I am fascinated by casseroles. Maybe it’s because I grew up eating them. I’m pretty sure a good half of the recipes in my mom’s dinner rotation were some form of casserole. There was Cheesy Beef Casserole, Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Shipwreck Casserole–and pretty much every casserole involved a can of soup, cheese, or sour cream. My favorites usually included cereal on top too. I always wonder where these recipes originated. Who came up with these ideas?! And why? If I ever went back to school, I think I’d write a dissertation about casseroles.
(This is probably why I shouldn’t go back to school.)
I don’t make casseroles a lot for us, but once in a while, usually in fall or winter, I’ll find myself craving them. I pinned this Tortilla Pie from Everyday Food a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try, with a few tweaks. Instead of 3 cups of black beans, I used half of that and added zucchini to lighten things up a little bit. I planned to cut down on the cheese a little, but as I was assembling the layers, I realized sticking to the original recipe was probably best. Hey, it’s a casserole! Why not?
When you bake this Tortilla Pie, the cheese gets all melty and the tortillas soften from the veggie-and-beer filling. It’s a little bit of a mess when you slice it (casseroles are my least favorite thing to photograph for this reason!), but I think when it comes to casseroles, the messier the better.
A vegetarian tortilla pie adapted from Everyday Food's Tortilla and Bean Pie.
- 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15 ounce can, rinsed)
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer (I used pilsner) or 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Chopped cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, salsa, and sour cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Trim the tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan. Discard the excess or save it to make tortilla strips for salads or soups.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeños, and garlic and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the cumin and chili powder and cook about one minute, until fragrant. Add the zucchini to the skillet and cook until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and add the beans, corn, and beer. Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the beer has thickened and has almost evaporated. Stir in the olives and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place a tortilla on the bottom of the springform pan. Top it with 1/4 of the veggie mixture, 1/2 cup of cheese, and another tortilla. Repeat with each tortilla; top the last layer with a cup of cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is just beginning to brown. Cut the pie into 6 wedges and serve with cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, salsa and/or sour cream.