Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Easy Casseroles - Revisiting a Fave

Mindy here, fresh off of a Texas A&M Aggie weekend.

Yes, our oldest son is a student and invited us down for the annual Boots and Bowties Gala.
Notice neither of my guys are wearing a bowtie, though we do all have our boots.

We also got to spend some time, roaming the HUGE campus that is Texas A&M University.

A school that is steeped in traditions, such as the 12th Man.

But all that time in Aggieland means I didn't do a lot of cooking, so today we're going to revisit one of my favorite casseroles. I shared this recipe way back in 2012. I was first introduced to it when my husband was recovering from surgery and a gal in our Sunday School class brought us dinner. This so good, versatile and the perfect thing to fix for your family or someone else's.

 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 you can make with either chicken or beef to suit whatever you 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 also 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 1 can cream of chicken soup

First, brown your ground beef with the onions. If you're making the chicken version, simply saute your onions in a little bit of olive oil before adding the chicken.
Drain the ground beef.
Next, add your Ro-tel and soup and stir to combine.
Set aside.

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 13 x 9 in. pan. Top sauce with tortilla wedges. I took this pic half way through, but you do cover the whole thing.

Cover tortillas with half of the sauce and top with half of the cheese.

Repeat the process with another layer of tortillas, followed by 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 spicy 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.

My mouth is watering, just thinking about this dish. So good, so easy.

Do you have a favorite/go-to casserole? Where did you get your recipe?


  1. Good morning, Mindy. This looks so good!

    I have to admit, I don't make many casseroles. I think it's reaction to my mom making so many tuna noodle casseroles with potato chips.

    I tend to go more with pot pies than casseroles, but this one sure does look good.

    I love the photo of you in the dress and cowboy boots. That's a look I could get down with. ;)

    1. Tuna noodle casserole with potato chip topping.... Now there's some comfort food, Mary Cate. Although I think my husband might agree with you. Just one too many as a kid.

      Now pot pies, those are truly comfort food to me. Even if the come from the frozen food section of the grocery store. I think they just bring back find memories. I've only made a homemade one once or twice.

      The best part of wearing the boots with the dress was that my feet didn't hurt.

  2. I need to get a dress that will look good with my cowboy boots! Denim would fit the bill, right? Unless I'm going to a Boots and Bowties Gala - but you pretty much have to be in Aggie-land for that, don't you? It sounds like you had a great time.

    This casserole looks so good. I've often seen recipes using corn tortillas like this, but I've never been brave enough to try them. This might be the dish to debut that skill. :)

    1. You'd be surprised how well cowboy boots work with a dress, Jan. They go real well with lace dresses as well as denim. Even sundresses.

      I understand you questioning the tortillas. I don't make my layers real thick. They might overlap a bit at edges but otherwise, each layer is just one tortilla thick, so it's not much different than, say, what a lasagna noodle is to lasagna. Only with a different flavor.

  3. Loved this glimpse into your Texan world. Great pictures.

    I don't have a real go-to casserole either. Don't make many. Though now that you've got me thinking I used to make these really neat rice, cheese, grated carrots, tomato, eggs casserole that was yummy. Must try to find something similar online. Rats -- now I'm craving a casserole. LOL

    1. Kav, I hope you have all those things you mentioned in your pantry/fridge so you can revisit that casserole. Nothing worse than a craving you can't satisfy.

  4. My family would love this, and I'd forgotten about it, Mindy! I'm so glad you re-posted because this is a fun dish to have on hand for these crazy farm-types and sports-lovers. I can totally see them inhaling this.

    Love the pics, and you look marvelous, darling!

    1. Thank you, Ruthy. It's a far cry from the sweaty jeans and t-shirt I was wearing earlier that day.

      Yes, there's plenty of meat and cheese, so the guys love it. No froo-froo food for them. Just rib-sticking grub.

  5. Tuna casserole with potato chips!!! I LOVE THAT.

    I haven't been able to make it in forever because no one else eats it, but I dream of it....


    1. Do y'all like it with green peas? Probably one of the reasons Richard won't touch it. Ruthy, we'll have to split a Tuna Casserole.

  6. Jan, riding boots are so in right now that you can get away with them anywhere, with anything, can't you?

    But that brings up a question, Mindy O.!!!!

    Isn't it hot to have your feet in boots? Or isn't it hot down there yet?

    We've got rain and snow mixed today, and I'm kind of amazed that for a gentle winter, it has put its clutch on the northeast and is hanging on tight!

    I blame the groundhog.

    Stupid rodent.

    1. Snow?! Yikes! We're in the process of storm preparation, but the nasty hail and tornado variety. They're saying it could get mighty ugly tonight, which means we're making space in the garage so we can get all of the cars in and clearing out the tornado room. Yes, we only have a room under the stairs, like Harry Potter. Basements are almost unheard of in Texas. Personally, I think that's rather dumb. I mean, if you live in Tornado Alley, you'd think they'd provide shelter.

      As for the boots, yes, they can get warm, I suppose. It was only in the 80's the day of the gala and the ballroom was nicely air conditioned, so it wasn't a problem. If you're wearing a sundress, though, it kind of balances out. That said, I'm one of those people that if my feet are hot, I'm hot. If they're cold, I'm cold. Perhaps I should invest in some cooling socks. Do they make such a thing?

  7. Hi Mindy, Love your photos. smile And thank you for this recipe. I've had a close version of it at a potluck and wanted the recipe. Yours will be perfect. Yum

    1. Sandra, aren't potlucks the best? So much food to sample. Recipes we'd likely never try otherwise. No wonder so many churches do cookbooks as fundraisers. ;)

  8. This looks absolutely yummy! Wow. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. I'm so glad you shared this again! I bought ingredients for it once but never made it. :) Maybe this time I'll get my act together. LOL