Per Serving: $1.26 (for 5)
I have made dozens of variations of mexican casserole in the last several years. When I had a bazillion roommates in Solana Beach, we would somehow always have random extra tortillas and half-opened cans of beans hanging in the fridge. This was born from: "'we want tacos but all the tortillas are stale." We seriously would have bags upon bags of just one or two corn tortillas. One of the roommates was pretty anti-leftovers (weirdo) and would let the remnants of packages wither in the fridge. The other roommate and I were always like SCORE! Free random food items!
After many a ''everything but the kitchen sink" Mexican casserole, I heard that many people make this, and they call it a Mexican Lasagna. Wellll I don't. We used to make this with anything from leftover Carne Asada (which was pretty rare because, come on, who doesn't scarf down as much carne asada as their gullet can handle?), sausage, chicken, beans, and lots-o CHEESE. With a more frugal budget and real-food-conscious lifestyle, this version skips the meat and loads up on the vegetables.
This dish was super frugal for me since we used 4 leftover homemade tortillas, overnight stewed black beans, and a few random vegetables from the CSA box (cauliflower, broccoli liscia greens). I've priced it with regular vegetable costs though. If you're using corn or zucchini, make sure it's ORGANIC to avoid GMOs. Please make your own awesome version of this and tell me how you kept it frugal and nutritious - and send me a picture!
''Anything" Mexican Casserole
- 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice, or cauliflower rice
- 1 ½ cups black beans drained
- 4 ½-5 cups chopped vegetables (I used: 1 cup diced onion 1 cup diced bell pepper, 1 cup frozen organic corn, 1.5 cups cauliflower
- 2 cups dark leafy greens spinach, broccoli liscia, kale, swiss chard, etc.
- 1 cup salsa of choice I used Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde
- 4 6-inch whole wheat tortillas or organic corn
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup cheese preferably queso fresco or cotija (I used a blend of mozzarella, feta, and white cheddar because that’s what I had on hand!)
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for greasing casserole dish
- Chop and mix together the onion, pepper, corn, and cauliflower, then mix with ½ teaspoon cumin and 12/ teaspoon chili powder and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and roast on 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a baking dish (mine was a 2.5-quart Corning-ware) and cover with about 2 tablespoon salsa. Place two tortillas over the salsa, or enough to cover the bottom of the dish.
- In a bowl, mix together 1 cup cooked quinoa (or other “grain” of choice), 2 tablespoon salsa, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and ½ teaspoon cumin. Layer entire quinoa mixture over tortillas.
- In the same bowl, add beans and mix in the finely chopped greens, mashing the beans a bit to help them stick together. Layer half of the bean mixture over the quinoa, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Once the vegetables are done, mix about a quarter of the cheese with half of the veggie mixture and layer next. (The cheese here helps it stay together.)
- Layer the remaining two tortillas, remaining salsa, remaining beans, and remaining veggie mixture.
- Cover and bake on 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Return to oven uncovered and bake for about 5-10 minutes more, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Top with avocado, cilantro, guacamole, salsa, or whatever you’d like!