Potato Taco Casserole

taco.casserole

I love making a meal completely out of fresh produce from our weekly Door to Door Organics box and a mish-mash of items in the pantry and fridge.  My husband has turned me into a use-it-up junkie – I am now always trying to find creative ways to use the last three lasagne noodles, 1/4 cup of rice, or the last taco shell.  This is one of those recipes – blissful layers of roasted potatoes and onions, smoky tomatoes with taco seasoning, sprinkles of cheese, and a crunchy layer of taco shells on top.

potatoes

Start by roasting potatoes and onions until soft and lightly browned.  I used a Cast Iron 12″ Skillet (I also have the lid for this skillet – completely worth it!), got it hot on the stove first, then cooked the mixture in the oven until done.

ingredients

Use whatever you have on hand, or cater to your personal preferences, to make your taco sauce layer.  I used a 1/2 bag of meatless crumbles, 1 large can of fire roasted tomatoes, and a packet of spicy taco seasoning.

sauce

When it all simmered together for 10-15 minutes, it thickened up nicely.  I did cut up the whole fire roasted tomatoes to make them more bite-sized.

layers

Create layers in the order of your choice.  My layers were: sauce, tortillas, potato mixture, sauce, tortillas, potato mixture, crushed taco shells, grated cheddar cheese. I have found that no matter what order my layers go in for Mexican casserole, it always falls apart, so no worries on amounts and order of layers.

meal

I served my casserole two different ways – with a cooked brown and wild rice mixture, avocados, and red peppers (see top photo) and with chopped cabbage and avocado the second time (see photo above).  Both meals were delicious and I am happy to report my youngest loved this meal.  My oldest took a little cajoling to try a bite that was followed by a scrunched up face.  However, she does that to anything new right now.

Potato Taco Casserole 

  1. Peel and chop 5 medium yellow or red potatoes.  Peel and mince 2 garlic cloves.  Dice 1 medium yellow onion.  Combine together in pan and roast at 375° for 25-30 minutes or till softened and slightly browned, stirring once in the middle.
  2. In a large skillet combine: 1-28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, 6-12 oz meat or meat substitute of your choice, and 1 packet of taco seasoning.  Simmer on low until thickened and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a 9×13 pan, spread 1/2 the sauce on the bottom.  Then place a layer of torn and whole corn tortillas with half the potato mixture on top.  Spread the remaining sauce, another layer of tortillas, the last of the potato mixture and top with crushed taco shells and a grating of cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes.  Serve with taco toppings of your choice.

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