EASY CRUNCH-TOPPED SOUTHWESTERN-STYLE BEEF OR CHICKEN ‘N' BEAN CASSEROLE
- 1 pound lean ground beef or uncooked ground chicken or turkey
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto or red or garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 (10-ounce) can mild-spiced enchilada sauce
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, divided or Taco Cheese Blend or Mexican Cheese Blend
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped peeled onion (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
- 1½ cups corn or tortilla chips, divided
- 1 cup sour cream or reduced-fat or no-fat sour cream or unflavored yogurt or unflavored reduced-fat or no-fat yogurt
- Sprigs of parsley or cilantro for garnish
In a large heavy skillet, brown ground beef or chicken or turkey over moderate heat; drain off any fat. Remove from heat; add beans, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, ½ cup cheese, and onions, if desired, mixing well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Crush ½ cup of chips, reserving 1 cup chips for garnish. Stir crushed chips into meat mixture. Turn mixture into 2-quart casserole lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray. Loosely cover and bake in a preheated moderate oven (375 degrees F.) for 30 minutes. Uncover; evenly spread sour cream over the top of the casserole. Evenly sprinkle remaining cheese over the sour cream layer. Scatter remaining chips over the cheese layer. Continue baking, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Variations: For a spicier flavor, use hot-spiced enchilada sauce; or, add 1 to 2 minced fresh jalapeno pepper(s) to meat mixture.
Add ½ cup finely snipped fresh cilantro (no stems) to meat mixture.
Add ½ cup whole-kernel corn (fresh, frozen, or drained canned) to meat mixture.