Enchilada Casserole

My brother, the cooking genius, has perfected what he calls "9 to 5 cooking". Basically, for us foodies that enjoy tasty noms but work day jobs, "9 to 5" recipes represent the best of both worlds: quick, and delicious.

This one (despite the fact that I have to omit cheese on my half of it because of my dairy allergy) is one of my favs.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9x12" glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Brown the ground beef in a skillet, draining off the fat.
  4. Add the onion and ortega chilies and saute until the onions start to turn translucent. 
  5. (here's the beef!)
  6. Add taco seasoning and whatever amount of water it calls for, and turn off the heat.
  7. Meanwhile, dip a tortilla in the enchilada sauce (I find it helpful to dump the sauce on a small plate for this process), and place it in the bottom of the baking dish.
  8. Do the same with 5 more tortillas, so they line the bottom of the dish.
  9. (see how I used flour tortillas instead? Yeah, don't do that)
  10. Spread the refried beans over the bottom layer of sauced tortillas.
  11. (mmmmm....)
  12. Layer another 6 sauced tortillas over the beans.
  13. Put the beef mixture over this layer of sauced tortillas.
  14. (beef layer)
  15. Gently drizzle about 3 Tblsp enchilada sauce over the beef mixture.
  16. Layer another 6 sauced tortillas over the sauced beef mixture.
  17. Cover liberally with the cheddar cheese, and sliced olives.
  18. (please ignore my desperate attempt to make 5 flour tortillas act like 18 corn tortillas)
  19. You can, at this point, cover the dish with Saran Wrap and freeze it, for baking later. If you do this, let the dish thaw at room temperature for about an hour BEFORE putting it in the oven, or the glass will shatter.
  20. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes.
It looks like a lot of work, but it really isn't. It can be good messy fun with the kids, or a pretty easy make-ahead meal that you can compile on the weekend, then thaw and bake on a busy weeknight.

It also feeds an army!

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