Also referred to as a “Mexican Tofu & Veggie Bake” this is a perfect dish to make ahead and have ready to just bake and serve, at your home or a friend’s place. Casserole can also be frozen after being assembled but before baking; thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight before bringing to room temperature and then baking as directed.
Recipe makes 8 to 10 portions
6 to 8 Corn Tortillas
28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
15 oz. can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound Carrots, coarsely grated
2 bunches Scallions, whites minced and greens thinly sliced
1 or 2 Chile Peppers of your choice depending on how spicy you want the dish, chiles minced
1 cup Cilantro Leaves, chopped
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 – 8 oz. packages Baked Tofu (pressed and flavored prepared tofu, more dense & dry than firm tofu)
8 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese, grated (add more to taste if you like)
Lightly oil the inside bottom and sides of the selected baking dish** (see note below about baking dish options). Cover the bottom of the pan with a single layer of tortillas; you will need to tare the tortillas and patchwork the pieces to fully cover the pan. It is fine if the tortillas over lap a bit. You will use 3 or 4 tortillas to create this initial layer, reserve the remaining tortillas for layering the rest of the casserole.
In a large mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, drained beans, carrots, scallions, chile peppers, cilantro and salt; mix well to evenly incorporate the salsa ingredients. Pour half of the salsa into the dish to cover the tortilla layer. Reserve the rest of the salsa for the next layer.
Slice the baked tofu into thin horizontal sheets. Use half of the sliced tofu to make a layer to cover the salsa. Scatter half of the pepper jack cheese over the tofu.
Starting with the remaining tortillas repeat this layering process to make one additional layer, finishing with the cheese on top.
You can cover and chill the casserole at this point or put it directly into the oven.
Bake the casserole at 400F convection for 20 to 30 minutes until the cheese is browned and the edges of the casserole are hot and bubbly.
*If the casserole was chilled before it is to be served be sure to remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before baking; this will take the chill off and help the casserole to cook more evenly where the center of the dish will be appropriately hot without overcooking the outer edges.
**Recipe will fill any of the following sized baking dishes:
A single rectangular 13” X 9” pan
A single square 8” X 8” or 9” X 9” pan
2 Loaf Pans measuring 8” or 9” X 5”
Depending on which pan option you choose the final casserole may be very tall or shorter when served.
The higher the fill line for the prepared casserole the longer it will need to bake to heat everything through appropriately.