Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taco Casserole: A way to use up the crumbs at the bottom of a tortilla bag

I don't like to waste, especially when it comes to food, since I work so hard to purchase only sale items, clip coupons and stick to a budget. With that said there are some things that get left because I'm just not sure how to enjoy them; one of the big ones is the bottom of a bag of tortilla chips. You know, the crumbly crunchies that aren't good enough for dipping, but too good to throw away? The last two bags of tortilla chips have sat in the pantry about 1/8 of the way full with crumblies, I just didn't have the heart to let them go. Then I remembered about a recipe I had seen on pinterest, but hadn't pinned (I hate when I do that!); with a little googling and searching through blogs, I was able to find a good starting point for a tortilla casserole. 

This recipe is adapted from here. I like to give credit where credit is due, and since I did not 'create' this recipe, I want to offer you all the original creation, as well as my variation. 

  • Bottom of the bag crumbs from bag of tortilla chips
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes (add more if you want more of a kick, I'll be adding more next time!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound turkey
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2-3 cups mexican cheese
  • Heat oven to 350
  • Heat oil and red pepper flakes in large skillet
  • Add onion, peppers, and mushrooms; sauté until soft
  • Add meat and seasoning, cook thoroughly
  • Add beans, salsa, and tomatoes; simmer for about 5 minutes
**If your skillet is small, remove the veggies once soft, cook the meat, then add beans, salsa, and tomatoes to cook. Mix altogether in a bowl before pouring over chips.
  • Line the bottom of baking dish with crumbly tortilla chips. 
  • Spread the meat and bean mixture over the chips and top with cheese. 
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until cheese is melted.

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