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Unopened canned pumpkin taking up pantry space is the key ingredient in this enchilada-inspired vegetarian casserole.
Ingredient swap: Skip the mushrooms and swap in shredded rotisserie chicken.
- One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2½ pounds cremini or wild mushrooms or a mixture of both, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 jalapeño, mostly seeded (for less heat) and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- One 2-ounce can diced green chiles
- Two 15-ounce cans black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans or a mixture, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup store-bought taco sauce, divided
- Neutral-flavored cooking spray
- 12 corn tortillas, halved
- 1 pound (2 bags) shredded cheddar, jack or taco-blend cheese
- Diced white onion
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Chopped tomatoes
- Cilantro leaves
- Pickled jalapeños
- Sour cream or crema
- Diced avocado dressed with lime juice and salt
- Crumbled blue corn tortilla chips
- Pickled red onions
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
For the pumpkin sauce, in a small saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, cinnamon, chili powder, a large pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir in ½ cup water, then cook over medium-low to medium, stirring occasionally, to heat through and let the flavors meld.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add EVOO, two turns of the pan, and add mushrooms in a single layer. Let mushrooms cook, undisturbed, until just starting to brown before stirring. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander, then stir and brown mushrooms completely before removing to a plate.
In the same pan over medium heat, add EVOO, one more turn of the pan, and onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, then grate in garlic. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more or until vegetables are slightly soft. Stir in diced green chilis and beans, then add the reserved mushrooms. Season with salt and a few big spoonfuls of taco sauce, then stir and heat through.
Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of taco sauce on the bottom, then arrange 8 tortilla halves on top in a single layer to cover the bottom, leaving few to no gaps. Pour or spoon ⅓ of the pumpkin sauce over the tortilla layer and use a rubber spatula to spread evenly, making sure to reach the corners of the pan. Spoon ⅓ of the mushroom mixture over the pumpkin sauce and spread evenly. Sprinkle ⅓ of the cheese on top of the mushroom layer. Repeat the layers twice more using the tortillas, pumpkin sauce, mushroom filling and cheese. If desired, spoon on some taco sauce before adding the final layer of cheese.
Cover casserole with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Let the casserole rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with desired toppings.