One might call chilaquiles Mexican French toast. Just as stale bread becomes French toast by soaking and then frying it, Mexican cooks use up their stale tortillas by making chilaquiles. They simply reverse the order, first frying the tortillas until crisp and then combining them with a sauce or salsa.
While chilaquiles are traditionally a skillet dish served as a light bite or topped with eggs for breakfast, I prefer making them as a casserole, eliminating the frying step. You will often find shredded chicken, shrimp, or beans in chilaquiles. For my version, which is meatless, I have combined creamy pinto beans with chopped spinach and corn. Leftovers keep for a couple of days when wrapped in foil. Tossing them into the oven for reheating is a cinch and so good that you may want to plan for extra servings.
Baked Chilaquiles with Beans and Corn
(Makes 6 servings)
- Cooking spray
- 1 large ear fresh corn or 1 ½ cups frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¾ cup chopped red onion
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry
- 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt added pinto beans, drained
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (14 ½ ounce) can no-salt added, diced tomatoes, partially drained
- 6 yellow corn tortillas
- 1 (15 ounce) can mild or medium red enchilada sauce, divided
- 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 11″ x 7″ baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- If using fresh corn, cut kernels from cob; there should be 1-1 ½ cups. Set aside.
- In medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 4 minutes. Add spinach, pulling it apart. Add beans and cumin and cook until cumin is fragrant, stirring often. Add tomatoes and corn and cook until mixture is heated through, 5 minutes. Set vegetable and bean filling aside.
- Arrange 2 tortillas on bottom of prepared pan. Cut 2 other tortillas in half and add 2 halves to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half the filling over tortillas. Pour on ¾ cup enchilada sauce. Sprinkle on half the cheese. Repeat, using remaining tortillas, filling, sauce and cheese. Cover pan with foil.
- Bake chilaquiles for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese melts and casserole is bubbly around edges, 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Total fat: 5.7 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 34 g
Fiber: 6 g
Protein: 10 g
Sodium: 496 mg