Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole Recipe with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Tomatoes

Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole
Having this Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole in the fridge can really help you with Phase One!

This Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Tomatoes is a new recipe for our A Month of Daily Phase One Recipes.  I'm a card-carrying member of The Casserole Fan Club, partly because casseroles usually mean leftovers in the fridge for easy meals later in the week.  And although lots of my Casserole Recipes contain rice, quinoa, or pasta, for the last few years I've been working on more casserole recipe ideas that will work for Phase One.  This recipe was definitely inspired by the Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese, but if you've tried that one I think you will find this recipe is quite different.  I do warn you that this casserole is definitely spicier, which is one reason it tastes so great with a dollop of low-fat sour cream, but if you're cooking for a family I'll share how to tone down the heat.

I also want to share how excited I am that my blog is being featured this week on Edamam's Fresh Picks, where they're sharing one recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen every day.  (A few of the recipes they selected are "oldies but goodies" which of course makes me want to start re-shooting the photos as soon as I see them!)  All the recipes featured by Edamam are sent to mobile devices as part of the Fresh Picks program and then added to my profile on Edamam.com.

One reason this recipe is spicy is because there's a double dose of green chiles.  If you're cooking for kids, use MILD green chile enchilada sauce.  You can also omit the extra layer of green chiles in the middle of the casserole and use those extra green chiles to make something else with green chiles.  (And be careful to buy mild whole green chiles and not whole jalapenos to make this.   If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn't contain wheat.  One is La Victoria.)

Dump the whole green chiles into a colander and let them drain while you start cooking the filling.  When the chiles are drained, remove to cutting board and rinse and drain the black beans.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil and saute the onions until they're starting to brown.

Remove the onions, add 1 tsp. more of olive oil and brown the ground beef, breaking apart with the turner.  When beef is brown, add the Taco Seasoning and cook a couple of minutes more.

Then add the petite dice tomatoes with juice, drained black beans, and browned onions and simmer on low until all the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Open each whole green chile with your fingers; then use a paper towel to wipe away any seeds and blot the green chile dry.  Arrange in 3 stacks.  (This will take 6-8 paper towels to get all the chiles dry.  Don't leave the seeds in unless you want it to be much spicier.)

I used my favorite new Anchor Hocking 12 Cup Bake-and-Store Glass Casserole Dish.  If you're making the layers you need a dish with high sides, but it doesn't have to be this exact one.  Spray the dish with non-stick spray and then make a layer of 1/3 of the green chiles.

Put half the ground beef mixture over the green chiles.

Then make a second layer of green chiles.  (This is the layer you could skip if you're making this for kids.  Just make a thicker layer of ground beef if you want to do that.)

Then put the other half of the ground beef mixture over the green chiles.

And make a final layer of green chiles on top.

Beat three eggs and then whisk together with 1/2 can (1 cup) of the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce.  (You can freeze the extra sauce to use later.)  Pour the sauce over the casserole and then use a fork to move the ingredients aside so the sauce will run down.

Sprinkle on a layer of Low-Fat Four Cheese Mexican Blend and cover the casserole with the lid or foil.  Bake at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Then remove the lid or foil and bake another 20-25 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling.  If you like your cheese nicely browned (like I do), turn to broil and broil the top for a few minutes.  Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.

Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Tomatoes
(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and Jake with inspiration from Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese.)

1 can (26 or 27 oz.) whole green chiles, drained (be careful not to buy whole jalapenos, which look similar)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed well with cold water and drained
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
1 T taco seasoning (I use my homemade Taco Seasoning, but a purchased seasoning will work.)
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
3 eggs, beaten well
1 cup Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (from a 15 oz. can, freeze the rest for another use.  If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn't contain wheat.  One is La Victoria.)
1 1/2 cups Low-Fat Mexican Four Cheese Blend (I use the blend from Costco which has 6 grams of fat in 1/4 cup)
low-fat sour cream for serving (optional)

I used my favorite Anchor Hocking 12 Cup Bake-and-Store Glass Casserole Dish for this recipe, but you can use any dish that's 8"x8" or 9"x9" with high sides.  (If you don't have a dish that size, I think a rectangular glass casserole dish would work to make a flatter casserole, although you might not be able to make an extra layer of green chiles in the middle.)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Dump the whole green chiles into a colander placed in the sink and let them drain while you prep the filling.  When the green chiles are drained, move them to a cutting board and then put the black beans in the colander, rinse with cold water, and let drain.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large heavy non-stick pan, add the onions, and saute over medium-high heat until onions are browned, about 5-6 minutes.  Remove onions to a small bowl.  Add the other teaspoon of olive oil and the ground beef and cook 6-8 minutes, or until the beef is well browned, breaking it apart with the turner as it cooks.  Add the taco seasoning and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Add the diced tomatoes and juice, drained black beans, and onions and turn heat to medium low.  Cook until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.  (When you use the turner to push the mixture aside, the bottom of the pan should look nearly dry.)

