When I used to work at a preschool in Fountain Valley, CA one of the perks of the job was a free lunch. We basically got to eat what the kids were served and one of my favorite dishes there was Enchilada Casserole. My take on this casserole adds veggies, beans and all the fixin's on top. I used zucchini but you could use sautéed onions and bell peppers or add spanish rice. Or you could omit all the veggies and beans, it's your call! One tip that I learned from our preschool cook is to put some enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish to ensure that the bottom tortillas sufficiently soak up the delicious sauce and that they don't stick to the dish. Of course, I forgot to do that today. I swear, my mind has never the same after the wedding.
7 flour tortillas, soft taco size - cut 6 in half and 1 in thirds (you could corn tortillas if you prefer and make this dish gluten free)
1.5 lb protein (I used al pastor meat from the Mexican market but you can use taco beef or turkey, chicken, or whatever you like)
2 medium zucchini, cut to 1/2 pieces and blanched
3 scallions, diced
3-4 cups of shredded cheese
1 - 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed
1 - 28 oz. can of red enchilada sauce
1. Blanch the zucchini pieces in salted water. About 3 min, just until zucchini is cooked but definitely not mushy! Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Meanwhile, cook the protein in a pan and remove from heat. 2. Begin building the casserole in a 13"x19" baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Line the dish with 4 tortilla halves (cut side toward the edges of the dish) and cover the exposed center with one of the 1/3 tortilla pieces. Spread another 3/4 enchilada sauce on top of the tortilla layer. Evenly cover the tortilla layer with half of the protein, beans, blanched zucchini, scallions. Top with 1 cup of cheese. 3. Repeat with a layer of tortillas, 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce, and protein and veggie toppings with cheese. 4. Top the second layer with the last layer of tortillas, remaining enchilada sauce, and 1-2 cups of cheese. 5. Bake in a 375 degree oven, loosely covered with foil for 20 min., remove foil for the last 5 min. to melt the cheese. Everything is already cooked so we're just basically warming everything and making things gooey. Let the casserole stand for 10 min before serving. Top with sour cream, cilantro, chopped tomatos, guacamole, diced red onions, whatever!