Simple and Satisfying Mexican Casserole

This simple recipe is full of possibility. Starting with basic ingredients, this meal can be customized to meet the tastes of every household. It makes a satisfying dinner and only improves as leftovers. So pull up a fork and get ready for some Mexican Casserole!

mexican casserole

Inspired by a Cooking Light recipe,  I started with their ingredients but opted for my own preparation. In their approach, they layer the seasoned “meat” crumbles with fresh tomatoes and tortilla chips. I did not seed my tomatoes as instructed, but cooked them seeds and all with the other ingredients to increase the moisture in the recipe. Plus, The Husband does not like raw tomatoes. Watching him pick tomato chunks out of his casserole and throw them across his plate while pouting would not make for a fun dinner.

For those of you that eat meat, you can easily use ground beef or ground turkey in this recipe instead of the faux-meat crumbles. I actually don’t use a lot of meat substitutes in my cooking but decided to try the crumbles here. The crumbles were good but in the future, I will probably use cooked rice or refried beans instead.

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) package meatless fat-free crumbles
  • 48 baked tortilla chips
  • 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed & drained pinto beans, lightly mashed
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and jalapeño; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and stir in chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and crumbles; cook 3 minutes or tomatoes are tender. Add beans to pan. Cook until heated through.
  3. Arrange half of tortilla chips in a lightly greased 11 x 7–inch baking dish; top evenly with filling mixture. Top with remaining tortilla chips, pressing to slightly crush. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 375° for 13 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  4. Garnish with scallions, sour cream, avocado or olives!

Total: 45 Minutes, serves 6

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