I love casseroles. Cook once / eat twice /or three times. And casseroles are always flexible: a little more of this, a little less of that, and they still turn out. This is a little like my Spicy Mexican Casserole but made not spicy using an Anaheim pepper, with corn tortillas and added vegetables. I always try to include as many vegetables as possible in every meal, besides the salads I make every day.
Vegetables are the key to good health so besides lots of fresh tomatoes, I include antioxidant-rich bell pepper along with the Anaheim green chili pepper. Anaheim peppers (also called long peppers) are green and measure about 7 inches long.These peppers are great for anyone not liking anything too spicy but who does like a flavorful pepper. Of course you can use Jalapeño peppers instead but the Anaheim pepper is perfect for me.
This recipe is high in fiber from the black beans and corn tortillas. All corn tortillas are not the same, in fact they can be very different. I tried Whole Foods 365 brand and they were dry and disappointing. My preference is Guerrero brand if you can find them.
You can make lots of variations with this recipe, using cheddar cheese instead of monterey jack, pinto beans instead of black beans, and you can add spices if you like, but I do recommend staying with the fresh tomatoes. They add moisture and fresh taste to this easy casserole.
UPDATE June 3, 2020: I found myself using less and less tomatoes in this recipe and I now prefer it that way. It also means less chopping! ? I suggest trying it with only about 1/2 pound of tomatoes.
You only need a few basic ingredients to make this easy tortilla pie: whole wheat tortillas, canned beans, bottled salsa, peppers, and reduced fat cheese. Add some onions and garlic and this comes together pronto in a yummy, stick-to-the-ribs dinner the whole family will love.
Here’s why I love my easy tortilla pie: It has two different kinds of beans, black and cannellini beans; It has three different colors of pepper – red, green and yellow; And it’s made with whole wheat tortillas. Even if you aren’t a fan of whole wheat tortillas, they become so soft when baked with my sauce and cheeses, you can eat this moist layered casserole with a spoon.
There’s a recipe for tortilla pie in my original cookbook but this new recipe is simpler, faster, and healthier, not to mention even more delicious. This is an easy recipe to customize and make your own. If you like is spicy, be sure to include the jalapeño pepper and get a jar of spicy salsa. If you like it mild, you can leave out the jalapeño pepper altogether and replace it with extra bell pepper, or a milder Anaheim pepper, and use a mild salsa.
Here are a couple of brands I use in this recipe:
Tortillas – Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tortillas
Salsa – Green Mountain Gringo from Whole Foods
I make my pie in an 8-inch round pyrex baking dish with tall sides and a glass lid. Sometimes I cut the tortillas to fit exactly into the baking pan and with this pan, the filling all stays inside and doesn’t spill out. A lot of recipes use a springform pan and if you have one, that’s the pan to use. You can also make this tortilla pie in any kind of pie pan, preferably deep dish. Some of the beans may spill out but who cares? Just make sure you cover it well with foil.
Nutritionally, this healthy meal is hard to beat. There is lots of fiber in the beans as well as the tortillas, and beans also provide calcium and protein. The colored peppers are full of antioxidants to help protect against diseases like heart disease and cancer. And if you make it spicy, spicy foods boost metabolism and that helps with weight loss. But the best reason of all to make this easy casserole is it’s simply delicious. And it’s meatless, too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Got 15 minutes? Then you have time to make a quick and easy meal. This black bean quesadilla is my go-to meal when I’m pressed for time and with the holidays coming, I’ll be having lots of quesadillas. Of course, I use my own homemade whole wheat tortillas, which I usually have on hand, but you can use store-bought ones too. Try to find them without saturated fat.
I realize it’s convenient to use pre-shredded cheese but because of the additives it won’t melt as well as using a block of cheese. So take the extra 30 seconds – yes, that’s how long it takes to shred 2 ounces of cheese – and you’ll have a nice “cheesy on the inside, crispy on the outside” quesadilla.
If you like spicy food, you will love the spicy version of my black bean quesadilla. Simply replace the reduced fat jack cheese with reduced fat pepperjack, and use the hot canned diced chiles. Oooh, Mama!
Whichever way you swing, serve it with salsa (pico de gallo is my fave) or guacamole… or both. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones