Corn Tortilla Casserole Inspired by Zaar Chefs

Recipe by Lennie

This dish would not have been created without the inspiration of Mirjam, Bill, Mysterygirl, bratty 1, leeannr, Miller, SueL and Karen in Colorado. They all offered advice and ideas, and pointed me towards recipes as I attempted to create a dinner with some corn tortillas I had on hand. This is the concoction I came up with (and it was not what I went into the kitchen to create, but this dish kind of created itself as I went along), after reading all the recipes and considering all the advice; thanks to you all!

Top Review by Jake Hazelip

OK, this recipe rocks. This is the recipe that made me decide to join this site. I did make a few alterations, however. I almost always do. 1. I seasoned the meat as it cooked. If this isn't done, the meat just tastes like...meat. 2. I'm certain a 15 ounce jar of picante and a 14 ounce can of refried beans do not exist. I had to use a 16 ounce jar and a 16 ounce can. 3. I used a Mexican blend of four cheeses, fancy shred, because I'm lazy. 4. I added a drained 2.25 ounce of sliced black olives to a layer. 5. I used two different 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes. One was diced with garlic and the other with jalapeƱos. The wife and I love this recipe, and will be making it again. I'm taking it to work for lunch today, as a matter of fact. Thanks for sharing this, it was delicious! -Jake

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Note for Canadians: I used the following to prepare this dish: 1 796-mL tin of tomatoes, 1 398-mL tin of refried beans and 1 430-mL jar of picante sauce.
  2. Also, the cheese I used was a prepackaged shredded mix called"Casserole Mix"; it's a mixture of cheddar, colby and monterey jack.
  3. Feel free to spice this up as you please; I deliberately kept this lowkey and mild to please my husband, who would not have liked it if I had added the"firepower" I would have liked to add; also note that the omission of salt is not an error--I didn't think the recipe needed salt at all.
  4. Preheat oven to 325F; have ready an ungreased 13x9 pan.
  5. Take 1 tortilla, lightly spread a bit of margarine on both sides (going right to the edges), and place on a microwave-safe plate; I used a small piece of wax paper wadded up into a ball to do the spreading.
  6. Place the next tortilla on top, lightly spread margarine on it (on the top side only), get the next tortilla, repeat process, and so on and so on, until you have a stack of 18 tortillas; this may take more than the 2 tbsp of margarine, depending on how thinly you've spread it.
  7. Place plate in microwave and cook, on High, for 5 minutes; when time is up, set tortillas aside.
  8. Meanwhile, crumble beef into a large skillet and saute.
  9. When brown, place beef in a mixing bowl, discarding any fat.
  10. Stir chili powder into beef, then add 1 cup shredded cheese and the tin of tomatoes; combine well.
  11. Place 6 corn tortillas into the bottom of 13x9 pan; top with half the ground beef mixture.
  12. Place 6 tortillas on top of beef.
  13. Spread the refried beans across these 6 tortillas, distributing as evenly as possible.
  14. Top refried beans with remaining beef mixture.
  15. Place the last 6 tortillas on top of beef mixture.
  16. In a small bowl, whisk together the entire jar of picante sauce with the sour cream.
  17. Spread this mixture across the top of casserole, making sure to cover all exposed areas of the corn tortillas.
  18. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top of casserole.
  19. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  20. Serve with sour cream on the side, if you wish, and a green salad.

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