Burrito casserole, also known as Mexican lasagna, is a crowd-pleasing weeknight meal that can be customized for whatever your family’s tastes are!
Some days I just don’t feel very inspired to make anything new and interesting. I make more pizzas than two people should eat, and Saturday mornings are a biscuits & gravy extravaganza around here at least three out of four weeks. Going back to work makes this feeling even more acute, and the week before last I informed Mr. Haymaker that I would be requiring him to come up with at least one meal idea per week (I mentioned recently that he’s not much for meal planning). Last Friday as I was doing my marathon grocery planning, I asked him for some ideas and he gave me two: taco soup and lasagna.
Taco soup is easy; putting some ingredients in the Crock-Pot and coming home to dinner makes me happy times infinity, especially since it can easily be frozen for one of those “oops, I forgot that essential ingredient and no way am I going to the store to get it” kinds of nights. Lasagna, though….well, lasagna is just not a great meal for a family of two. Not that I don’t love lasagna, but I’ve never made an honest-to-God meat and cheese lasagna for two people. The only frame of reference I have is the massive casserole that my mom makes for our very large family. There are lots of leftovers even then. So I must do my research on a good for-two-to-four-people lasagna recipe.
I didn’t want to shoot down his idea, though, so my wheels started turning. I guess I could do baked ziti….or maybe try baked spaghetti. The night that I was thinking about this, though, I was having a crazy Mexican craving so I guess that’s why I didn’t really care that I planned taco soup and this: Mexican lasagna. I had something similar once at a friend’s house…taco-seasoned ground beef, a creamy cheesy filling, some sort of taco sauce, cheese, and tortillas as noodles. I started cooking up an idea: flour tortillas, homemade enchilada sauce, taco-seasoned ground beef, corn, a blend of jack cheeses, and ricotta. And boy oh boy, was it a good idea.
I found a great, simple recipe for enchilada sauce on the Vita-Mix website that I made the night before (I’ve included a modification in the recipe if you don’t have a high-speed blender); I also cooked the taco meat the night before, and since I’d done my prep work ahead I really only had about ten minutes of active prep the day that I made this.
I called this “enchilada casserole” up to the point that we were eating it, when I decided that since it was made with flour, not corn, tortillas that it was really more like a burrito that just happened to have some enchilada sauce on top of it…so instead I called it burrito casserole. I realize it looks messy, a little gross even. Trust me, burrito casserole is not gross. It was delicious, and when we had the leftovers it had definitely firmed up a bit. And it tasted even better the second day.
This burrito casserole is a crowd-pleaser!
Yield: 6-8 servings
15 minPrep Time:
40 minCook Time:
55 minTotal Time:
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 roma tomato (halved)
- 1 clove garlic (peeled)
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Medium onion (diced)
- 1/2 jalapeño (diced)
- 1lb ground beef
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- dash cumin
- dash paprika
- dash cayenne
- 1 cup corn
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt ((to taste))
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (use preceding recipes or, if you must, storebought enchilada sauce)
- 5 8-inch flour tortillas
- 4oz monterey jack cheese (grated)
- 4oz pepper jack cheese-or use 8 ounces of monterey jack & omit pepper jack (grated)
- 15oz ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 Large egg
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- Make the sauce: If using a Vita-Mix or other high-speed blender, place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed. Slowly turn up to top speed and puree for 6-7 minutes, until steam escapes from the vented lid.
- If not using a high-speed blender, place the ingredients in a regular blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the casserole: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the onion, jalapeño, and ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until the beef is browned and the onion and jalapeño are tender. Add in the chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powders, paprika, and cayenne and 1/4 cup of water until thickened. Salt to taste. Alternatively, you can omit the seasonings and use a packet of taco seasoning. Stir in the corn and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce.
- Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish. Cut 4 tortillas in half and 1 into quarters. Arrange 2 on the bottom of the pan with the long edges against the edge of the dish. Use 2 quarters to cover any remaining exposed parts of the pan.
- Spread the meat mixture on top of the tortillas then cover the meat with 1/2 of the pepper jack cheese. Layer another 2 halves and 2 quarters of tortilla on top of the meat & cheese.
- Combine the ricotta, monterey jack cheese, egg, cilantro, and salt to taste. Spread on top of the tortilla layer. Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce over the ricotta mixture.
- Top the enchilada sauce with the remaining 4 tortilla halves. Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas then sprinkle with the remaining pepper jack cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. The longer you let it sit, the firmer it will be.