When one of our Big Traveling Potluck speakers tasted my Chilaquiles Casserole, I got word she said it was the best thing she had eaten in a long time. And she clarified. This was not just the best breakfast, but the best thing, she had eaten in a long time.
The compliment was important, because Sharon and I had seriously debated Saturday morning’s Mexican-themed breakfast. The obvious morning casserole–strata–was out, because it was already on the menu for Sunday morning.
Fried eggs were out too. At last year’s Big Traveling Potluck I had oven-fried four dozen for our breakfast pizzas. I pulled it off, but not without stressing out the entire team. Sharon lobbied for scrambled eggs as part of a build-your-own breakfast taco bar, but I nixed that. I still have PTSD from the scrambled eggs that turned green at one of my catering jobs nearly thirty years ago. Someday I’d face that challenge again, but not this year.
We needed a Mexican-themed eggless breakfast casserole, preferably gluten-free and vegetarian. I suggested chilaquiles in casserole form. Sharon was skeptical, but I gave it a try, layering tortilla chips, followed by salsa, and all of the remaining layers–black beans, corn, chiles, cheese, and scallions. The casserole had potential, but it was dry. Time was running out. The Big Traveling Potluck was getting close, and I didn’t have time to try the recipe again until I got to California just days before the event.
Friday morning I got up extra early and made the Chilaquiles Casserole again, this time doubling the salsa and creating two layers of chips and sauce. As everyone started to rise, they caught a whiff of something wonderfully savory coming from the kitchen. This time the Chilaquiles Casserole was right.
The next morning we debuted it. Even though we made more casserole than we needed, every bite was eaten… which was almost as satisfying as our speaker’s compliment.
- 1 quart salsa
- 1 bag (11 ounces) tortilla chips
- 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup thawed frozen corn,
- ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions,
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, diced
- 1 block (7 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees
- Bring salsa and 1 cup of water to simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook to blend flavors and reduce to the original 1-quart amount, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Layer remaining ingredients evenly in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish in the following order: two layers each:1/2 of the chips and ½ pico de gallo sauce, followed by ½ cup of the scallions and all of the beans, corn, chiles, and cheese. Sprinkle with remaining scallions; bake until warmed through and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Alice in LA says
This looks amazing! Is it my computer playing games with me, or does the recipe leave me hanging at “sprinkle with remaining…” ?
Pam Anderson says
Thanks for the catch, Alice, and for the save, John. I had written this recipe in a document, the last line of which extended to a second page. Alas, the last line didn’t get cut and pasted into this post. All corrected now!
I believe it would be the 1/4 cup of scallions remaining to sprinkle on top, sounds great!
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
This was a wonderful dish! I really enjoyed it! And like the best recipes, it could be for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Such a simple recipe but definitely a huge winner! The perfect thing to serve a crowd. I can’t thank you all enough for having so many wonderful gf/veggie options. It was truly appreciated!
Emily @ Life on Food says
As a Mexican food lover, this is right up my alley! yum, yum!
Jennifer Windham says
Have just made this for dinner for Meatless Monday. Lily Grace pronounced it “The Best Dinner Ever. Except for lasagna.” The whole family enjoyed it, and it was easy to throw together. 265 calories for 1/12; 398 for 1/8 according to myfitnesspal.com. Not bad!
This looks really delicious. But I am unclear about your layers. Did you repeat the layers and then add the rest of the layers? Or did you do the half layers, put the rest in the middle, and then the other half layer? I guess any layer arrangement would work, but I wonder what you did?
Pam Anderson says
Hey Denise, I did a layer of chips, a layer of salsa and then I repeated, followed by remaining ingredients except the 1/4 cup of scallion greens for garnish. I think you’re right. Whatever you do, it tastes great!
Made this last night for dinner. It was easy to prepare (a real plus when you’ve worked all day) and was very good.
Scrambled eggs going ick in the chafing dish (or anywhere else where they have to sit around) – add about 1/4 ts lemon juice per dozen eggs to the egg mix before you scramble them. The acid counteracts whatever it is in the eggs (I think it is iron and sulfur?) that makes them go green. You won’t taste the lemon.
Pam Anderson says
Thanks for the tip, Shan!