Recipe: Chicken + Black Bean + Tortilla Casserole

I first made this recipe about 1 month before Josh and I got married (ages ago), and until last weekend,  I hadn't made it since.  I was flipping through my cookbooks looking for inspiration the other day, and I saw the corner of this recipe folded down.  I opened to the spot and saw some avocado smeared on the page + the little pencil markings I had made checking off ingredients, and I was immediately overwhelmed by nostalgia.  This recipe was my first attempt at cooking dinner for Josh, and I remember working so hard on chopping, measuring, and trying to make everything perfect.  (Don't worry- it's not a hard recipe - I just didn't have much experience in the kitchen!)  I don't remember much else about the meal except that it made TONS, and it must have been edible as we got married and life moved on.  Isn't it funny how certain recipes (or songs or smells or places) can instantly transport you to a memory?  This recipe certainly transported me, and I'm so thankful to have "rediscovered" it nearly 7 years later.  And, for the record- it's not just edible- it's delicious.  

Chicken, Black Bean, and Tortilla Casserole
Recipe adapted from What's for Dinner by Maryana Vollstedt

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, including juices
  • 1/2 C. prepared salsa
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 C. cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 8 soft corn tortillas (I used 10 small tortillas.)
  • 4 C. grated Monterey Jack cheese (I ran out and used cheddar for the last cup.)
Optional toppings:
  • Avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh salsa
  • Sliced green onions
  1. In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat.  Add green pepper and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, salsa, cumin, salt, pepper, and oregano and mix well. Stir in beans and chicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.  In a lightly sprayed 4 Qt. casserole dish, spread 1/3 of bean and chicken mixture over the bottom.  Top with 4 corn tortillas. (I cut them in half and used 5 to cover more of the mixture.)  Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on top of tortillas.  Add another 1/3 of bean and chicken mixture and top with 1 cup of cheese.  Top with 4 (or 5) more tortillas and 1 cup of cheese.  Add remaining bean and chicken mixture.  Cover and bake until bubbly, about 40 minutes.  (I cooked uncovered for a crispier top.)
  3. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese and cook 10 minutes longer.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  

PS - Don't forget to join us for #MidWeekMuse tomorrow.  See what's inspiring Ann Elliott, Pampers & Pearls, and other bloggers and readers out there.  We hope you'll link-up and share your "muse" for the week.  



  1. YUM. I needed inspiration today and need a meal to take to a few folks, so I am going to make a double batch! Thank you for the perfect inspiration!!!

  2. Looks delicious Annie! Can't wait to try it.. Also, I love your bakeware in the photo above. Tell me about it!

  3. This looks delicious! We need to add some new dishes to our week night dinner rotation and this looks perfect.