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Mexican Corn Chip Casserole: Vegan or Chicken

Mexican Corn Chip Casserole is an easy comfort-food meal that can be made vegan, using jackfruit, or omnivore friendly using chicken. The prep time is for the jackfruit version only and it's passive prep time. Uses the DIY Mother Mix, a vegan and gluten-free staple, to jumpstart the recipe.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, side
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: comfort food, corn chip casserole, easy casserole, easy mexican food, frito pie, jackfruit recipe, tortilla casserole
Servings: 2 generous servings
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Sylvia Eastman

Ingredients

For all versions

  • handful corn chips, of choice
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa (or green tomato salsa, salsa verde) or just use your favourite salsa
  • 1/2 cup small tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder (optional, for more heat)
  • 2/3 cup Mother Mix + 1 cup water {See recipe notes for link}
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Optionally, if you don't have Mother Mix

  • 1/2 cup almond flour {also called almond meal, or ground blanched almonds}
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

If you are making the vegan (jackfruit) version

  • 300 grams packaged jackfruit {Do not buy the kind in syrup as that kind will be sweet.}
  • almond milk, for soaking jackfruit
  • salt, for soaking jackfruit

If you are making the chicken version

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • If you are making the jackfruit version, drain the brine off the jackfruit.
    Put the jackfruit in a small bowl and pour on enough almond milk to cover it. Shake a few dashes of salt on it.
    Let this sit for about 30 minutes or so. This somewhat minimizes the fruity taste inherent in the jackfruit.
    Drain off the almond milk.
    Shred the jackfruit with a fork.
  • Heat a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the spices and shredded jackfruit or shredded chicken. Stir and cook for a few minutes, getting the spice mix coated all over the jackfruit/chicken. Turn off heat.
  • Make the sauce by combining the Mother Mix plus additional nutritional yeast and water (or the equivalent ingredients if you don't have the mix) in a blender. 
    Blend for one minute.
    Transfer to small saucepan, heat over medium heat, and stir until sauce is thickened and stretchy - 3 to 6 minutes. 
  • Assemble in a baking dish. I used a 4 1/2 inch by 8 inch pan, about 4 cup capacity. 
    Put a layer of chicken/jackfruit, using about 1/3rd of the total amount.
    Spoon on about 2 tablespoons of salsa.
    Put in a layer of corn chips, breaking the chips if necessary. This does not have to be perfect coverage!
    Pour on about 1/3rd cup of cheese sauce.
    Repeat the above steps 3 times.
    For the final layer, put any remaining corn chips and the tomatoes, cut side down
    If you have leftover cheese sauce, pour that on.
    Optionally, you can add a few tablespoons of your cheese of choice. Monterey Jack or cheddar would make great choices.
  • Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbling. 
    Enjoy with more salsa, some chimichurri, and/or nutritional yeast. And/or crunch up some extra corn chips and sprinkle those on top.

Notes

Storage and Reheating

You can store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge and reheat in a 250F oven until warmed through.

About the Mother Mix

The Mother Mix is a simple DIY dry mix that gives you a jumpstart on a number of recipes on this site. It’s vegan and gluten-free and made from all-natural ingredients. You can find the recipe for this awesome pantry staple here. 
Nutritional Information
Nutrition information is an estimate and is based on the jackfruit version with no optional toppings. 

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1045mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1110IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1.9mg