Mexican Casseroles
With all the recipes out there today it is hard to decide which of the hundreds of casseroles to make. This is a little easier for me since these recipes have been given to me by friends after I had tasted their dishes. Both of these are Mexican in nature and both are very good. The second one came from a friend of mine who is a vegetarian. Even though it has no meat products it is a very hearty and delicious casserole. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Hearty Tortilla Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 can (15 oz) Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 pkg Taco Seasoning mix
6 corn tortillas
¾ sour cream
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350. Brown ground beef till thoroughly cooked. Add beans, tomatoes, chiles and taco seasoning, mix well. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cut each tortilla in half. Place 6 tortilla halves in bottom of prepared dish, overlapping slightly.

Spoon half of beef mixture evenly over tortillas. Spoon sour cream over beef mixture. Top with remaining tortilla halves and remaining beef mixture. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil. Sprinkle cheese on top of casserole and re-cover. Let stand 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Layered Tex-Mex Tortillas

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 TBS water
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Chili powder
¾ cup salsa
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans
12 small corn tortillas
 ¾ ricotta cheese
1 small can sliced black olives
1 medium tomato, diced
½ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cheeses together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine, onion, pepper, garlic, water, cumin, chili powder, salsa and tomato sauce. Mix well. Stir in black beans then pinto beans, stirring until well blended.

Pour 1/3 of bean mixture in a 13x9 pan spreading evenly. Place 6 tortillas over mixture. Spread ricotta cheese evenly over tortillas. Pour another 1/3 of bean mixture over ricotta. Top with ½ the combined cheese and cover with sliced olives. Place remaining tortillas over olives and add remaining bean mixture.

Cover and bake 30 minute. Uncover and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Serve with diced tomato and sour cream.

Although this last recipe is not technically a casserole, it is a one-dish meal and is sure to please you and any teenagers in your house. I have been making this for several years and it always gets rave reviews.

Tasty Taco Pizza

1 pound ground beef
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 pkg. Taco seasoning mix
1 can Grands crescent rolls
½ pound Velveeta shredded cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
½ cup chopped tomato
¼ cup sliced black olives

Preheat oven to 375. Brown ground beef. Stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning mix. Simmer 5 minutes. Press crescent dough onto bottom and sides of an ungreased 12 inch pizza pan, pressing edges together to seal. Prick bottom and sides with fork.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and fill with meat mixture. Cover with Velveeta cheese. Continue baking until cheese melts. Remove from oven and top with remaining ingredients. Serve with sour cream