Did you know that yesterday was National Taco Day? Like many other bloggers I took this an excuse to HAVE to have tacos (conveniently on the alliterative Tuesday!) but veered away from the regular taco. I wanted to fork my tacos and went for the taco casserole because it was a bit nippy last night and because it’s much easier to take leftover cassrole to work the next day than it is to assemble and portion out ingredients for tacos to them reassemble at your desk! Trust me, I used to do it a lot.

Taco Casserole

Feeds 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cup of black beans (or ground faux beef crumbles, pre-heated if you wish)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt to taste (about a teaspoon)
  • black pepper to taste
  • spinach (I just eyeballed this, enough to cover the dish well, let’s say 1-2 cups)
  • corn tortilla chips or broken hard taco shells
  • grated Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups of chunky red salsa
  • sour cream and scallions as optional garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Heat the olive oil to medium high heat in a saucepan. Once warm, add the onions. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the peppers. Saute for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the corn, beans, salt, pepper and lime juice and heat til warm.
  3. While the vegetables are heating, spray a 8×8 inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and put a layer of crunched up tortilla chips on the bottom. Don’t crunch them too finely or leave the pieces too large. See photo below for reference.
  4. Once vegetables are heated through, spread them evenly over the tortilla chips in the casserole dish. Spread half of the cheese on top of the vegetables.
  5. Layer the spinach, then half of the salsa, the remaining tortilla chips, the remainder of the salsa, then finally the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and browned a bit.
  7. Let set for ten minutes if you can stand it so it can meld together, then enjoy!

Mine didn’t stay together in slices til it had a chance to hang out in the fridge overnight and solidified a bit more. It was still a delicious fiesta on my plate though!

From direction #3:

 

Layers of delicioso! Don’t skimp on the cheese like I did, that is what holds the layers together.