Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesdays With the Texan - Mexican Casserole Two Ways

Mindy here. There's nothing I love better than a versatile recipe. Make it easy and that's even better. Add a little bit of Tex-Mex and...well, you get the idea.

This easy Mexican casserole is one of my favorites. And I love that I can make with either chicken or beef to suit whatever I have on hand.

Okay, so here are the basic ingredients:
  • Corn tortillas (I'm not sure how many. I usually buy a pack of 20)
  • 1 can of Ro-tel (diced tomatoes with green chilies-I use the milder version)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 packet enchilada seasoning
  • 1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 C shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend or sharp cheddar)
Now, depending on which version you're making, you will need:
  • 1-1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (I used venison)  AND 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • Approx. 4-5 cups of cut up cooked chicken (if I'm really in a hurry I'll pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store, but this is also a good use of leftovers) AND one can cream of chicken soup
Brown your ground beef with the onions. For the chicken, simply saute your onions in a little bit of olive oil. Drain the ground beef.

Add Ro-tel, chicken (if that's the version you're making), and soup. In a separate bowl, whisk together enchilada seasoning, tomato sauce, and 1 1/2 C water (follow directions on seasoning packet, but you don't need to cook it). Add to meat mixture and mix well.

Cut tortillas into triangles. I usually get about 8 per tortilla.

Add a thin layer of sauce to bottom of greased/sprayed 13 x 9 in. pan. Top with tortilla wedges. I took this pic half way through, but you do cover the whole thing.

Add another layer of sauce and top with half of the cheese.

Add remaining sauce and cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until top is browned and sides are bubbling.

I can't tell you which version I prefer better, because I love them both. My guys scarf it up. Hubby likes to top his with jalapenos or salsa. Guess I don't make it hot enough for him. 

Another bonus is that you can make this ahead and freeze it. Simply adjust your baking time. This is a great option when you're looking for a dish to take to someone in need. And if you take it unbaked, they have the option to freeze it or bake and eat it right away.

I hope you enjoy your Tuesday. I'm battling a head cold this week. Ugh! I haven't been sick in years and this is my second cold this winter. That's just not fair. Maybe I'll have to whip up some chicken and dumplings.

Happy Tuesday, y'all.


  1. Sorry to hear you are sick, Mindy! It must have been Missy sharing her germs over cyberspace!

    This recipe looks like I might be able to herbivore it. I'm thinking maybe tvp (which you're supposed to be able to use in place of mince meat in recipes) or they make this vegan ground beef substitute. The thing I don't think I can get here is the can of Ro-tel. I'll have to check on that, but I don't like things super spicy so do you think I could just use the diced tomatoes? Or would it need more umph?

    Feel better soon!

    1. That's a great idea, Kav. And I bet you can find Ro-tel. If not, get a can of green chilies and add it to some diced tomatoes. Then you can add as much or litte spice as you like. I'm afraid it might be a little bland without some chilies. And the green chilies really aren't hot. Oh, and a can of Ro-tel is only 10 oz., so keep that in mind.

      Let me know how it turns out.

  2. Mindy, honey!!! I hate getting sick so I'm sending you Ruthy-hugs...

    And it's probably Missy's fault. Most things are.

    Hot lemonade. It's soothing. And kills germs. And makes those nasty germs head to the tummy and DROWN IN STOMACH ACID!!!

    Doesn't that feel like you're almost getting even???

    My family will love this. I can tell right now my boys will wonder where their Yankee-beef-stew-mother went and what form of seed pod replaced her!

    Thank you!!!

    1. Yes, around this house, EVERYTHING is my fault! So go ahead and blame me. :)

      Ruthy, I'm cracking up to think about your family trying to figure out where this streak of Tex-Mex is coming from. :)

    2. Ruthy, it's good to surprise them once in a while. We can't be too predictable.

      Hot lemonade, huh? I'm a HUGE tea drinker. As in, I buy it by the half-kilo. Will that work? I've already had four cups this morning:-)

    3. Missy, I'm not blaming you, girlfriend. No, I blame by youngest son who felt the need to share. Or my daughter who's student teaching and brings home who knows what. Whatever the case, I'm ready to be rid of this.

    4. Mindy, take it from a teacher - Vitamin D3! Watch me jinx myself but I've hardly had a cold in the years since I started taking it. Did you know in Canada many doctors suggest D3 rather than a flu shot? So I've read anyway.

      Hope you feel better.

    5. Mary, I take 1000 iu of D3 every day. Obviously that's not enough. How much do the docs suggest?

    6. Darn, Mindy, I would have thought that was enough. I mistakenly bought the 5000 iu last time so I take 1 every 3 days. I don't think you 're supposed to go over 2000/day.

  3. Yummy, Mindy!! This sounds easy and so good! I have chicken and beef in the freezer. Need to decide which to use first! :)

    Thanks for sharing. I hope you feel better!! I've been blowing my nose this morning, praying my daughter didn't share her germs from her cold last week!

    1. I've been popping Airborne since Friday. Usually it keeps the colds at bay, or at least shortens their duration. I swear by the stuff.

  4. Mindy, this sounds like something my boys will really like - kind of an enchilada casserole thingy...

    Kav, I don't use Rotel tomatoes because of the citric acid (most canned tomato products have chemical citric acid added - the same chemical as in MSG). So I use home canned tomatoes or Hunts natural tomatoes and add a can of diced green chilies. You get nearly the same flavor as Rotel.

    To do this vegetarian, I'd substitute beans for the meat - pintos would be great, wouldn't they?

    Hope you feel better soon, Mindy.

    1. Jan, it's very much like an enchilada casserole, only easier. And I did not know that about the citric acid/MSG. Ugh. But home canned tomatoes? It's been a long time since I've canned anything, though I still have all the stuff. It's the time part I'm lacking.

    2. Time is right, Mindy! I have to plan canning days. Last fall I canned dry beans - wow, what a convenience to have canned beans around, and a huge money saver to can your own. And they're SO EASY! (if you have the right equipment...)

  5. Mindy, this sounds delicious and I also was thinking beans would be great with this.
    After I made Sandra's eggplant casserole the other day, my daughter and I were thinking that a Mexican version of it with beans and Mexican cheeses would taste delicious.

    1. You know, Mary, I'd never thought of beans before today. But you may be on to something.