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I was going to share a few more ways I used pesto (like I promised last week), until I remembered that Cinco de Mayo is coming up this weekend!

I am in no way claiming that this is a historically accurate Mexican dish that represents this holiday.  But its got the right vibe and feels festive to me. This casserole is SO easy and uses mostly pantry staples. Plus, my kids like it! Woo to the hoo! So here she is in all her glory…

Quesadilla Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
15 oz. can black beans (drained & rinsed)
16 oz. can tomato sauce
8 3/4 oz. can corn (I can never find this… I just use a regular size can but don’t put it all in)
4 1/2 oz. can chopped green chiles
2 t. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. dried oregano leaves
1/2 t. cayenne (ground red) pepper
2 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, a mix of whatever you like)
6 – 8 flour tortillas (I only had 4 and didn’t realize it but don’t skimp here if you can help it)


Brown beef & onion; drain (I had already browned some beef and thrown it in the freezer last week (which is why its in a baggie in the ingredients pic) so I used a tablespoon of oil and put the onion in for a minute or so first, then added the cooked meat). Add beans, tomato sauce, corn, and green chiles. Stir in all spices except red pepper. Bring to a boil reduce heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste.


Then it gets layered lasagna style. Spread 1/4 cup of the beef mixture on the bottom of a greased, glass 9×13. Top with 3 tortillas. Layer with 1/2 the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef, and cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


I cut it into 8 pieces but usually eat 1 1/2. Shhh. Don’t tell. I would only count on it to feed 4 adults.


If I had been more prepared I would have made PWs pico de gallo and/or tried Elsie’s jalapeno guacamole. But I wasn’t. And I didn’t. Instead, I served myself a little chopped lettuce, some diced tomato, and a dollop of sour cream. A nice cool compliment to the warm casserole. My husband covered his in fresh (from the store) salsa and possibly some sriracha (he likes mixing his eastern and latin foods). I also left out the cayenne because my little ones are sensitive to spicy (sometimes they eat it but they’re little mouths get red on the outside so I don’t like to risk it).


I recommend that you enjoy this meal with your favorite Mexican beverage or a limeade! So refreshing. By the way, I was drinking a Dos Equis when I met my husband. It will ALWAYS be my favorite beer.