Easy One-Pot Meal that Freezes Well
This Mexican Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole recipe comes from Good Food Cookbook by Jane Brody, author and retired New York Times Personal Health columnist. The rich chili sauce infuses the mild-flavored tofu exquisitely. Like most chili-flavored recipes, it tastes terrific warmed up the next day as flavors meld, making it a tremendous leftover or freezer meal.
The first time I served this tortilla casserole recipe to my children, my middle daughter kept asking me, “mmm, what is that cheese, mommy?” It took me years to tell her that it was tofu. This recipe makes a large casserole dish that serves eight. I often split the recipe into two pie pans and freeze one. The only adaptation I have made is using convenient store-bought tortilla chips. Jane Brody instructs how to use fresh corn tortilla that has not been fried or salted for better nutrition.
This cookbook has a special place in my heart since it was the first one I ever purchased. I read an earlier book by the author, Jane Brody’s Nutrition Book, and found myself so enamored with the nutrition information that I called in sick at work to finish the book! I was hooked on nutrition and wellness from that point on. The book was a game-changer for me. She published the Good Food Cookbook shortly after I read the nutrition book. I met her at the book signing. This cookbook may get more use than any other recipe book I own. The broken spine and dirty pages prove it’s a favorite tool in my recipe arsenal.
What to Serve with Mexican Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole?
This is a wonderful One-Pot Meal that does not require a side dish but can be served with any remaining tortilla chips and guacamole.
Toasting Corn Tortillas
Toast corn tortillas directly on the oven rack.
Place toasted tortillas on a sheet pan to cool
Break toasted tortillas into bite size pieces
Make one casserole to serve eight.
Or split into two pie pans and bake.
Freeze one after cooking and cooling.
Mexican Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
This Mexican Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole recipe is a one-dish meal using many readily available ingredients. A bold chili and bean sauce infuses the mild-tasting tofu and absorbs the crumbled tortillas into a tasty casserole. The melted cheese provides an appealing topping to this healthy, family-friendly, and affordable meal.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium-large onions, chopped about 1– 1/3 cup
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28–oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1–1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups cooked small red beans or black beans or 2 14-oz cans rinsed, drained, and partially mashed
- 1 4–oz. can of green chilies, chopped
- 1 lb. firm tofu, crumbled or cut into bite-size cubes
- 12 corn tortillas toasted on an oven rack for 10 minutes at 350º or crumble 1/2 bag tortilla chips; Serve remaining chips with dinner
- 8–oz mild Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups shredded), or use vegan cheese
- salsa for a side condiment to serve with remaining tortilla chips
- Prepare Tortillas – if using bagged ready-made tortillas, skip this step and move to number 2. If using whole corn tortillas, preheat oven to 350º and place 12 corn tortillas on the oven rack, and toast for 10 minutes. Move toasted tortillas to a sheet pan to cool and then crumble to bite size pieces. See the illustrations in the post above.
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- Prepare Casserole – In a Dutch oven or medium saucepan, heat the oil, and cook the onions and garlic for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, and toast spices for 1 minute to release the essential oils and allow the flavors to bloom. Add the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add beans, chilies, and tofu, mix well, and heat for about 2 minutes.
- Bake One casserole to serve 8 – Spread 1/3 of the bean-tomato sauce at the bottom of a 9X13 oven-safe dish. Spread 1/2 of the broken tortilla chips to cover the sauce in the pan. Continue with 1/3 of the sauce, followed by the remaining chips. Top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the casserole for the final layer. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375º for 20 minutes.
- Bake One and Freeze One – follow the above steps but split the ingredients between two pie pans. Place foil on both pans and bake for 20 minutes. Freeze one after it has come to room temperature. Bake at 375º for 30 – 40 minutes to cook a frozen casserole.
Note: the nutritional panel is based on bagged, ready-made tortilla chips.
Serve with guacamole and remaining tortilla chips and salsa.
- Prep Time: 25
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Meatless
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: Southwest
Keywords: affordable meal, tofu, leftover corn tortillas, meatless Fridays dinner, lenten meal
3 responses to “Mexican Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole”
I like this site very much so much good info .
This was really yummy, Karen. I tried to be really good and keep this vegetarian, but the second night we added leftover roast turkey. Both were so so good.
Which brings me to why I love this website so much. It’s the “riffability” of all of the recipes. When you truly want to help people cook and keep their “sanity” (see what I did there?), giving them the flexibility to cook with what they have or can shop for and still stay within the confines of the rules that will make them successful, is gold.
And the scaling tool on the recipes is perfection. As are the shopping tools.
WOW!So pleased that the site works for you and your family.