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Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole

One-Pan Wonder: Mexican Fiesta Casserole

Calling all busy bees and Mexican food enthusiasts! This recipe is your answer to a flavorful, fuss-free fiesta. This Mexican Fiesta Casserole is a symphony of textures and tastes, coming together in a single pan for easy preparation and cleanup.

Imagine a hearty combination of seasoned ground beef, juicy tomatoes, crisp corn, and protein-packed black beans, all nestled within a bed of soft corn tortillas. A dollop of creamy sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese add the perfect finishing touches to this crowd-pleasing casserole.

The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. It's perfect for weeknight dinners or feeding a hungry crowd. Plus, it's easily customizable – add your favorite vegetables, adjust the spice level to your preference, or even swap the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef (drained of excess fat)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped canned jalapeno slices (adjust for spice preference)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can drained kernel corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 (1¼-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ¾ cup nonfat sour cream
  • ⅓ cup reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • ⅓ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, adjust amount to your taste)

Instructions:

  1. Brown the Base: In a large skillet, get your ground beef and chopped onions sizzling. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly, until the beef is fully browned and cooked through.

  2. Drain and Rinse: Once browned, drain any excess fat from the beef mixture. To further reduce fat content, you can even rinse the mixture with warm water. Return the drained and rinsed beef mixture to the skillet.

  3. Building Flavor: Now comes the flavor fiesta! Add the corn, black beans, chopped tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes), jalapenos, and taco seasoning mix to the skillet. Give everything a good stir to combine, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and develop.

  4. Prep the Pan: While the filling simmers, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grab a baking dish (ideally 12x8 inches). Spray the dish with nonstick cooking spray to ensure easy removal of the casserole later.

  5. Creating Tortilla Layers: Take your corn tortillas and cut each one in half. Now, creatively layer 8 of the tortilla halves in the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Don't worry about perfect uniformity; a slight overlap is fine.

  6. Filling and Toppings: Spoon half of the savory filling over the tortilla layer. Here comes the cool and creamy element – dollop the nonfat sour cream evenly over the filling. Finally, sprinkle half of the shredded Mexican cheese blend over the sour cream layer.

  7. Repeating the Layers: Now, repeat the layering process! Top the cheese with the remaining tortilla halves, followed by the remaining filling, another dollop of sour cream, and a final sprinkle of cheese.

  8. Baking to Fiesta Perfection: Place your Mexican Fiesta Casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. The edges of the casserole should also be slightly golden brown.

  9. Fresh Finish (Optional): Once baked, let the casserole cool for a few minutes before serving. For a final touch of freshness, sprinkle with chopped cilantro (optional).

This Mexican Fiesta Casserole is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, perfect for busy weeknights, potlucks, or feeding a hungry family. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your inner fiesta spirit, and prepare to be amazed by the explosion of flavors in this one-pan wonder!

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