Recipe: Layered Mexican Casserole

Layered Mexican Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef
1 jar (16 oz) Old El Paso Thick n Chunky salsa
8 soft corn tortillas (6 inch), torn. (Recommendation: tear 4 in one bowl, then 4 in another bowl.)
1 can (16 oz) Old El Paso refried beans
1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (6 oz)
1 can (15 oz) Spanish rice
1 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips
Diced tomato, if desired
Chopped green onion, if desired
Sour cream, if desired
Heat oven to 350F. Spray an 11x7 (2 quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
In a 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked. Drain. Sir in 1 cup of the salsa; heat about 2 minutes or until hot.
Line baking dish with one bowl of the tortilla pieces. Stir the refried beans and remaining salsa; spoon and spread evenly over tortillas. Top with 1/2 of the meat mixture and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Layer remaining tortilla pieces over the cheese. Spoon and spread rice over tortillas. Top with remaining meat mixture, then crushed tortilla chips.
Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until hot in center and bubbling on the edges. Top with remaining cheese and garnish with tomatoes, green onion and sour cream, if desired.
Low Carb substitute for corn tortillas:
1. Cut thin disks (use a mandolin) of zucchini and yellow squash, mix together, and then use in place of the torn tortillas.
2. In place of the crushed chips: Mix panko, melted butter, and a tsp taco seasoning.
Lena Austin


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