilada Casserole
1 pound ground beef (can decrease to 1/2 or 3/4 pound)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove minced garlic or 1 teaspoon preminced
1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked rice
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas, quartered or torn into fourths
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
3 cups Colby jack cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 (4-ounce) can chopped black olives, drained
About 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Lime juice for drizzling
- Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet. Drain off grease, then stir in the cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, black beans, rice, canned tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place half of the tortillas in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan, then drizzle with half of the enchilada sauce evenly.
- Spoon half of the beef mixture on top, then half of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the remaining cheese.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese melts and it's bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped tomatoes, black olives, and fresh cilantro. Squeeze some lime juice on top.