I’m really going to have to get better at taking pictures before we eat. I’m managing to get pictures taken while I make it but when it is finished, we are a bit impatient to eat. I took this one with the leftovers.
I was first introduced to this yummy casserole when I was a teen and our family was on vacation in Nags Head, I think, with another family from church. Brenda, the matriarch of the other family, made this for all of us for dinner one night and it left an impression on me. Years later the church put together a cookbook for a fund raiser, I purchased one and thankfully this recipe was in that book.
I use ground turkey instead of ground beef, since Mike is allergic to beef. Generally speaking, I do not care for ground turkey but because the sauce is so rich in flavor, it tastes great. It also saves me money because I can find ground turkey cheaper than ground beef. Win. Win. (a quote from Letters to Juliet)
My children have never liked onions cooked in food but actually like the flavor of onion powder in foods; I guess it is the “crunch” of the vegetables that they don’t like. Consequently I use onion powder instead of an onion in this recipe. There is a similar problem with tomatoes, so I either puree the canned tomatoes or use crushed tomatoes; it all depends on what I have on hand.
I love cheese. Thus I always think the more cheese the better BUT that is not very frugal. This recipe has a unique way of tricking the taste buds to think that there is more cheese in it . . . trust me, you have no idea, when eating it, that you aren’t eating cheesy goodness.
Oh! One final thing before I share the process of making this yummy dish, although it uses two pounds of ground meat it makes A LOT. Just last Saturday I fed our family of six – 5 adults and one 17yo – AND had LEFTOVERS. Thus this recipe really could be cut in half or serve what you need (half or less for family of 4) and wrap and freeze the other half, once it cools. I have actually done this during the holidays for an easy meal.
This recipe has passed the Pickiness Test by Lauren. It is a new addition to her favorite foods list.
Brown the ground meat and break it up. Since I’m using ground turkey there is very little grease, if any but if you use ground beef, you’ll want to drain out the fat. (I like to use a turkey baster to accomplish this.)
Next I add the onion powder. I don’t really know how much, maybe a ½ tablespoon or so – basically, I just shake it on, sprinkling it over the entire surface of the meat, until I smell it. Then add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and mix it all together.
If I use a can of diced tomatoes, I puree it in my mini food processor or with my hand blender, while the meat is browning.
Next I add the tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes), can of tomato sauce, package of taco seasoning, and chili powder. I puree the green chiles the same way I did the tomatoes and add them to the meat mixture as well. The sauce is now complete.
I sometimes cut them in half yet again.
Now layer them in the casserole dish sprayed with “Pam”. I use a 9×13 baking pan.
Next pour the sauce over the tortilla pieces and layer the other half of the tortilla pieces on top. Combine the cream of chicken soup and milk and pour over the tortillas. Then top with the shredded cheese.
Serve with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and/or hot sauce.
When I made this Saturday, I made it in the crock pot so that we wouldn’t heat up the house. I put about 1/3 of the tortillas on the bottom, 1/2 the sauce, 1/3 tortillas, about 1/3 of the cream soup milk mixture, a bit of the cheese, the rest of the sauce, last of the tortilla pieces, remaining soup milk mixture, and the rest of the cheese.
- 2 lbs. ground meat (ground turkey)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced OR about 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 - 8oz can tomato sauce
- 1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes OR 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1 - 4 oz. can green chiles
- 1 pkg taco seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 14 oz corn tortillas
- 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese, or variety of your choosing
- Optional toppings:
- finely sliced lettuce
- diced tomatoes
- sour cream
- hot sauce
- Brown ground meat and diced onion (drain if necessary) in a large skillet and crumble meat.
- Add garlic powder (and onion powder if not using fresh onion).
- Add salt, pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning, tomato sauce, green chiles, and crushed tomatoes.
- Cut tortillas and place half in the bottom of a slightly greased 9x13 pan, covering completely.
- Pour in sauce.
- Layer on the other half of the tortilla pieces, covering all the meat.
- Combine the cream of chicken soup and milk. Pour over tortilla pieces.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese over soup milk mixture.
- Bake uncovered at 350º for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
- Serve with thinly sliced lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and/or hot sauce.
Until next time, God bless,