Last updated on April 18th, 2021
I’ve had oodles of requests for easy casserole recipes, and you know me — I aim to please! This Tangy Tortilla Casserole was included in The Hollywood Bowl Cookbook. The book was published, in 1984, to benefit The Los Angeles Philharmonic. The casserole is a veritable symphony of meat (vegan “meat” works well here), enchilada sauce, onion, melty cheese, and a crunchy border of crushed tortilla chips. It’s super simple to make. As proof, I filmed and wrote out the directions for you:
As you will see in the above video (click the play arrow to watch), you can’t mess up this casserole. I assembled the ingredients in a too-large baking dish, and I still ended up with a screamingly-delicious main course. Mercifully the dish contains zero carbs. (In my dreams.)
The (now-out-of-print) Hollywood Bowl Cookbook contains myriad recipes, all contributed by The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s myriad donors and volunteers. Tangy Tortilla Casserole was submitted by Claire Segal, a longtime public relations and marketing executive for the arts in Los Angeles. Thank you, Ms. Segal!
Tips for Making Tangy Tortilla Casserole
Bake the casserole in a 3-quart baking dish, just as Clair Segal’s recipe indicates. Otherwise, if you use a standard 9×13-inch dish, you will have to make some minor adjustments to the recipe, just as I did in the video above. (Hint: watch the video.)
To make the casserole vegetarian-friendly, simply substitute bulk, vegan “Beyond Beef” for the ground beef component. Beyond Beef contains no gluten, no soy, no GMOs. Its red coloring comes from pomegranate extract.
Make it ahead! Permit the meat sauce in the assembled casserole to cool to room temperature. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for several hours, until you are ready to bake.
Enjoy the leftovers! Speaking from terrific experience, Tangy Tortilla Casserole is delicious at all temperatures — hot, warm, and even cold from the fridge. Reheat in a preheated 350°F oven until the cheese melts.
I’ll shut up now. Here’s the printable recipe:
Tangy Tortilla Casserole
- a greased 3-quart baking dish
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, crumbled (see note below)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce
- 2 1/4 oz. can sliced black olives with liquid
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 lb. Jack cheese, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup finely crushed packaged tortilla chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Blend in the tomatoes, enchilada sauce, olives with liquid, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels (or a damp terry cloth), and then heat them in the microwave oven until soft -- 30-45 seconds. Cut the tortillas in half. Whisk together the cottage cheese and egg.
- Spread one-third of the meat sauce in a greased 3 quart casserole. Top with one-half of the Jack cheese, one-half of the cottage cheese mixture, and one-half of the tortilla halves, arranging each in an even layer. Repeat layering, using one-third more of the meat sauce, and the remaining Jack cheese, cottage cheese mixture, and tortilla halves. Spread with the remaining meat sauce, top with Cheddar cheese and border with the crushed chips.
- Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven until the cheese melts -- approximately 30 minutes.
Looking for other dinner recipes? I’ve got multitudes, both here on this website and on my YouTube channel. Here are just a few to wet your whistle:
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