Burrito Casserole

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This classic Mexican-American dish has been transformed into a casserole, making it easy to serve with a lot less mess. Feel free to vary the filling to suit your taste -- this version is mild to accommodate children's tastes. For the adults, try adding cilantro, jalapeño pepper, and a spicy salsa to half of the casserole. Servings: 6 to 8 Preparation Time: 23 minutes Baking Time: 15 minutes

What you'll need

  • 8 small (fajita-size) flour tortillas
  • 2 cups refried beans
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups store bought salsa (medium for a spicier taste)
  • Optional: 1 minced fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut 5 of the flour tortillas into strips, about 1/2 inches in width and set aside. Line the bottom of a 9 by 13 casserole dish with the remaining flour tortillas. Spread an even layer of refried beans over the tortillas.

  2. In a large skillet heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and beef to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes; breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it is no longer pink. Pour off and discard any excess liquid, stir in the salsa.

  3. Spread meat mixture over the refried beans, sprinkle on optional jalapeno peppers. Top with tortilla strips and sprinkle on cheddar cheese. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and chopped avocado on the side.

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