October 30, 2014

corn tortilla casserole with black beans and spinach

This casserole is worth every step!  It can tend to have some heat from the tomatillo salsa, and poblano peppers, so be careful of what "level" of heat you buy when purchasing the salsa.  If you are in a hurry you can buy canned beans, roasted peppers, and frozen spinach to cut down on some of the prep time.  If you prefer to add a meat shredded chicken would work perfect layered into this dish! 

Servings 4-6
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

  • 4 fresh poblano chiles, roasted (see TIPS AND TRICKS: How to roast chilies and peppers in the oven)
  • 18, 6 inch corn tortillas, halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach
  • course salt
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 cup mexican crema or sour cream, plus some for serving (mexican crema is similar to sour cream but has added salt and is a bit thinner... so I usually use sour cream that I have thinned with a bit of milk and then add some salt)
  • 2 1/4 cups tomatillo salsa (here's a recipe for homemade tomatillo salsa or you can use store-bought, if you use the homemade I would suggest putting it in a blender until smooth)
  • 1 1/2 cups mexican crumbling cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush or spray (the Misto works perfect for this!) the tortilla halves on both sides and arrange them on a baking sheet, or you can cover the oven racks with foil to give yourself more room.  Bake, rotating halfway through, until tortillas begin to bubble (but are not yet crisp), 5-7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the washed spinach with water still clinging to the leaves.  If you bought prewashed just add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet.  Cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes.  Drain, squeeze out excess moisture, and then coarsely chop.  Set aside in a small bowl.

In the skilled, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add onion and season with salt.  Cook, while stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.  Stir in chilies and cook for an additional minute.  Transfer to a bowl.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet.  Cook garlic for 30 seconds and then add the beans and season with salt.  Cook for 2 minutes while, mashing slightly with the back of a spoon or potato masher.  Remove from heat.

In a 10 inch round (or oval) baking dish with sides about 3 inches high, line the bottom with 12 tortillas halves, overlapping slightly.

 Layer with chile mixture, half of the beans, and half of the crema.  Spread 3/4 cup salsa over the top, followed by 1/2 cup cheese.  Repeat for a second layer, using spinach instead of the chilies.  Top with remaining tortillas, 3/4 cup salsa, and 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake 45 minutes uncovered and then cover with foil (if browning or drying out) and bake for another 15 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with additonal crema and salsa.  Enjoy!!!

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