Recipe: Enchilada Casserole

According to the website where I found this recipe, this meal is technically called Mexican Lasagna. However, in my house, we call it Enchilada Casserole because that's actually what it tastes like. And besides, Mexican Lasagna sounds gross.

Adapted from this recipe on myrecipes.com

1/2 lb mild pork sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
15 oz can black beans, drained
2/3 cup canned diced tomato with green chiles
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
15 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
4 chives, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Avocado, chopped
Sour cream

1. Cook sausage and ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until meat is crumbly and no longer pink.

2. Stir in beans, canned tomatoes, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated.

3. In a separate saucepan, combine soups and enchilada sauce. Cook until thoroughly heated.

4. Spoon a small amount of the sauce into the bottom of a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish; top with six tortillas so that the bottom of the dish is evenly covered. Spoon half of the beef mixture, then half of the sauce onto the tortillas; sprinkle with half of the Cheddar cheese. Top with six tortillas and repeat the same layering process; meat, sauce, cheese. Final layer should be the three remaining tortillas, placed right down the middle. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.

5. Bake at 350F (176 C) for 30 minutes. Let dish sit for 5 minutes before serving.

6. Serve and top with desired toppings; fresh tomato, chives, cilantro, sour cream, and avocado.

I know the thought of those creamy canned soups in Mexican food seems unappetizing and wrong, but trust me when I say that this dish blew our minds. Eric, my mom, and I were all pleasantly shocked as we scraped up every last bite from our plates. It's an all-in-one and easy to throw together. It does require several oddball ingredients that I wouldn't normally have on-hand, but it was totally worth it and honestly tasted like an awesome entree you'd get at a legitimate Mexican restaurant. I'd recommend this recipe for your next get-together because it seems like a crowd-pleaser (as long as your crowd likes Mexican food) and it makes a lot, probably about 8-10 servings.

Also, MAKE SURE TO TOP WITH SOUR CREAM AND AVOCADO (if you're into that sort of thing). The meal itself has a little spice to it, so the creaminess of the sour cream and avocado are a perfect balance.

UPDATE: We just ate the leftovers from this meal (which was originally made several weeks ago and had been stored in the freezer) and it held up like it was freshly made. Just reheat in the oven at 400F (204C) for about 20 minutes, or until hot throughout.


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