Cozy Beef Enchilada Casserole

My recipes are recipes are grain free, refined sugar free, and many are dairy free. Since revamping my diet I am feeling better. While my recipes are good for those with allergies or autoimmune illnesses they are also tasty and anyone would enjoy them.

I didn’t grow up with casseroles. The only place I got to try the common American casseroles was at friends homes. I think casseroles were more popular in the 60’s and 70’s than today. I remember tuna casseroles, taco casseroles, and taco pie. My mother is from Sweden and therefore didn’t make common American foods. These are dishes that as an adult I created recipes for. But since going grain free these too have disappeared from my diet as they contain either pasta or tortillas.

I was in a reminiscing mood and wanted to have a cozy one-dish dinner. Perhaps I wanted to take a walk down memory lane. We all long for commonality in our communities. Perhaps I wanted my children to have common foods that others in our community tend to eat.

I have never quite felt 100% American as I have experienced other cultures. My childhood was full of stories from Swedish Authors. Stories like Snipp, Snapp, Snoor, or the tales of Pippi Longstocking. In my house, we sang songs and ate Swedish food at home. We went to cultural activities and celebrated Swedish Holidays. My family knew lots of people and we had friends from around the world perhaps due to the fact my parents owned a Scandinavian restaurant. We, of course, had lots of Scandinavian friends as well. These friendships broadened our knowledge of the world and other cultures, as well as foods from around the world.

Did you know that today we have a large population of third culture children? What are third culture children? They are kids from parents from two different countries and the child is from one of their parent’s countries or from another country and they don’t live in the country they were born in. This leads to a feeling of not belonging anywhere.

I decided to make an enchilada casserole and decided to use butternut squash in place of tortillas. This recipe is similar to a Lasagna as it is layered. I have a Cheese topping, meat filling, refried beans, and enchilada sauce. This recipe feeds a family of 4 for 2 meals with leftovers. This recipe is very decadent and delicious. Because of all of the components and various serving sizes, I decided to not post nutrition facts.

I used leftover tri-tip roast which I cut into pieces and shredded in my Cuisinart with a medium blade. The tri-tip added fantastic flavor to the meat filling.  Ground hamburger or ground turkey meat would also be great in this dish. Enjoy this recipe with Tex Mex Coleslaw.


1 cups shredded cheese of your choice.

12 slices cheese of your choice

I used Pepper Jack

Butternut Squash

1 large butternut squash

Peel butternut squash. Using a meat slicer slice the top stem and bottom off. Slice butternut squash into thin slices of butternut squash.


Enchilada Sauce

2 recipes Spicy Jalapeno Enchilada Sauce or Enchilada sauce

Make 2 recipes of Enchilada sauce using whatever recipe you prefer. Set Sauce aside. Use in Meat Filling and Spicy Jalapeno Refried Beans. Set remainder aside.

Meat Filling

2 1/2 lb leftover beef shredded or hamburger meat

1 cup chopped onions

1 clove minced garlic

1 cup Spicy Jalapeno Enchilada Sauce or Enchilada Sauce


Fry onions and garlic until translucent. Add shredded beef and enchilada sauce. Set Meat aside.

Refried Beans

2 recipes Jalapeno refried Black beans or refried beans

LaRena's Corner
Mashing Black Beans


Assemble Casserole

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large Lasanaga type pan spread a small amount of Enchilada sauce on the bottom and top with slices of butternut squash until the bottom pan is covered.


Next top the squash with 1/2 of the meat filling.

Next top with half the refried bean mixture.


Top with 1/2 the enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.

LaRena's Corner
Refried black beans some cheese

Next place another layer of squash down and 1/2 the meat. After the meat add refried beans and enchilada sauce and top with slices of cheese.

Place inside oven and bake covered with tin foil for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes carefully remove tin foil and bake another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.


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