Here is a super easy, absolutely delicious Mexican-style Casserole dish. This is one of those recipes that came together after a long day of canning session and having a handful of this and a little of that leftover here and there.
A note about this recipe, you can use your own cream of anything soup mix, if you prefer to control the ingredients or don’t like canned condensed soups.
Mexicana Enchilada Casserole Bake
1 lb ground beef, venison, or turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped green pepper (optional)
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 c. chopped green chile peppers, or 2 jalapeno peppers (seeded and chopped)
1 cup milk
1 small clove garlic, minced
tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled (A couple of good handfuls)
1 cup or so grated Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup black olives, halved
In a large skillet, saute the onion in a drizzle of oil (whatever you have on hand) over medium heat. Add the ground beef or turkey and cook until no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain off any excess fat.
Add enchilada sauce, undiluted soups, chopped peppers, milk, and minced garlic; stirring well. Reduce heat and let it simmer for several minutes for all the flavors to marry. (Don’t rush it or they’ll end up divorced 😉 !)
In the meantime, lightly spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick spray and then add a scoop of the sauce mixture to the bottom, spreading it out. Sprinkle a layer of coarsely crumbled tortilla chips; top with some of the ground beef mixture, sprinkle with cheese, then repeat the layers until everything is used up.
Top with a layer of crumbled chips and lightly sprinkle with cheese. If you prefer spicy over mild, you can top the casserole with Sliced jalapeno peppers. As you can see from the photo, not everyone in our household likes added heat, so I compromised by only covering half of it with home-canned pickled jalapeno slices.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. To serve, add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle liberally with halved black olives.
Regarding the tortilla chips- this is a wonderful recipe for using up stale tortilla chips that got opened and shoved in the back of the cupboard. If they are super stale, you can spread them onto a cookie sheet and bake them for about 4 minutes to re-crisp them before using them in the recipe.
Preparation time takes about 12 minutes from skillet to oven & baking time about 30 minutes.