Words can’t describe how much I loved the southwest black bean casserole I made last night. Holy Toledo! I was anticipating something similar to the spicy black bean tacos I fell in love with last month. Dare I say that this was slightly better?
I knew the timing would be tricky. As luck should have it, I have something going on every night this week. Monday night was the least busy and also meant I’d have leftovers for lunch.
I did all my slicing and dicing before yoga, thinking that might speed up the process once I got home. The only down side was that my hands smelled like garlic all through class. Small price to pay for how quickly I was able to cook/sauté everything before throwing it in the oven, though. And I will say I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need my food processor to get the beans to be the right consistency. Cooking them on the stovetop for a few minutes made mashing them up a breeze.
As expected, I did make a few modifications to the recipe. I didn’t use the green pepper and forgot about the green onions. I also didn’t throw in the bacon, in part because it unintentionally didn’t make my grocery list. At the last minute I decided to add corn because, as the middle likes to say, we are in Nebraska.
Knowing I couldn’t trust myself with a bag of tortilla chips, I opted to buy tortilla strips and used that to top the casserole instead. Fabulous idea.
What really sells the casserole is the flavor in the black beans, which shouldn’t be a surprise given it has garlic, onion, jalapeno and red pepper flakes. But everything about this casserole is delicious. Especially with the tortilla chips, it doesn’t disappoint on flavor or color.
It likely won’t win any points for presentation, at least if it’s made by me. Primarily I think it’s because there isn’t really a binding agent aside from the black beans at the bottom. It’s not like a lasagna where it layers nicely and stays together. But you can’t deny it looks delicious when it’s fresh out of the oven.
What I also love is it’s versatility. I could add rice to make it more of a casserole or burrito bowl. I could make tacos with it, or have it as a chip dip at a social gathering. I’ll have to experiment more with this dish given I’m undoubtedly going to make it again!