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Beef Enchilada Casserole

From America's Test Kitchen/Cooks' Country


  • 20 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 10-oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes (see note)
  • 2 lbs 85% lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 15-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 4 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese (see note)
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2.  Grease 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Toast 3 tortillas in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until they bubble and turn spotty brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. Tear 8 toasted tortillas into rough pieces and transfer to food processor. Add ¾ cup broth and Ro-Tel tomatoes (with juice) and process until smooth; transfer to large bowl. Add beef to empty skillet and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain beef in colander, then transfer to bowl with tortilla mixture.
  4. Add oil and onion to empty skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and remaining broth to skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, 
5 to 7 minutes. Stir half of tomato sauce mixture, 1½ cups cheese, 1 minced jalapeño, cilantro, and hot sauce into bowl with tortilla mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange 6 toasted tortillas in bottom of baking dish. Spread filling evenly over tortillas. Arrange remaining tortillas over filling and top with remaining tomato sauce mixture. Bake until filling is bubbling around edges, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese and remaining minced jalapeño evenly over casserole. Bake until cheese is browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes. Serve.

ATK Notes

1. If you can't find Ro-Tel tomatoes, substitute 1¼ cups of diced tomatoes plus an additional jalapeño. 2. Monterey Jack cheese may be substituted for the Colby-Jack.
3. Serve with sour cream, chopped scallions, and lime wedges.

Seattle DINING! Notes

1. We used organic wherever possible.
2. We found Ro-Tel tomatoes at Town & Country (Ballard).
3. We used grass-fed beef.
4. We never use vegetable oil (smoke point). We used organic extra light olive oil.
5. We used a mix of Mexican cheeses. 6. We used El Tapatio hot sauce.

May 2022

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