Monday, January 31, 2011

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

My Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole has its roots in Kay Yamashita's Chicken Tortilla Casserole from my childhood. I thought of this over the weekend while attending the ESGVJCC's 60th Anniversary Luncheon, Kay was one of the many women being honored.

Mrs. Yamashita always brought the best food to pot-lucks & picnics, and she always shared her recipes. Remember the layered finger jello & the rainbow jello cake? Mrs. Yamashita was the first one I remember making them! 

My mother made Mrs. Yamashita's Chicken Tortilla Casserole when I was growing up. Later, so did I, and so did my friends.

Now I add beans instead of chicken, green chile enchilada sauce instead of the canned soups, and some other ingredients to make it my own.

Again, this is going to make a lot.

I made two big pans of this casserole in two days, one to take to my mother's and one for home.


3 dozen corn tortillas (for one casserole)

Diced green chiles

Green chile enchilada sauce

Canned pinto beans


Mexican blend cheese

ricotta cheese

chopped onions, celery, mushrooms & grated carrots

Chop one large sweet onion, 4 celery stalks and a small package of mushrooms. Grate 2 carrots.

Chop 2 cloves garlic and add to a hot pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Saute until vegetables are wilted.

Slice the olives and add enchilada sauce, green chiles, pinto beans and sauteed vegetables to a large bowl.

Stir well to combine.

Separate sauce into two portions. 

Toast the tortillas. 

When they're all toasted, tear them into pieces and add them to half of the sauce mixture. 

Stir to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add a little water until the mixture is soupy.

Spray your casserole with non-stick spray. Add half of the mixture to the casserole dish, dollops of ricotta cheese, a thin layer of the Mexican blend cheese--then repeat the layer ending with the Mexican blend cheese.

Sprinkle with dried oregano.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Serve with a green salad.

For the meat eaters, you can serve a scoop of the chile verde on top!

I served this for lunch to Gary & his siblings--the original FOODjimotos--and the casserole was almost gone!

Thank you, Mrs. Yamashita for the inspiration!

Our entire family, the Hamachis & the Fujimotos, are grateful for Bob & Kay Yamashita's service to the community, we all played Sabers basketball growing up.

Arigatou gozaimashita!


  1. Just had breakfast, but would have preferred this. Mmmmmm. Good thing for you that I don't live closer, otherwise I'd be at your house everyday. ;)

  2. Wow! This looks delicious! Have you thought about submitting this blog to

  3. That looks so good! Is there any left? Bryan, Rick and I are hungry!!