This casserole was inspired by a recipe I saw on another website. The author literally looked in her cupboards and fridge and came up with it. I originally was going to make it as she wrote it, but then discovered she used a whopping 9 tablespoons of store bought taco seasoning. I honestly don't care for the flavor of those packages of seasoning, so time to mix things up.
I took the initial idea and changed it up to something that appealed to me by adding diced, canned tomatoes and creating my own seasoning mix to add to the meat mixture. I also reduced the amount of cheese just a bit and added fresh cilantro to the layers. While it is super easy, it does take a little time to make the meat mixture. you could do it earlier in the day and then just assemble it all at supper time.
As always - have fun and don't be afraid to play with this just like I did. Make it your own. ENJOY!
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Ground Turkey South of the Border Casserole
6 large or 8 medium servings
6 large or 8 medium servings
2 lbs. Ground Turkey
1 Small sweet onion, diced
1 T Cooking Oil
1 can Dice Tomatoes with juice (540 ml)
1 C Water
2 T Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dry Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper flakes (optional)
2 C Frozen Corn, thawed
1-1/2 C Shredded Tex Mex Cheese
1/2 Bunch Cilantro leaves, chopped
2 Handfuls of Que Paso tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
1/2 C Heritage grape or cherry tomatoes in different colors, diced
1/4 C Sliced Black Olives or more to taste
4 medium flour tortillas (2 whole, 2 cut in half to make half circles)
Options you could serve on the side - salsa, sour cream or Greek yogurt, sliced avocado and diced jalapenos.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
I large non-stick frying pan cook the ground turkey and onion in oil until all pink is gone and onion is soft. Add can diced tomatoes with liquid, water, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Still well and simmer until liquid is gone. Be careful not to cook totally dry.
Prepare a 9 x 13 glass casserole with cooking spray. Lay 2 whole tortillas on each end, overlapping in the middle and going up the side a little. Then place the 4 half circles 2 on each long side bending up the sides. It ends up being a tortilla lined casserole with the sides and bottom covered.
Place half the meat mixture in the casserole in an even layer. Sprinkle half the corn on top, then half the cilantro, then half the cheese and then a sprinkle of crushed tortilla chips. Repeat meat, corn, cilantro, cheese layer. Then top with the diced tomatoes and the sliced ripe olives. Finish with a sprinkling of crushed tortilla chips.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the casserole is fully heated through. Let set 5-10 minutes, then cut into individual servings (I used a serrated steak knife as the tortilla layers is hard to cut. Serve with coleslaw, green salad, or fruit salad. You can also offer bowls of sides guests can add if they want at the table.