Tex-Mex Casserole Pie

"Pie" sliced into eight pieces.

We came up with this one a while back, and since our first try this has always come out a flavorful yet simple dish, capable of satisfying a large or small appetite. We always end up making it as a way to clean out our fridge and pantry, as the ingredients can be thrown together as carefully or as haphazardly as you like.  One shortcoming of this dish is that it should be eaten within two days or everything becomes too soggy to be properly enjoyed, though that’s never really been a problem for us as it usually gets scarfed down on the first night.

These measurements fit our casserole dish which is 8 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. A pie plate works well too if used with large flour tortillas. Adjust the fillings or layers in this  recipe to fit whatever dish you have.

Recipe: Tex-Mex Casserole Pie

Makes approximately 4 servings.

  • 1 15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 4-6 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (optional: substitute with a cup of black beans)
  • about 4 oz (1/2 cup) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup corn nibblets
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • garlic powder
  • chicken powder/bouillon
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with a layer of tomato sauce and place one layer of corn tortillas on top of the sauce.
  3. Add another layer of tomato sauce, and and a dash of each spice on top. You may want to mix the spices into the tomato sauce before starting if it makes the spices easier to deal with.
  4. Make a layer of black beans, and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with a corn tortilla. Add a layer of tomato sauce and spices.
  5. At this time, mix a substantial amount of all spices into the ground meat and then place all of the spiced meat loosely into the next layer the casserole. Top with pepper, onions, cheese, tortilla, and sauce again.
  6. Start another layer and layer another mix of vegetables and cheese on. Depending on the size/depth of your dish, this could be your last layer or one of many more. If it is your last (which it was for us), then we suggest finishing up with another tortilla, some sauce and a generous topping of cheese, and, if you like, a sprinkle of ground pepper.
  7. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes, and then remove lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

This dish goes well with a salad (preferably lemon) and served over rice, but can be equally as enjoyable all by itself.

And just for fun:

Dissection of a hearty casserole

The cheese is really what holds together this pie, so even if you were to switch out all the other types of ingredients, we do recommend keeping a cheese because of how well it holds the layers together. As for cheese type, we highly suggest cheddar, but it is clear from the photos that we had a shortage of cheddar and a surplus of american cheese slices. Even still, this made for a delicious combo, so go ahead and mix and match ingredients of your choice in line with your own preferred flavors and dietary regimens.

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