To tell you the truth, this meal came about out of laziness.
I needed a meal that would feed a crowd and, for simplicity sake, I was thinking of a one-dish-covers-all-the-food-groups type entree.
Enchilada pie fit the bill. It’s hardy, cozy (anything baked or with potatoes is cozy to me), cheesy, veggie filled, full of carbs, and a complete protein.
Stuff You Need to Make Enchilada Pie
- 1tsp cooking fat (I cook almost exclusively with grass-fed butter or coconut oil but you could use oil if that’s your preference)
- 1 medium diced onion
- 2 small or 1 big diced sweet potato (about a pound)
- 3 small or 2 medium diced bell peppers*
- 2 big handfuls of chopped kale
- 1tsp cumin seeds or powdered cumin
- 1 big can crushed tomatoes or can of enchilada sauce
- 3-4 dried Ancho/Poblano peppers soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes
- half a pound of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
- salt to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups of beans (I used red but black or pinto would be perfectly great)
- cast iron skillet or other baking pan
There are a few options here. I soaked a few dried Ancho peppers in boiling water to soften them up, then de-stemmed them and threw them in a blender with a can of crushed tomatoes until everything was sauced together.
This creates a dark red, almost brown, sauce that is smokey and a little bit spicy. If you don’t feel like taking this step or don’t like any heat you could just use a can of crushed tomatoes for the sauce.
Or you could use the equivalent amount of canned enchilada sauce. This would probably result in a more interesting finished product to tell you the truth. I just recommend that you read the label if you go with an enchilada sauce because at the store I looked at, they all included hydrogenated oils.
Whatever you use, you want to end up with 4-5 cups of sauce.
Heat you fat over medium heat in the biggest sautee pan you have. Add the onions, sweet potatoes, and cumin. Stir occasionally for about five minutes.
Add half of your sauce and slowly incorporate the peppers, beans, and greens. Throw in some salt. Taste. Not salty? Add more! If you like it hot you could also throw in some red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are soft.
Smear some sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
Overlap four tortillas.
Pour on a thick layer of veg/beans mixture.
Sprinkle on a thin layer of cheese. Half a pound of cheese kinda sounds like a lot but it really doesn’t go very far, feel free to use more if you like it super cheesy. Otherwise, keep your first two layers really light so that you have plenty for the top.
Repeat the layering process- tortillas, veg, cheese-then top with third and final layer of tortillas. Spread on the rest of the sauce and top with cheese.
Toss in a 350* oven for 35~40 minutes.
Makes one very full cast iron skillet or about 8 decent servings.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is not the most exciting recipe. It is, however, a great springboard and uses basic ingredients you may even already have in your kitchen. It’s a great mid-week dinner that you can eat off of for a few days.
Here are some ways to spruce it up for company or a special dinner.
- Add a layer of goat cheese, cream cheese, or cottage cheese on top of each layer of tortillas
- Add green olives to the veg/bean mix
- Top with sour cream or greek yogurt when serving
- Use whole wheat tortillas instead of corn. The corn are tasty but their texture mushes with the everything else, flour tortillas would add more texture and chew.
- Add lots of fresh chopped cilantro to the veg/bean mix
- Use re-fried beans instead of whole beans.