Tuesday Night Throwback Dinner: Enchilada Casserole


Casseroles are one of those purely old school foods. They remind me of reading hilarious Betty Crocker cookbooks from the 70s where the props are terrifying and Jello features prominently.  This one’s a little different though. No weird neon orange cheeses or tiny hot dogs. Just your favourite Mexican food ingredients in a one bowl meal!


Also there are avocados, because I had some lovely avocados that were just perfectly ripe and needed to be used up ASAP.

This is a recipe I sent Will right before we moved in together with a “We have to make this!!!!” He replied, “Ugh, so many ingredients, most expensive casserole ever.” But see, that was before we moved in together. Because we have a nicely stocked cupboard and a massive spice collection, I only needed to buy some egg noodles and a can of refried beans! Shows what he knows about casseroles. And having ingredients ahead of time.


Enchilada Casserole

(inspired by Peas and Crayon’s recipe, although I’ve simplified a bit, because I am lazy. Also I meant to replace the beef with beans, but I forgot and it really doesn’t need it!)

For the enchilada sauce:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 jar of plain tomato sauce (700 ml)
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cups grated old cheddar cheese
  • for a garnish: diced avocado or chopped green onions

Start by making the enchilada sauce. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Saute until they’re softened, then add the tomato sauce, refried beans, hot sauce and spices. Stir over medium heat until warm, checking the seasoning and adjusting as necessary.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente. Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until softened. Add the red pepper and cook both over medium heat, stirring frequently until the peppers and onions are both soft and a bit browned.

Once the noodles are done, drain them and add them to the enchilada sauce pot. Add the onions and peppers as well, then pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Top with cheese and bake in an 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Broil for a few minutes at the end to get extra brown. Top with diced avocado or green onion and sour cream.


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