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Make-Ahead Layered Burrito Casserole with Garlic Red Sauce

Servings: 9 pan
Author: Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Ingredients

Burrito sauce ingredients:

  • 6-8 Tablespoons butter pastured butter is best
  • 6 Tablespoons of your thickener of choice – I like einkorn flour or you could use arrowroot flour for a grain-free option
  • 4 cloves Garlic chopped small, or 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup whole milk or cream “whipping cream” if you're buying it at the store, be sure you don't get ultra-pasteurized, just ‘pasteurized' – read more about healthy dairy options here — you could also use sour cream.
  • 2 cups or so of liquid: chicken or beef broth – homemade broth if you have it AND/OR more milk -- I keep this broth on hand for when I run out of my own broth in the freezer.
  • 1 jar organic tomato paste
  • About 1 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder and/or onion powder OR just use some of this yummy homemade taco seasoning mix
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • I always add a scoop of this collagen to my sauces for a nutrient boost!
  • Note that instead of the peppers tomato products, and the spices, to save a little time, you could just substitute organic salsa.
  • Your favorite tortillas — you could make homemade tortillas or get some like these spelt tortillas with a not too bad ingredient label. Update: I can now find organic tortillas right at my grocery store!
  • Shredded cheese for the top cheese from grass-fed cows is best, but I don't always buy that kind because it's pricey for how much of it we use. I shred my own to avoid the preservatives that are always in shredded cheeses at the store.
  • Sour cream for the top
  • Chopped lettuce and/or cilantro

Instructions

  • Cook your meat with the chopped onion, I use my favorite pan or my pressure cooker -- see this post for how.
  • Chop any extras that you're using, see the options above.
  • Make the sauce:  melt butter in a saucepan and add chopped garlic.  Sauté until the garlic starts to get lightly golden.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, keep whisking and be careful to watch closely and keep it on low-medium so it doesn’t burn.  Slowly add the cream or milk and the broth, and keep whisking.  Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and seasonings (or the salsa), and keep whisking it in as the flavors all come together and it thickens.  Taste-test to see if it needs more salt or more spices.  If this is done before you’re ready to assemble, just turn your heat off and let set.
  • Start assembling in a buttered baking pan.  You can layer any way you'd like, just make sure there's always sauce touching the tortillas so they don't get dry, and tear the tortillas so they completely covering each layer.  (See the pictures below.)  Here's how I did the layers:  Tortillas, sauce, meat, cream cheese, tortillas, sauce, beans, peppers, tortillas, sauce, rest of the meat, tortillas, sauce, cheese.  Basically keep layering everything in whatever order, and as you get to the top, just use up whatever you have left.  Remember to make two pans at once if you have enough, because it really is a great time-saver later!
  • Cover well if you're freezing it, or put into the oven on 350* for about 30 minutes, just to get hot through.
  • Serve with sour cream and lettuce and/or cilantro on the side for extra dreaminess.  Our family LOVES this meal!  Don't forget to see the pictures below.
  • Note that this may look like a lot of sauce, but it soaks up when baking!