Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blue Chip Mexican Casserole

Last month I had a little outpatient procedure performed.  The doctor gave me all sorts of "chill out" medicine and I was quite the happy camper!  

One of my wise friends, however, realized that I was in no condition to prepare dinner for my family.  So she made this awesome casserole for us. My husband begged for calmly requested that I get the recipe.  Thanks, Stacy, for taking care of my family!

This is a super-simple supper item that will feed a hungry crowd.

You can make a large amount (9 x 13-inch baking dish) or make two 8 x 8 baking dishes and freeze one for later. 

You can also customize the spiciness by varying the "heat" of the salsa...mild to extra hot.

I used organic blue corn chips instead of the traditional type...because I heart them.


Start with a Mexican flag of colors in your skillet:
onion, red bell pepper and 1/4 cup sliced green onions.  
Saute for 7-8 minutes.

After they've softened, kick out the "flag" veggies and 
brown some ground beef (or bison or turkey).

Add back in the vegetables,

two cups of salsa, and a drained can of black beans.

Stir in the cilantro. 

Mmmmmmm....ever tried these?

You'll need to crush almost the whole bag (about 3 cups worth).  
It's a fun thing to do.  Trust me.

Top with the beef/bean mixture which, 
by the way, would also be an awesome filling for burritos.

Spread with sour cream and then top with 
fresh tomatoes and the remaining green onions.

And of course cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese.

Bake until it's hot and bubbly.

Remember:  you can either make this casserole into a 9 x 13 inch crowd-server, or you can divide it into two 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking dishes and freeze one for later.  

Here's the printable recipe.

Blue Chip Mexican Casserole
Serves 8-10

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound lean ground beef (substitute bison or turkey)
2 cups salsa (from mild to hot)
1/2 cup green onion (about 4 green onions), green part only, sliced (divided into 1/4 cup increments)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (about a handful of leaves)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained (substitute ranch-style pinto beans or chili beans)
3 cups blue corn tortilla chips, crushed (substitute regular corn chips, if desired)
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (substitute or make a mixture of Colby Jack or Pepper Jack)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions, red bell pepper, and 1/4 cup of the green onions.  Saute over medium-high heat until softened, about 7-8 minutes. 

Remove onion mixture to a small bowl and set aside.  Add ground beef to skillet and cook until fully browned.  Stir in the salsa, add back in the onion mixture, mix well, and allow to simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until liquid is fully absorbed.  Add beans and cilantro.  

Spray one 9 x 13 baking dish (or two 8 x 8 baking dishes) with cooking spray.  Spread crushed chips in baking dish(es).  Spoon beef mixture over chips.  Dollop the sour cream over the beef mixture and then spread the sour cream evenly across the top.  Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of green onions and the fresh tomato over the sour cream.  Top with Cheddar cheese.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Recipe adapted from here.

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Rachel said...

Yum! I'm going to try this.

Lucas Kain said...

Casserole is one of the favourite meals of half of my family. I am sure they will love this one, too, thank you! :)

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Maia said...

What a delicious-looking casserole! I am a sucker for all things Mexican food (it's an affliction from which all native Californians suffer).

As a professional classical musician and an amateur foodie, I am happy to have stumbled upon your blog! Look forward to seeing what else you have in store.