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Mexican Casserole

The week following Thanksgiving was epic in terms of leftovers.  The pantry doors were bulging like the doors on a pre-teen girl’s closet.  The fridge was packed full of 1/2 used ingredients begging for a purpose.  And fortunately for us, every food blogger I follow was offering up solutions.  This Mexican Casserole was inspired by this beautiful recipe I found on From Away.

From time to time, and out of necessity, we self-impose an Eat Out of the Fridge/Pantry Week.  It’s a chance for us to use up leftover ingredients for certain, but it also saves us a bunch in grocery bills….and encourages us to get creative in the kitchen. It’s a win-win week.

In the freezer we had a package of ground turkey (although ground beef, leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or shredded chicken would all work great).  In the fridge we had an opened package of queso fresco (Mexican crumbling cheese), the last of a hunk of cheddar cheese, and fresh cilantro.  And in the pantry we can always find canned diced tomatoes and on this day we had the bonus can of Rotel, an open bag of tortilla chips, and an onion.  And this is how it all began for us.  Any variation of ingredients is welcomed and anything goes during Eat Out of the Fridge/Pantry Week!

Brown the ground turkey with diced onion until cooked through.  Season with Mexican spices like chili powder, ground oregano, cumin, and cayenne.  Sprinkle mixture with a little flour, then add in a can of diced tomatoes and a can of Rotel.  Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, adjusting seasoning to taste.  Pour mixture into a large bowl and toss with tortilla chips.  Pour into a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco cheese and shredded cheddar and bake 10 – 15 minutes at 350 until mixture is bubbly and cheese is melting.  Serve with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.  Mexican Casserole. Ta da!!

Mexican Casserole {Eat Out of the Fridge/Pantry Week}
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 1-1/4lb. pkg. ground turkey, can substitute ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbl. flour
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 oz. can Rotel
  • 3 cups tortilla chips
  • 6 oz. queso fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 2-3 oz. shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, rough chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 11x7 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the ground turkey and diced onion until cooked through. Add in the seasoning and saute another 1-2 minutes, then dust with flour and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Add in canned tomatoes and Rotel and simmer mixture gently for 10 minutes, adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. In large bowl combine meat and tomato mixture with tortilla chips, then pour into prepared baking dish. Top with crumbled/shredded cheeses and bake for 10 - 15 minutes until mixture is bubbly and cheese is melted.
  5. Serve with fresh cilantro leaves.

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