Tortilla Casserole - Lightened Up

I shed tears for you guys over this recipe.  Literally.  That was one strong onion!  :)  Normally I can tolerate chopping onions, but seriously, the one I used here had tears rolling down my face. 

This is a slightly lightened-up version of a tortilla casserole that my mom makes.  She's made it for a few years, and when a friend asked for the recipe, she said "it's not really a recipe, more of a list of ingredients".  I've seen her list of ingredients...there are instructions under it.  Um, doesn't that make it a recipe?  Anyway...

I tried passing this off as Mexican lasagna to the Munchkin.  He wasn't really buying it, although he did try a few bites.  I really liked this, and so did D.  The leftovers heated up quite well the next day for lunch.  I hope you give it a try!  To make it lighter, I subbed in reduced fat cheese and used ground turkey instead of ground beef.  That's it!  The original recipe wasn't all that bad to begin with.  I mean, I did make a few other changes, because that's what I do.  :)

You can adjust the heat level in this recipe by adjusting the type of picante sauce you use, and you can also add some dried red pepper flakes and/or some cayenne pepper as well.  A diced up jalapeno or two would also make a nice addition.  I didn't have any on hand, but I think it would be good served up with some guacamole.

And just in case you were wondering, I still have concrete floors.  The new flooring is scheduled to be installed on February 7th.  Please cross your fingers that it actually happens then.  I'm ready for things to return to as "normal" as they were! 

Tortilla Casserole

1 lb ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 (8 oz) jar picante sauce
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
9 corn tortillas (the 6" ones)
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350'F.  Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook the ground turkey and onion, over medium heat in a large skillet until the turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up the large pieces of meat.  Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook 2-3 minutes longer, or until peppers begin to soften.  Stir in the tomatoes & green chilies, picante sauce, pinto beans, and corn.  Cook and stir just until heated through.  Remove from heat.

Place three of the corn tortillas in the bottom of the prepared baking dish (you may have to tear one or more of the tortillas in half to get them to fit).  Top with one third of the meat mixture, and then sprinkle with one third of the cheese.  Repeat the layers two more times (tortillas, meat, cheese, tortillas, meat, cheese). 

Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. 

Yield:  8 servings

WW PointsPlus Value:  7 points per serving (note, I used the "extra thin" corn tortillas (brand - Mission) and 2% cheese; other changes may affect the points value). 

Enjoy!  :)


Anonymous said…
As I strive to find recipes that are lighter but still a yummy idea for my family... this sounds like a great option! Thanks so very much for linking to Saturday Swap!!! Have a super weekend!
Jo said…
I love just about anything mexican! What a great way to lighten this meal without losing the flavor.

Dawn said…
This sounds great! Thanks!