Friday, March 30, 2012

Leftover Fabulous: Naked Burrito Casserole

If I take the time to cook, I always cook extra.  My favorite thing to double (or triple) is a pot of chili. I must admit though, that after we've eaten it twice, I'm facing some moans from the little ones if it comes out again.  Until I came up with this concoction.
Well I can't take full credit.  While we were staying with my sister for Thanksgiving she made something similar and a light bulb went off in my head.  All of her ingredients were ingredients I put in chili and I could have this meal a heck of a lot faster if I just made it with leftovers.  Now kudos to my sister for this little recipe, it is now a family favorite of ours.

Naked Burrito Casserole

3-4 cups of leftover chili
2 cups of cooked rice
2 cups of shredded cheese (I make a mix of colby, cheddar, and monterrey jack)
1-16oz. bag of frozen corn
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (optional if you don't have enough chili-see directions)
For Garnish: (any combination of these would do)
sour cream
diced avocado
shredded lettuce

Mix all of the Ingredients (not garnishes) together in a large casserole dish EXCEPT one cup of  the cheese.  Decide whether your casserole is "gloppy" enough.  I know this sounds gross, but after making a million casseroles, I've learned this is the best description.  Wet enough to stick together, but not soup.  If you think it is too dry add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for at least 30 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.  
Dump it all in, stir!

Top with Cheese

This one cooked for closer to an hour, still awesome!
You can make this up to a day ahead and put it in the fridge to be cooked.  This is one of my go-to meals to leave in the fridge when my hubby will be home before me.  I love walking in the door to the smell of a home-cooked meal.

Tip:  Pre-cook rice each weekend and store it in your fridge.  It makes for quick meals.  I do it on Sunday afternoon each week, and I am never sorry I did.  This meal took 10 minutes to prep, including shredding the cheese!  If you have a food processor with a shredding attachment, I do encourage you to shred your own cheese.  Pre-shredded Cheese always has some added ingredient. And the flavor cannot compete with cheese you shred at home!

Once you start rethinking leftovers, the possibilities are endless.  There are so many simple ways to save yourself time without sacrificing good food.

Love and Butter,


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