Make-Ahead Black Bean & Spinach Enchilada Casserole



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There has been a conspicuous radio silence around here the last few weeks. I blame the spring—which has given us a reason to do something other than sit inside and eat! Between working my day job, taking care of two little ‘uns, and trying to get outside as much as possible to enjoy the fresh spring air (finally), I’ve been relegating cooking to a sort-of last minute whatever’s-in-the-pantry type of thing. And hey there’s nothing wrong with that, right? In fact, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of canned beans and curry powder (blasphemy, if you ask my Indian husband), pasta with bolognese, and the more-than-occasional breakfast for dinner routine (which, not surprisingly, the kids adore). And after shelving this Pantry Pasta with Kale, Chick Peas and Sun Dried Tomatoes for a couple of years, I recently added it back to the rotation, shocked that I had managed to go so long without it.




We also made a bit of a snap decision to do a fairly significant house renovation starting—um…—now? So I’ve been putting in some quality time with the crap in my basement, clearing it out piece by painful piece, and scouring Houzz for kitchen and bathroom inspiration. Which is fun stuff, granted, until that (inevitable) moment when Kiwi and I get into a heated fists-a-flailing argument about whether the cupboards should be “transitional” or “modern”. If you’ve got any tips for surviving the renovation of a hundred year old house, or great sites or blogs for house inspiration, I’d love it if you shared. Please help. S.O.S.!


This Make-Ahead Enchilada Casserole is the kind of food that everybody needs for busy spring evenings and kitchens-under-renovation. A super simple recipe that uses pantry staples to produce a cheesy crowd-pleasing wonder.

You don’t have to make it ahead, but honestly there is nothing quite as satisfying as popping a homemade ready-to-bake casserole in the oven at the end of a hectic day. I like to assemble it a night or two before—after everyone except me and my glass of wine has gone off to bed. But I’ve thrown it together first thing in the morning too, with a cappuccino close at hand, and quietly so I don’t wake my sleeping brood.







Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I like to use avocado oil)
  • 1 small clamshell container baby spinach (about 5 ounces / 142 grams)
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 450 mL / 16 ounce jar tomatillo salsa
  • 1 398 mL / 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ teaspoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1 113 gram / 4 ounce package goat cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded old cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted, then set it aside.
  2. Spread one third of the salsa into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish, and then lay down 6 corn tortillas. Top with another third of the salsa, spreading it evenly over the tortillas.
  3. Layer on the cooked spinach, followed by the black beans, and then sprinkle the chili powder evenly over top.
  4. Crumble the goat cheese on top of the beans, then top with the remaining tortillas, the last third of the salsa and the shredded cheese.
  5. If you are making the casserole in advance, stop at this point, cover tightly with foil and pop it into the fridge.
  6. When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the casserole (covered with foil) for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the casserole is hot throughout and the cheese is bubbly and browning. If you like a very browned and bubbly top, you might need to turn the oven to broil for the last few minutes of cooking.