Spicy Bean Enchilada Casserole and Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I like to make meatless meals every now and then, especially if it’s good enough that Lo can’t tell it’s meatless (trickery, I know).  I cooked up a big bag of pinto beans and froze half of them.  The rest I used to make Spicy Bean Enchilada Casserole.  The recipe calls for refried beans, but I just made my own by sauteing pintos with seasonings (shakes of cayenne, chili powder, cumin, and chipotle seasonings), adding some water, and mashing them with a big spoon (I don’t have a potato masher).  The recipe calls for black beans, but I just used the pintos that I cooked.  We really liked this meal.  Lo didn’t know that it didn’t contain meat until I told him.  He doesn’t like it when I trick him, but he already said it was good so he couldn’t take it back.

Spicy Bean Enchilada Casserole
adapted from Once a Month Mom

Casseroles never look pretty…
  • 1 can of red enchilada sauce (or see homemade recipe below)
  • 12 ounces frozen whole kernel corn, thawed or microwaved until just cooked
  • 16 ounces refried beans
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • 15 ounces black beans, drained, rinsed (I used pintos)
  • 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch baking dish (or 2 8×8-inch) with cooking spray. Spread half of enchilada sauce in bottom of dish. Spread about half of refried beans on 6 tortillas. Place tortillas, bean-side up, over sauce in dish, overlapping to fit. Stir together remaining enchilada sauce, corn, black beans and undrained tomatoes in large bowl. Spread half of corn mixture over tortillas in dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat layering with remaining refried beans and tortillas, corn mixture and remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 35 minutes or until hot in center and bubbly around edges. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Freezing Directions: Prepare according to directions above except do not preheat oven and do not bake. Instead, once assembled, cover with foil and freeze. To serve: Thaw. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot in center and bubbly around edges. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into 8 pieces. 

 On to the sauce:

The enchilada sauce recipe makes 5 cups, I froze the remaining that Lo didn’t use in the Enchilada Meatball recipe (which were also frozen).  This is a pretty spicy sauce, but we really liked it.  If you have a tender tongue, don’t add any extra cayenne.

Enchilada Sauce
Tammy’s Recipes

3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water*
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup gluten free flour – I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour
Optional: Cayenne pepper added (to taste) at the end, if you like hot enchilada sauce
1. Place all ingredients into blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a 3- or 4-quart sauce pan. Or, place ingredients into a 4-quart sauce pan (no heat) and blend with an immersion stick blender until smooth.
2. Heat mixture in sauce pan over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens and boils. Let boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Cool. Taste, and whisk in some cayenne pepper if you want a hotter sauce.

*I had to add a little extra chicken broth, as it thickened a little too much.  Add extra to your preference.

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