While the meat mixture cooks use your fingers to open each of the whole chiles and then use a paper towel to wipe away the seeds and blot each chile as dry as you can get it.  (You will need 6-8 paper towels to do all the chiles, but don't skip this step.  If you don't remove the seeds, this dish will be extra spicy.)  Divide the chiles into 3 piles as you dry them.

Spray the casserole dish with non-stick spray and make a layer of 1/3 of the chiles in the bottom of the dish.  Top with 1/2 the meat mixture.  Make another layer of chiles on top of the meat mixture, and top with the other 1/2 of the meat mixture.  Finish with a top layer of the last 1/3 of the chiles.

Beat the eggs and then whisk in the cup of Green Chile Enchilada sauce.   Pour this over the casserole and then use a fork or knife to gently push the ingredients aside so the egg/sauce mixture can run down into the layers.  Top with the grated cheese and cover the casserole dish with the lid or foil.

Bake covered for 30 minutes, or until all the cheese is melted and the casserole is starting to bubble.  Remove the lid or foil and bake 20-25 minutes more.  If you want the top well-browned, switch to broil the last few minutes and brown the top.  This is easier to serve if you let it sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.  Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream on top if desired.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This casserole is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients like green chiles, lean beef, black beans, and tomatoes.  Remember that beans are a limited food, and that it's important to use lean beef (less than 10% fat) and low-fat cheese if you're making this for South Beach.  The Green Chile Enchilada sauce does have a very small amount of modified corn starch, but using that ingredient only adds 2 carbs per serving to this dish, so I consider this to be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Phase One Casseroles from Kalyn's Kitchen:
Baked Pesto Chicken
Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin
Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole
Grilled Zucchini "Lasagna" with Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce
Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. If anyone doesn't want their extra layer of green chiles, I'll be happy to take them! Seriously, this looks amazing, and not too spicy for me.

  2. Lydia, I thought of you because it was definitely on the spicy side for me, but I loved it with the sour cream to cool it down! (Jake is a spice fiend, so it could have been hotter for him.)

  3. Kalyn- this has been a fantastic set of recipes that you are offering this month- I love the main dishes that are SB friendly. I enjoy your side dishes, but I tend to just make a main dish, so your January posts have been a gold mine! Thank you.

  4. Pjasso, so glad you're enjoying the recipes.

    My apologies to Joanne because I accidentally deleted her comment on this post!

  5. Wow, I love how you layered the hot chilies right into the casserole. I have to try this! Thanks :)

  6. oh my gosh, this sounds so good.

  7. Anything with those roasted green chiles has to be divine. Looks so delicious! Happy New Year! xox

  8. At first glance, I thought this casserole had a cornbread type recipe on top, which I thought was not like you. Then I read the recipe and discovered your genius egg and green chile sauce topping. Soon to become another Kalyn Favorite at my house!

  9. I have not been able to find green enchilada sauce and/or whole green chiles in the supermarket. I've tried 3 chains so far. I'm hoping maybe Trader Joe's or Whole Foods will have them.

  10. Christi, sorry to hear that. Both my usual stores in Utah have them. Might be a regional thing.

  11. I made this last night and it was delicious! I did use a few variatons: rotisserie chicken instead of ground beef, because it was easier and I had it already, and instead of whole chiles I used several cans of chopped green chiles (like another poster, I couldn't find the whole ones at my store). It was wonderful and my whole family liked it - thanks so much.

  12. Kalyn I am so loving all the recipes this month more so than ever. My 12 yo grandson just got his first buck (200 lbs) so I have a bunch of ground deer meat,so I'm going to use some for this recipe....I'm sure it will be delicious. Thanks again for all the yummy recipes.

  13. Well, it was a double-Kayln day at my house yesterday. We had the broccoli-ham-egg bake for breakfast, and this Spicy Green Chili casserole for supper! Both were excellent! (I too was unable to find the whole green chilis,so used several cans of chopped.) I love that I can portion up the leftovers of both for other breakfasts and dinners this week - in face, I served my portion of this casserole over a big bed of fresh spinach! Thank you for inspiring me!

  14. This was a huge hit with my boyfriend and i last night! I made one substitution... instead of black beans in the meat mix, I took refried black beans, thinned them out with the remaining enchilada sauce, and used that mixture as another layer over the meat layer. I also held back a little cheese from the top for a cheese layer in the middle. It was so delicious! Garnished with chipotle ranch (lite), cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Paired it with a spinach salad and a cucumber/tomato/avocado salad with lime juice, olive oil and cilantro. Fantastic phase 1 dinner... Thanks, Kalyn!!

  15. Wow! I made it tonight and we LOVED it!!!

  16. I just made the middle part(ground meat, tomatoes and beans etc.), added a can of green chilis and ate it with low fat cheese sprinkled on top. It was a hit for me and my bff.

  17. This was a great dinner! I too had trouble finding the whole chilies here in Massachusetts...so I bought 9 fresh poblano peppers and roasted them myself. Came out great, only next time I would use more peppers!

