Tex-Mex Beef, Bean and Tortilla Casserole with Chipotles and Corn

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 2h 15m
  • Rating ****

Serves 10

This hot and hearty party dish comes from somewhere deep in Texas, not far from the Rio Grande. There, authentic flavors from south of the border get employed north of the border in easy, crowd-pleasing American-style main dishes called - in fractured Spanish - "casserolas." Chipotle chilies - smoked red jalapenos canned in a tangy sauce called adobo - generate a sultry heat that enlivens the lasagna-like layers of meat, beans and tortillas. Garnish each portion with crisp shredded lettuce and a cooling dollop of sour cream and set out a tub of good beers on ice. For the best flavor, make the beef mixture at least one day ahead, but for best texture, assemble the casserole shortly before baking.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 pounds very lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons medium-hot chili powder, such as Gebhardt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 14-ounce can beef broth
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1 cup lager beer
  • 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, from canned chipotle chilies
  • One 1-pound package frozen corn kernels, thawed

  • 1 1/4 pounds shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 24 6-inch corn tortillas
  • One 29-ounce can refried beans
  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion

  • 6 cups (about) finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups sour cream, room temperature, whisked until smooth


Heat the oil in a heavy large deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the yellow onion, bell peppers and garlic. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef. Sprinkle with salt. Saute until meat is no longer pink, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano and black pepper; saute 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, beer, chipotle chiles and adobo sauce. Simmer uncovered until the liquid reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Add the corn and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Cover the chili and refrigerate at least 1 day.


Chili can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Combine both cheeses. Spread 2 tablespoons beans over one side of 6 tortillas. Arrange the tortillas bean-side up and overlapping slightly in 14 x 11 x 3-inch baking dish. Spoon 1/3 of chili evenly over the tortillas. Sprinkle 2 cups cheese mixture, then 1/4 cup onion over. Repeat layering 2 times. Spread remaining 6 tortillas with remaining beans, then arrange tortillas bean-side down in the casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese mixture.

Bake until the casserole is heated through and bubbling, about 50 minutes. Let stand on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.

Cut the casserole into generous squares. Sprinkle with the shredded lettuce and top with a dollop of sour cream, and serve.

Recipe created exclusively for Cooking.com by Michael McLaughlin.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 6406

nutrition information per serving

863 calories; 44g total fat; 117mg cholesterol; 1174mg sodium; 67g carbohydrates; 13g fiber; 53g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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