Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Layered Bean-Tortilla Casserole for Two

Ever walked in the door after work and wondered, “What’s for dinner?” Research shows that by 4 PM on any given day, about 75% of us don’t know what we’re cooking for dinner that night.  Personally, I have found myself in that situation more than once.

Here is a last minute meal idea. The ingredients for this quick and easy casserole are likely to already be in your pantry, fridge, or freezer so dishes like this flavorful Layered Bean-Tortilla Casserole can come together with little effort or planning.

Layered Bean-Tortilla Casserole. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Layered Bean-Tortilla Casserole. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Everyone raves about this casserole, including Faith Middleton and her radio crew when I was interviewed on Faith Middleton’s Food Schmooze on WNPR Radio. It is designed to be a light meal for two people, making it perfect for empty-nesters or couples or newlyweds. As Faith suggested, why not make this a brunch dish and serve with some Cava. Sounds good to me.

Layered Bean Tortilla Casserole

Text excerpted from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two ©2017 by Carol Fenster. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Packed with hearty beans, this casserole is already a filling vegetarian main dish. But if you want to make it even heartier, add ½ cup of cooked diced chicken or pork—or cooked ground beef. Feel free to vary the ingredient proportions, for example, using more cheese—this dish is fail-proof. When we are extra hungry at our house, I make a casserole for each of us.

3              6-inch gluten-free corn tortillas

1/2         can (15.5 ounces) black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1/3         cup Mexican salsa or salsa verde (I like Herditz or La Victoria)

1/2         cup fresh or frozen corn

4              ounces (about [1/2] cup, shredded) Monterey Jack cheese or cheese substitute

1/4         cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Garnishes: sour cream or sour cream alternative, chopped fresh avocado, green onion, and black olives

[1] Preheat the oven to 425⁰F. Generously grease a 6-inch round cake pan (I use a glass pie pan or a cast-iron skillet). Place a tortilla on the bottom of the pan. Top with one-third of the beans, one-third of the salsa, one-third of the corn, and one-third of the cheese. Repeat twice more with remaining tortillas and remaining beans, salsa, corn, and ending with the cheese. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Cover tightly with aluminum foil (or a lid).

[2] Bake the casserole, for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 5 more minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and your chosen garnishes.

Makes a 6-inch casserole, two servings.

Per serving: 435 calories;  24g protein;   19g total fat; 10g fiber; 46g carbohydrates; 50mg cholesterol; 648mg  sodium


[1] This dish is equally good made with either pinto beans or black beans, and I’ve even made it with white kidney beans (known as cannellini beans).

[2] Personally, I prefer La Victoria Chunky Salsa Verde but hubbie likes red salsa but either works great.

[3] This is a great make-ahead dish. Just assemble the casserole, cover with foil, refrigerate, and proceed to Step 2. Bake for 25 minutes rather than 20 minutes.