  18. I wasn't sure how much I would like whole green chiles but this was SO GOOD. I accidentally put the cheese on first, then the sauce/egg mixture, but it turned out great! almost like a crust on top. yum yum yum! Thanks Kalyn, I visit your site every Sunday when I'm planning my meals for the week. <3

  19. Thanks Marcia, glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Fixing this Mexican casserole for the second time. It's a keeper! Haven't found a big can of green chiles. So I bought fresh ones and cooked them. Dixie@RealPlanz

  21. Hi Kayln,
    Wondering about a sub for the green chilis? I live in New Zealand and we don't have them here. They have jalepenos (canned) and regular green peppers. I am pregnant and craving this delicious looking recipe!

  22. Hi Anna,
    I'm not sure what to recommend. These chiles are much milder (and larger) than jalapenos, and very different in flavor than regular green peppers. If you can find mild garden-fresh green peppers that might be good, although pretty different from this. If there are any mild green chiles available locally that grow large and could be roasted, that's probably the best substitite.

  23. Thanks Kalyn! I actually tried it by using freshly roasted green bell peppers. I'm sure the taste came out a bit different that yours, but my hubby and I still really enjoyed it! I will keep my eyes out in the stores for other mild chilies.

  24. Anna, so glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  25. Wondering about making ahead and refrigerating..should I bake it for the first 30 min and then refrigerate so I only have to do the 25 when I pull out out if the fridge? Should I just wait and add the cheese until the 25 min? Suggestions would be good thanks!

  26. Lisa, hard for me to answer since I haven't ever done it that way. But if you cook part way and then refrigerate the final cooking time will be longer since the ingredients will be cold. Other than that I don't really know how it will work, sorry.

  27. Made this last night and absolutely loved it! I'm in Massachusetts and found the whole green chilis right next to diced chilis at our local Hanniford's. They are in small, 4 oz jars so I used 6 of them and that was perfect for a glass 8 x8 pan. My 17 month old daughter just ate half of my serving! Def not too spicy if you use mild chilis and remove the seeds as you said! Thanks so much! Love this blog!

  28. Thanks Jessica; so glad you enjoyed it!

  29. I made this with pinto beans (had them on hand). I am working through a South Beach Phase I type of diet and this fits perfect! I am on my 3rd portion and it is delicious - the interesting part of the recipe is the use of canned green enchilada sauce. It all comes together very nice - great recipe!

  30. Rich, so glad you're enjoying it!

  31. Kalyn, I love this recipe! However, I have to buy several tiny cans of chili peppers and am wondering where you buy your 28 oz can. I've tried Ingles, Publix, Trader Joes, Costco, and even a Mexican grocery store. Where do you find it???

  32. I think it will depend on where you live, but I can buy those big cans of green chiles at all the grocery stores by my house (Smith's Marketplace, Fresh Market, Dicks, and Harmonds.) Also at a Mexican market here. I'm in Utah, close to New Mexico I guess!

  33. LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. We always enjoy it. I use original Rotel diced tomatoes with chilis in the recipe.

  34. Maggie, so glad you have enjoyed it!

  35. Oh my, this was delicious! I used fresh-roasted hatch peppers and black soybeans for the black beans, and it was beyond my expectations. What a treat!

  36. Louanne, so happy you enjoyed the recipe!

  37. I see the post above with the use of Hatch Chiles - that must be fantastic! I like it a bit spicy so I have been making this recipe using Poblanos. I spray them with cooking spray and roast them in the oven and let them sweat in a plastic bag. Remove the skin them and substitute for the Green chiles. Be sure not to overcook them in the roasting process or they go mushy.

  38. Rich, I love poblanos so that sounds fantastic to me! Haven't roasted them much, thanks for that tip.

  39. Hi, Kalyn! Made this for my nephew's birthday and we both loved it. Unfortunately some ingredients you call for are regional so I have to adjust (it is a myth that NYC has everything!) but in the end it was totally delicious. Thank you again.

    1. Hi Jen,
      So glad you enjoyed it! I have heard from other readers that those whole green chiles aren't to be found in the east. So sad you can't get them!

  40. Amazon to the rescue! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=canned+whole+green+chiles

    While the options may seem pricey, I pay around $6 locally in Kansas City for a 27 oz. can at a local chain supermarket that caters to a Hispanic clientele.

  41. Can you make this without the eggs Kalyn?

    1. Nanci, I haven't tried making it without eggs, but I think you could. The main purpose of the egg is to help hold it together a bit more.

  42. A nice recipe. We had an ear of fresh corn in the fridge with no plans for it, so I added it to the mixture. This created a lot more liquid that I failed to drain or burn off before cooking. Mistake. We will do this recipe again, with or without corn, but it needs a bit more flavor - we will triple the amount of homemade taco seasoning (from the link) and consider adding some diced, fresh serrano pepper.

    1. My version was definitely flavorful but not overly spicy, so it's a good idea to add some dice chile if you want more heat. I use ancho chile powder in my taco seasoning mix, so that might be a little stronger than some. Hope you can tweak it to your liking.


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