Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
30 min
50 min

12 to 16 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (about 3 to 5)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 12 ounces), cut into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 15 -ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 -ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 -ounce jar salsa verde
  • 10 large (burrito-size) flour tortillas or 12 small flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked rice (from 2/3 cup dry)
  • 1 11 -ounce can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 pound grated cheddar-jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • Sour cream and cilantro, for serving
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic, stir and cook for a minute or two to soften the onion. Add 2 teaspoons of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the paprika and 1 teaspoon of the cumin. Stir and cook the mixture for another minute or two to release the flavors of the spices. Remove the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

  • In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chicken along with the remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute the chicken until it's deep golden brown and done in the middle, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water and stir to make a sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until it's reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the beans and set aside.

  • To assemble the casserole, pour half a jar (about 1 cup) of salsa verde into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish or disposable foil baking pan. Add a layer of half the tortillas on top of the salsa verde, overlapping the edges. Spoon the rice over the tortillas, spread the tomato mixture over the rice, then sprinkle the corn over the tomatoes. Next, add the chicken and bean mixture, then sprinkle on half the cheese and pour over half the enchilada sauce. Next, add the rest of the tortillas, then pour on the rest of the salsa verde and the rest of the enchilada sauce and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.

  • If you're baking the casserole right away, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

  • Find this recipe and more in Ree's new book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime ($30, William Morrow Cookbooks).

  • Photograph by Steve Giralt

FREEZE IT! Cover the unbaked casserole tightly with heavy-duty foil and freeze up to 6 months. To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the foil-covered casserole for 2 hours; remove the foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until hot and bubbly.

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