Photos by Aimee Broussard. Her Mexican quesadilla casserole pictured makes an easy lunch option at the beach.

In the kitchen: Mexican Quesadilla Casserole

This holiday season, Aimee Broussard’s Mexican Quesadilla Casserole is an effortless recipe when you’re pinched for time or completely zapped of festive energy. And while we would love to immediately indulge in a fresh bite as comforting as a warm blanket, it’s reassuring to know that this dish can also be safely stowed away in the freezer until it’s ready to be devoured.

In keeping with the spirit of giving, this casserole can easily be passed around the family table (or passed out at your local soup kitchen) where you can spread cheer to those near and far.


1 lb. ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (8¾ oz.) can Mexicorn, undrained
1 (4½ oz.) can green chilies, undrained
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. oregano
2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese
6 (8-in.) flour tortillas
Garnish: sour cream, tomatoes, olives, cilantro (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef and onion. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chilies. Mix well. Stir in spices. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Spray a 9 x 13-in. baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread ½ cup of beef mixture on bottom of pan, then top with cheese and 3 tortillas, overlapping as needed. Repeat with remaining beef, cheese and tortillas. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with sour cream, fresh cilantro, tomatoes and olives if desired.
For freezer meal, follow same instructions but use a freezer-friendly aluminum foil pan. Instead of baking, double wrap with heavy-duty foil and label. When ready to use, thaw and bake.
Makes 8 servings.