meatless monday: enchilada casserole

I first saw this recipe on Caitlin’s blog a couple weeks back.  But, it wasn’t until after Tina made it and RAVED about it that I knew I had to try it.  Since both of them adapted their recipes to make it their own, I knew I had to do the same.

One of my favorite Mexican/Tex-Mex meals are fajitas.  Peppers and onions grilled to perfection in a warm, doughy flour tortilla – how can you possibly go wrong!  Especially with some guac thrown on top.  Matt and I are also firm believers that enchilada sauce makes everything taste better.  So, I took some inspiration from fajitas and a little enchilada and put them together to make this delicious casserole!  This would be a great “take to a friend’s house who needs some help with some meals” meal.

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ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
Adapted from this recipe.  Serves 4.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large red onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 large red bell pepper, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained + rinsed
5 corn tortillas, warmed + halved
1 15-ounce can red enchilada sauce
2 ounces shredded cheese (about 1/2 cup) – I used Trader Joe’s Mexican Blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan.  Add onion and pepper and cook until tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Meanwhile, puree kidney beans in a food processor until mostly smooth (there can be a few chunks).  Add garlic, taco seasoning, and beans to pan.  Cook until heated through.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 5 tortilla halves.  Spread half the onion + pepper mixture onto the tortillas.  Pour half the enchilada sauce onto of the onion + pepper mixture.  Layer with half the cheese.  Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas, onion + peppers, enchilada sauce and cheese.

Cover baking dish with foil and place in the oven.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.  Let casserole sit for about 5 minutes so it has a chance to set up (and not burn your mouth).

100_3938Yup, forgot to take a picture before plating.

Saucy, not too cheesy, and absolutely YUM.  Next time, I think I would dice the peppers and onions instead of chopping them to blend them in with the beans a little better.  They got a little hard to cut through with the tortillas.  But, this was a perfectly satisfying, comforting meal.

If peppers and onions aren’t your thing, check out Caitlin and Tina’s versions.  No enchilada sauce, but they still sound pretty delish to me.  And Caitlin’s is even vegan.

Oh, and by the way… the leftovers make a great lunch the next day!