Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mexican Casserole (freezer meal)

I was looking for a good freezer meal that would use things I had on hand (though I did have to restock a few things before I made this).  I found this recipe, and of course tweaked it quite a bit.  Here's what I ended up doing.

1.25 lb. ground turkey, browned
with 1 diced onion and a couple good spoonfuls of minced garlic

3 cans of diced tomatoes (I started with 2 but added a 3rd because it was too spicy)
2 cans of corn, rinsed and drained
3 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained (really it was 1 can plus two can-sized bags I had in the freezer from a pot I had made from dried beans)
about 16 oz. of picante sauce
5 tablespoons of taco seasoning (I mix my own, and I think I made it extra spicy this time)
a little salt to taste (I went light on the salt in my taco seasoning)
Simmer a bit to let the flavors combine. 

This made a huge pot of filling, which was what I was going for.  I wanted the meat to go a long way, and it really did distribute well so I didn't think it was lacking in the final product at all. 

I layered the filling with flour tortillas in 3 baking pans (8x8, and two 9x13 foil pans) according to the instructions in the recipe: start with a little filling, add halves of tortilla with straight sides along the outside of the pan, add more filling, etc.

I almost forgot the cheese, so only the top couple of layers had it.  I think if I did this again I would use more cheese, but I only had 2 cups to go between all the pans and I think it worked fine.

I baked the 8x8 pan for supper for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  The other two I covered in foil, let cool down a bit, and put in the deep freeze.  I wrote the directions from the recipe on them (40 minutes at 350, pre-thawed).  We enjoyed the one we ate that night with a little plain Greek yogurt (a.k.a. sour cream).  I'm hopeful the other two will turn out well when we need them too. 

I calculated the approximate cost of making the entire recipe (my canned goods are from Aldi so much cheaper than the average), and I think it comes to about $12.  Not too shabby for 3 good meals!