3 recipes to choose from! Mexican Lasagna, Taco Casserole or Mexican Casserole

Mexican Lasagna with olives on the top (optional)

Digging through some of the recipes I have in my draft files, I saw this one from about 4 years ago.  It is very similar to food items I already make regularly (and have posted here on An American Housewife); Mexican Lasagna and Mexican Casserole.  It is a really, a mixture of the both of them.  It is heavy on the meat, so it's protein packed and you could always play with it a bit to use low-carb tortillas, cut down on the cheese, use jalapeno's instead of chilies to make it hotter, leave out the celery, etc.  Lots of ways to personalize this one.

Taco Casserole

2 1/2 lb.ground beef
1 sm onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small can of chopped green chilies
1 pkg dry taco seasoning
2 cans refried beans
8 oz cream cheese, soft
4 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 package flour tortillas

Cook the ground beef, onion and celery.  Spoon off extra fat. Add the taco seasoning and green chilies. In a greased or lined 9X13 baking pan, place two tortillas to cover the bottom. Now use half of the beans to spread over the bottom tortillas. Now spread the hamburger mixture over the beans. Then spread half of cheese on top. Repeat to make layers. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until the cheese on top is melted.

Mexican Casserole or Dip

1 lb. ground beef browned with
1 small onion, chopped
1 can refried beans
*optional - 1 c ground and browned sausage
4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can green chilies, chopped
*optional - 1 can diced jalapenos
1 - 16 oz. container sour cream
1 jar salsa or taco sauce
*optional - black olives, green olives, sliced
*optional - 1 1/2 c guacamole or avocado dip

Spread the refried beans on the bottom of a sprayed casserole dish for a meal or if you are using this recipe as a dip, spread it thinly on the bottom of a larger pan of your choice - (pizza pan, 9X13, anything you wish!) Brown the ground beef and/or sausage with the onion. Place half into a greased casserole dish or if you are using for a dip, use all of it over the refried beans in the larger pan. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Add the chilies and/or jalapenos, the sour cream, the salsa/sauce and the rest of the cheese in layers. Top with olives if you love them like I do!

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes for a thinner pan and bake 45 minutes if you have a thick casserole dish. When the cheese is melted and it's hot all the way through, remove and serve as a dip or let set for 5-8 minutes to 'set up' when serving as a casserole. It may be more runny when hot straight from the oven and it sets up (like lasagna does) when left to stand and cool a bit. We can never wait and don't care - we dig right in!

Mexican Lasagna
Mmmmmexican Lasagna!  A family favorite!

This is a recipe I've been making for years and years...  but tweaking it with some low carb tortilla's and watching the sugar in the tomato products meant that I was able to make it last night for dinner and it was a huge hit.  Here's the deal.  You can make this ground beef.  However, if you are frugal and you keep leftover cooked chicken from previous meals and have it in the freezer - take it out!  Use it up!  I was able to use up leftovers from the freezer for all the chicken in this recipe and it felt like I was getting a 'free' meal since I saved about $8 by not having to purchase chicken breast for this!  If you don't have anything in the freezer or fridge to use up - no worries.   Make this with ground beef, chicken, ground turkey... play with your food!

Mexican Lasagna

1 - 2 lbs. ground beef, chicken, turkey, etc.
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 t seasoned salt
2 cups diced tomatoes (or use canned if you prefer)
1 T jalapeno's, diced fine (optional if your family hates them)
1 T onion (another option!)
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste with 3 empty cans of water OR use 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c sour cream  OR  ricotta or cottage cheese
2 eggs
10 flour tortillas (any style - low carb, etc. is fine too)
2 1/2 - 3 c shredded cheese

Cook the ground beef (if you are using) and drain.  If you are using already cooked beef, chicken, etc. place it in a large pan on the stove top.  When hot, add the taco seasoning, salt, tomatoes, paste and water or tomato sauce, jalapeno's and onions if you are using them.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer about 10 minutes while you mix the sour cream OR ricotta/cottage cheese with the eggs in a bowl.  Preheat the oven to 350.

Spread half the meat mixture in a 9X13 inch pan.  Cut your flour tortilla in half.  Layer about 5 of them over the meat.  Spread half the sour cream or cottage cheese mixture over the tortillas.  Sprinkle with half the shredded cheese.  Repeat the layers with the rest of the meat, tortillas, sour cream or cheese mixture and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.  You can now use green olives or black olives on top if your family likes them.

Bake uncovered about 20-30 minutes until golden brown, bubbly and hot.  Let it stand 10 minutes to 'set up' for easier cutting.  You can serve this as is or offer sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.

I used cooked, leftover chicken.  But you can make this with ground beef too.

Your flour tortillas become the 'noodles'

Let stand about 10 minutes for easier cutting


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