Serious Eats: Recipes

Seriously Meatless: Tortilla Casserole

Note: Serious Eater Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious drops by every Wednesday to share a delicious recipe to expand our vegetarian repertoire.

[Photograph: Michael Natkin]

Tortilla casserole isn't authentically Mexican, beautiful, or fancy in any way. It's simply a delicious, homey way to put a healthy and inexpensive vegetarian entree on the table. If you have kids, odds are it will be a hit with them too. In my family we like to put something like this together on Sunday night and refrigerate it, then bake and serve it for dinner early in the work week. That guarantees us at least one hot home-cooked meal even if no-one has time to cook.

The most complicated thing it asks you to do is dice an onion.

This recipe is for the basic tortilla casserole. The most complicated thing it asks you to do is dice an onion. You can embellish the basic recipe in any number of ways. For example, add finely diced zucchini or bell pepper, roasted poblano peppers, or corn kernels. You could also replace the refried beans with whole pinto or black beans, or add a tablespoon or so of minced chipotle pepper to the sauce.

If you have time, garnishes of crema (Mexican sour cream), fresh cilantro, and lime slices are nice. This dish provides a great opportunity to break out all of those hot sauces crowding your refrigerator door—everyone can doctor it up to their own preference of chile heat.

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