14.63 – Tortilla Black Bean Casserole

My friend, Jessica, picked these numbers. Jess is one of many people I started referring to as twitter/beer friends (her twitter account is private so I’m not sharing it here). Over the past few years, I have met some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I met them through twitter and the San Diego beer scene. When asked how we’d met, it was just easy to say that they are twitter/beer friends. I don’t refer to them that way anymore. Calling them my twitter friends short-changes the relationships. They are my dear friends and mean the world to me.

Insert here: I’m going to add a song to each post. I listen to music when I cook, when I write, pretty much all the time. It just seems right, so here you go…

Find Out Who Your Friends Are – Tracy Lawrence featuring Tim McGraw & Kenny Chesney

Jess. Jess has this laugh that is incredibly contagious; you can’t help but smile or laugh right along with her. She loves her friends, really, truly, loves them. An incredibly creative woman, she throws an elaborate murder mystery party, for her friends, each year. This year’s Murder Under the Big Top party was amazing (as I hear they all are) from the invitations…


to the DJ, decorations (she had a cotton candy machine!!!), drinks (a keg of beer from Mike Hess Brewing), and food (hired Mastiff Sausage Co., a food truck, to come out and make corn dogs). I had so much fun. The organization and planning that she puts into these parties just proves how passionate and creative she is; and how much she loves us, her friends.

I am blessed to call Jessica my friend, utterly grateful to have her in my life. I’m so happy every time she walks into the room, I know I’ll have fun, be safe and, best of all, I’m in the presence of someone who feels the same way about me.

#14 – Better Homes and Gardens The New Cook Book. You probably already have this book in your collection. I think I received my copy about 12 years ago at one of my wedding showers. It’s a great book for a new cook, recipes are fairly simple and there are tips throughout, like how to properly frost a cake to roasting poultry.

I don’t think it’s right to say I’ve moved on from this book, but I guess I kind of have.  I haven’t used it for years yet I hold onto it because, well, you just don’t let go of BH&G The New Cook Book. It’s a kitchen staple.

.63 – page 63 is the recipe for Tortilla Black Bean Casserole. I love mexican food. I love casseroles (so convenient). I was excited to make this. Looking back now, having made and tasted the recipe, there are a few things I would change. I’ve added the changes, that I would execute next time, in italics. Also, in the book, the recipe calls for low-fat ingredients. I don’t roll that way, I use real cheese and sour cream. Just know you can substitute the low-fat stuff if you prefer; I don’t recommend it.

Tortilla Black Bean Casserole adapted from Better Homes and Gardens The New Cook Book.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes I would use a 28 ounce can next time
  • 3/4 cup picante sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained I would use 2 more cans
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas I would use 8-10
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese I would double this
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • sliced green onion
  • sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt I would use a full cup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


In a large skillet, combine onion, bell pepper, undrained tomatoes, picante sauce, cumin, and garlic.


Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in beans.



Spread one third of the bean mixture over the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular casserole dish. Top with six of the tortillas, overlapping. I would cut it down to 4-5 tortillas and overlap as little as possible, cutting tortillas to cover the casserole.


Cover this layer of tortillas with half the cheese. I would use twice as much cheese, put it everywhere, make it cheesy!


Add another one-third of the bean mixture, top with remaining tortillas (I put some more cheese on this next layer of tortillas), and remaining bean mixture.


Bake, covered in foil, for 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand 10 minutes.

Top with tomato slices, shredded lettuce, sour cream, olives, and green onions.


Pour yourself a nice cold beer and enjoy!


Notes: The reason I would add more canned tomatoes, beans and use less tortillas is because it ended up pretty dry. However, it was a lot better reheated hours later. I would definitely make it again with the changes I’ve added.

Shopping Notes: All fresh produce was purchased at Specialty Produce. The beer pairing is from one of our favorite local breweries, Modern Times Beer. These guys know how to make beer and, if you have the opportunity, check out their amazing tasting room, it will blow your mind.

There you go, a wonderful friend, a comforting recipe and a perfect pairing. Be sure to #theincidentalspoon if you make this recipe! Also, subscribe to receive the emails so you don’t miss out!


2 thoughts on “14.63 – Tortilla Black Bean Casserole

  1. This will probably be my favorite post, (gee, I wonder why!?) Thanks so much for all of the kind words. Sometimes you just don’t know what kind of impact you’ve made on people. I even got a little teary-eyed for which I told Dave “Oh my eyes are just itchy right now” when he looked at me funny. The people I’ve met through beer and Twitter are some of the best people I’ve ever met… including you, Ben and the boys. If and when I get to be a mom I sincerely hope I am as good as you are.

    Oh and the dish! The dish looks amazing! My mouth is watering and I’m glad you didn’t use low fat ingredients, I’m sure it tasted a LOT better than the book intended. I love Mexican food and this just seems like the perfect dish for a San Diego winter-like day. I would have secretly picked out all of the olives though. 😉

    I’ll see if Dave will cook it for me because well… I’m not allowed in the kitchen and trust me that is for good reason. I can make a mean bowl of cereal or pick out a great restaurant though.

    Your friend,

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