Eric ends up eating in the cafeteria at work a lot, and it’s not the most healthful of cuisine. (Understatement.) We do try to pack his lunches, but he very much prefers meals with variety and more “oomph” than your garden-variety cold sandwich with cut veggies or fruit. Well, who doesn’t? But prepping complicated lunches often requires more time and energy than I have in a typical morning, so there’s been a struggle. I decided to look for strong casseroles and stew dishes that would provide tons of leftovers and that would stand up well to fridging or freezing; then I could store them in serving-sized quantities, ready for handing off to him in the mornings.


In essence, it’s a “Mexican lasagna.” I got this particular preparation from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, but it’s apparently a pretty common dish, with tons of varieties. It also seems easily adaptable to one’s own preferences, given a few parameters:
* A sauce, tomato-based
* Cheese/cream layers
* Bread, in the form of tortillas or tortilla strips

There would be lots of room for customizing the sauce, especially. Here’s what I did!

Chop two onions finely, along with a couple of cloves of garlic. In a skillet, heat some oil (I used 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil) and saute the onions and garlic until they’re translucent. Then add in 28 ounces of diced tomatoes (canned is fine), a cup and a half of kidney beans (if you use canned, make sure to rinse them), and some peppers. I used a whack of chipotles and a little adobo sauce, but this is one of the areas you’ll want to customize, based on your tongue’s asbestos rating! Also, the cookbook doesn’t call out any seasonings or spices, which I found bizarre; I added salt, fresh ground pepper, cumin, and a bit of cinnamon. When the sauce starts to thicken, take it off the heat.

In a casserole dish (I used a 9″x7″x2.5″, which was JUST big enough, so go a touch bigger if you can or if you prefer a “shorter stack”), put down about half the sauce, and then cover it with 1″ strips of corn tortillas. The recipe in the book calls for twelve tortillas, cut like that and divided in half, but I only had eleven. No big; if you use all twelve, you can account for it in your own nutritional info. 😉 Top with half of what will be one full cup of sour cream. (For the nutritional info listed here, I used reduced fat – NOT FAT FREE!) Then add four of what will be eight ounces of shredded cheese; I like Sargento‘s reduced fat blends – one of the few brands that makes a good reduced fat line, in my opinion – so I used their reduced fat Mexican blend. Add the other half of your tortilla strips, the other half of the sauce, the other half-cup of sour cream, and four more ounces of cheese.

Then bake the whole thing at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until it’s bubbly and melted.


The book said that it would serve four, but they must be talking about really, really hungry people. I cut it into six pieces, and they’re substantial!

Serves 6. Per serving, as written – Fat: 13.2g; Carbohydrates: 41.7g; Calories: 339.8; Protein: 17.4g.


One Response to “Chilaquiles”

  • Wavatar Sasha says:

    This brings back memories. Chilaquiles are what my mother and my grandmother before her would make with not-so-fresh leftover corn tortillas so they don’t go to waste. Served with frijoles fritos also a “leftover” made from frijoles de olla.

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