This is a great weekday dinner that comes together in 15 mindless minutes of preparation. Resist the temptation to add the other half of the can of pinto beans to the mix. It makes the casserole mushy. My friend Jen thinks that the whole thing works great as a dip. Prep it as though you were going to put it in the oven. Instead, put some in a serving dish and serve with chips. It’s two dishes in one. No wait, it’s three! My friend Erika taught me that you can add beaten eggs to it and make it a breakfast frittata. Who knew? Put aside 1½ cups of the turkey/veggie/bean mix before you put the rest of it in the baking dish. The next morning, turn on your broiler. Beat six eggs in a medium bowl. Put the casserole mix in a large, ovenproof saucepan. Warm up the mix on medium heat and then add the beaten eggs. Stir a few times and then take the pan off the heat. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Place the pan in the broiler and cook until puffed.
Mexican Casserole (6-8 servings)
- 2 cups crushed salted tortilla chips
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 15.5-oz can black beans, drained
- ½ 15.5-oz can pinto beans, drained
- 2 cups frozen sweet corn kernels, defrosted
- 1 6-oz can California black olives, drained and sliced (6-oz olive cans are the same height & width as 15-oz cans of tomato sauce but olive cans list “drained weight”)
- 1 cup cooked rice (optional)
- 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups Pico de Gallo salsa (I use medium)
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, fine dice
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 cups grated cheese (I use the Mexican mix available at TJ’s and Costco)
- extra salsa, guacamole and sour cream for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Scatter half the crushed tortilla chips on the bottom of the dish. In a medium skillet, brown the turkey with ½ cup Pico de Gallo salsa. Drain.
Combine the turkey, beans, corn, tomato sauce, salsa, onion, bell pepper, rice, cilantro, and garlic in a bowl. Place half the mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle half the grated cheese over the mixture. Place the other half of the turkey/veggie/bean mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and then scatter the remaining tortilla chips on top.
Bake for 40 minutes until hot all the way through and bubbly. Serve with additional salsa, guacamole and sour cream. The mixture can be made a day ahead and assembled and baked the next day.