I met Katie Workman—first at The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference in New York back in February when she told me about her upcoming book—The Mom 100 Cookbook–and then again at the International Association of Culinary Professionals earlier this month when she actually handed me a copy.
Since then it’s been sitting on my kitchen counter, and I’ve been paging through it nearly everyday. Finally yesterday when I was trying to figure out what to have for dinner, I gave it a serious look.
I’m headed out of town midweek. (More on that later.) Before heading out I’ve got a good bit of recipe testing, and I needed to do a big grocery shop. Because of all that I had to do I needed something easy to prepare. But it was Sunday night, and I wanted dinner to be casual, comforting, and fun. I settled pretty quickly on Katie’s Mexican Tortilla Casserole.
As I started preparing my list, I read Katie’s recipe headnote. She was right. I had nearly all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry to make this dish—the onions, spices, beans, tomatoes, corn, cheese. I even had the spinach. Oddly all I needed were flour tortillas, something I almost always have.
I dusted off the 9-inch springform pan I hadn’t used in awhile, and then headed out for my big shop. When I arrived home, David volunteered to unload and put away all of the groceries so I could get the casserole started.
I preheated the oven and began cooking the tomato-bean mixture. By the time he had put away the last of the groceries (and made me a cup of tea), I had that casserole in the oven. Very impressive—the recipe, I mean!
David commented this morning how much he enjoyed last night’s Mexican Tortilla Casserole. There was a time, he observed, when we would have needed meat to feel like we had had a nice dinner. No more.
We had a nice dinner last night. And from the looks of the leftovers, we’re in for a good meal for tonight’s Meatless Monday!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin and minced garlic (from the spice section)
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained, ⅓ cup juice reserved
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cans (15.5 ounces) white, black, or pinto beans (or a mix), drained
- 1½ cups frozen corn, thawed
- 3 cups coarsely chopped spinach
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 4 medium (about 8 inches in diameter) flour tortillas
- 2 cups (8 ounces) Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- Optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, salsa
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan, spring-form pan, or baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cumin, garlic, chili powder; cook until you can smell the spices and the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and reserved juices, the tomato paste, and then the beans and corn; cook to heat thru. Add spinach and continue to cook until it wilts and everything is blended and hot, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange 4 layers in the prepared pan in the following order: 1 tortilla, ¼ of the bean mixture, ½ cup of the cheese. Bake until tortilla casserole is hot throughout and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let casserole sit for about 5 minutes, and then cut into wedges. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, and serve with sour cream and/or salsa on the side, if you like.
Can I use corn tortillas instead?
Pam Anderson says
It’s funny because I almost decided to make the casserole with corn tortillas as well. I think the corn tortillas might fall apart more easily and therefor the layers might be a little less distinct, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. Good luck and let us know how it turns out if you try it.
Betty Armstrong says
where are the tortillas in the ingredient list? What kind (corn, flour?), what size
Pam Anderson says
Oops! Good catch. I’ve added the tortillas to the ingredient list. As you can see, you’ll need 4 of them–about 8 inches in diameter. I tested with flour, but as you can see from my previous response, I think corn would be great too.
Jamie | My Baking Addiction says
I definitely want to try this recipe – I’m for simple and it’s a bonus if I have pretty much everything on hand.
Susie Powell says
Made this tonight . It was great. Used pintos with jalapeños. So good.
Meredith F says
I made this the other night and it was fantastic!! Husband still talks about how good it was…mind you he is VERY picky!! Wonder where my son gets it from!!
katie workman says
Thanks for the great post, Pam!