Tortilla Casserole

Fall is a b-u-s-y time for most of us! There are so many evening activities, but everyone still wants a hot meal on the table! This casserole is perfect for one of those crazy weeknights. It’s a cinch to put together, it’s kid-friendly,  and it’s hearty enough for the chilliest of fall nights. It’s chock full of good ingredients but feels a little indulgent with the addition of tortilla chips and cheese – yum. You can make the filling ahead and then just assemble and bake it at dinnertime. (If you do this, you’ll want to bake it a little longer since you won’t be starting with hot filling.)


Tortilla Casserole

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, September 2006

Serves 4


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chicken broth

1 – 15.5 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 – 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (try using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for this)

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

5 cups tortilla chips (about 3 oz.)

2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese



1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

3. Stir beans, tomatoes, and chipotle chiles into sauce and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

4. Spread 1 cup tortilla chips over bottom of an 8-inch baking dish and top with 1 cup of the chicken mixture. Spread 2 more cups tortilla chips onto dish and sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Spread the remaining chicken mixture onto dish and top with the remaining tortilla chips. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the top.

5. Bake in the middle of the oven until the cheese is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve.

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