OK, I admit it—I’m in love with Mexican food. As if you couldn’t tell from my recent recipes, any day is a good day for salsa, cheese, tortillas, and spice in my book.
The problem, however, is that it can sometimes be tough to make Mexican food healthy. By the time you add cheeses, sauces, fryers, creams, and everything else, it’s not hard to make your favorite Mexican dish into a calorie buster.
Making adjustments isn’t hard—it just takes a little creativity. That’s when I came across a recipe for a healthy Mexican casserole recently, I knew I had to try it out and put my own spin on it.
What I love about this enchilada bake is that it’s packed with great, natural flavors and a lot of protein. So even though the food is tasting great and a small portion is filling, you’re not consuming tons and tons of unnecessary calories, fat, carbs, and sugar.
With the exception of the orange pepper, you probably have all (or most) of the ingredients already in your kitchen. And this enchilada bake couldn’t be more easy to put together. After you’re done dry pan frying (is that a real term?) the vegetables, the only steps left are to layer the ingredients in a baking dish.
Healthy Enchilada Bake
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 23 minutes
Total 38 minutes
Servings 8 people
This lightened-up Mexican classic feeds a crowd and is light on the waistline. It's quick to prepare and even quicker to bake. Try it out tonight!
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 red onion
- 1 cup corn
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 2 cups Mexican blend cheese
- 20 corn tortillas
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 15oz can red kidney beans, undrained
- 1 cup hot enchilada sauce
- 1 cup green enchilada sauce
- Optional: sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for topping
- Chop peppers and dice onion.
- Using a nonstick pan on high heat, fry the corn until smoky and slightly burnt, about three minutes.
- Fry the peppers until slightly burnt, about four minutes. (Note: if you have a small pan, fry the peppers in two batches)
- Fry the onion until soft and slightly burnt, about four minutes.
- Mix all vegetables together in a large bowl. Toss with chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and cajun seasoning. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix refried beans and kidney beans together in a medium bowl.
- Mix enchilada sauces together in a medium bowl.
- Grease a deep 9×13 baking dish. Coat the bottom with about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce.
- Layer the pan in the following order: half of the tortillas, all of the beans, half of the vegetables, half of the sauce, half of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, vegetables, sauce, and cheese.
- Cover with tin foil and bake on second-to-top rack for 23 minutes or until cheese is melted. Rotate baking dish once during baking.
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Adapted from Pinch of Yum.