A Quinoa filled, Corn Tortilla Enchilada casserole
Mexican/Spanish vegetarian cuisine is a favorite among Indians today, IMHO, because of the many similarities in the flavor profile of both the cuisines. The cumin, tomatoes ,garlic, green chilies ,beans, cilantro, sour cream, crema, roti like tortilla, fritters, grilled corn, and so many more components that an indian vegetarian grew up eating! I absolutely enjoy that balance between flavors and the inviting aroma of Mexican/Spanish food!
It is natural that our children will also take to this cuisine like fish to water. I just have to adjust the heat to suit their spice level and they also absolutely love that smoky component in this cuisine. Tacos, chips and guacamole, grilled corn in a smoky rub, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, churros, mexican wedding cookies and many many more……an endless list of favorites.
So, when a request is made for an enchilada casserole, this is my go to recipe. It is semi homemade but there is no dearth for flavor in this casserole. I have a favorite store to source my ingredients from and they are worth my time and money. So, I proudly use it in my Mexican food Adventures and relish it without guilt!
I have used organic white corn tortilla here, quinoa, yellow corn and red kidney beans for the filling, readymade enchilada sauce, some fresh tomato salsa and lots of cheese – mild cheddar and monterey jack. Served with a side of pan roasted veggies in taco seasoning and a dollop of sour cream.
This is my interpretation of an Enchilada Casserole that was highly driven by the ingredients I had on hand. It is a very forgiving recipe, so feel free to modify it to your liking.
Prep time : in total : 30 minutes Cook time : 30 minutes to 40 minutes
Ease level : 😃 Spice level : 🌶🌶(make it as spicy as you like)
For the Enchilada Casserole :
- Tortilla – 8 inch – white corn (ideal because flour tortilla can be dense and make for a heavy casserole, FYI) – 10 – cut in half or quarter
- Cooked quinoa – 1 1/2 cups
- Red kidney beans – cooked – 1 cup
- Corn kernels – 1 can (drained and rinsed)
- Salt to taste
- Taco seasoning – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste ( you can use a tin of green chilies if you like)
- Enchilada sauce – 1.5 cups – I used store bought one
- Fresh Medium salsa – 1 cup – I used a store bought one
- Shredded Mild Cheddar – 1 cup
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese – 1 cup
- Cilantro for garnish – optional
- In a mixing bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, red kidney beans and corn. Add salt, taco seasoning and mash roughly together.
- Take an oven safe bakeware dish, grease it using oil and use that for layering the enchilada bake. PREHEAT oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
- LAYER 1 : Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce on the surface of the dish, then layer 2 corn tortillas over it. I cut them all in quarters so that I can layer easily. Then add some quinoa-bean mixture, some fresh salsa and enough enchilada sauce to coat the entire layer. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.
- Layer 2 : Repeat…corn tortillas, quinoa- bean mixture, salsa-enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.
- Keep going, add another set of the above until your casserole dish is filled up to the top. Make sure the last layer has a good, generous of layer of shredded cheese if you like that ooey gooey, slightly browned cheese layer in your casserole.
- Place the casserole dish on a cookie sheet, just so there is no cheese dripping in the oven when it melts, and bake at 350 degrees, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and starting to slightly brown.
- Remove, let cook for 5 minutes, slice and enjoy !
For the pan roasted veggies : While the casserole is in the oven, you can put this together. It take time to only chop the veggies, the saute part is uber quick.
- Carrots, green beans, cauliflower and bell pepper – 3 cups chopped
- Medium sized onion – 1 chopped
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon or use cumin powder
- Crushed red pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Ginger and Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon each
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
- Taco Seasoning – 1 Tablespoon
- Oil to roast veggies
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cilantro for garnish
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat, add oil, then the cumin seeds.
- Next add the chopped onions and saute for a minute, add a pinch of salt to help it cook faster.
- Next add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute or 2.
- Now thrown in the veggies and let them cook for 3 minutes, then add the turmeric.
- When roasting veggies on a skillet, I do not cover and cook them, a quick stir fry leaves them al dente, with a slight crunch, just how we like it. Feel free to cover and cook if you desire.
- Now, add the taco seasoning, adjust for salt , sauté for another minute or 2 and turn off heat.
- Remove to a serveware and keep warm until casserole is ready.
I hope you enjoy this casserole as much as we did. Thank you for stopping by.