Becca here with a recipe I've made many, many times. In fact, I nearly always have one of these casseroles in my freezer (photo is of them unfinished) because it makes a great, quick meal with the addition of a salad or veggie. With beans, meat, cheese, and corn tortillas, it has all the makings of a great Mexican meal, one that I know my kids will always enjoy eating. Feel free to adapt the meat mixture to your family's preferences; you can easily make it extra spicy, use extra beef or beans, etc. to customize it to your family's tastes! I adapted the recipe from "Fix, Freeze, Fast!" Enjoy!
*And don't forget to enter our giveaway, on the Crustless Spinach Quiche recipe below. It ends 5/30/14!
6 pounds ground beef
4 bell peppers, chopped and seeds removed (I like multi-colored peppers)
4 onions, chopped and seeds removed (I like purple onions)
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups your favorite salsa or picante sauce
4 cups tomato sauce
12 cups cooked pinto beans (I use dry beans I cooked in the pressure cooker, canned is fine also!)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 Tablespoons salt (I use Real Salt)
60 small corn tortillas (I use 5 per layer, times 2 layers, per casserole)
12 cups shredded cheese (I prefer sharp, your favorite is fine!)
6 large baking pans, 9x13 size (I use glass, or love these pans from Sam's Club, 30 for $6.48!)
plastic wrap & foil
In a large stockpot, brown beef, bell peppers, onions, and garlic, until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. I have cooked this in the slow cooker on high for several hours also, chopping the meat and stirring the mixture every hour or so.
Drain meat to remove excess fat. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients (salsa, tomato sauce, pinto beans, cumin, and salt). I like to taste the mixture here and make sure I don't need to add more seasonings; if you're using canned beans they're going to be saltier than using dried beans, for example.
Line your baking pans up, and place enough of the meat mixture to cover the bottom of each pan. I scoop it out with a 1 cup measuring cup, and usually use about 4 cups.
Top each casserole with a layer of corn tortillas; I use 4 whole, and one torn into half to cover the pan evenly. Cover with 1 cup of cheese per baking pan. Repeat the layers, finishing with cheese (meat, corn tortillas, cheese).
Cover finished, cooled casseroles with plastic wrap, and then foil.
Freeze until ready to use. Then, defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Remove plastic wrap and foil, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until center is heated through, and the edges are bubbling. Enjoy!