Easy school night dinners

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This week I have two easy and delicious Mexican-style casseroles, one made with ground beef, and one with chicken. They are both made in layers and baked in the oven.
The Mexican Chicken Casserole layers tortilla strips and chicken with a seasoned tomato sauce and cheddar cheese. Pair it with a green salad, and you’ve got dinner.
The Mexican Lasagna is an old recipe of mine, and one I like so much I make it for myself pretty frequently. I’ve had some feedback on this recipe through the years. It seems that little kids don’t like olives. (I can’t imagine why-I love them.) So, if you’re making this for kids, people have told me they have left out the olives and it was still really good. It’s up to you.

Mexican Chicken Casserole
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 of a 10oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3/4 t. chili powder
1/8 t. black pepper
6 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 c. cooked chicken, cut in small pieces
1 1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
Combine soup, tomatoes with chilies, bell pepper, onion, chili powder, and black pepper.  Set aside.  Sprinkle about 1/3 of the tortilla strips over the bottom of 2-qt. baking dish.  Layer half the chicken on top of tortilla strips, then half of the soup mixture on top of that.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat.  Put last third of tortilla strips on top.   Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven about 40-45 minutes, until bubbly around the edges and center is hot.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 c. cheese.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 4.

Mexican Lasagna
1 medium bag taco chips, slightly crushed
8 corn tortillas, torn in pieces
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 c. cottage cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 c. green olives, sliced
1 small can chopped green chilies
2 c. grated cheddar (Monterey Jack hot pepper is good)
Brown ground beef with onion till cooked through, then add garlic salt and tomato sauce.  Let simmer while you prepare the rest.  Mix together in separate bowl cottage cheese, sour cream, olives, and green chilies.  Set aside.  In a medium sized shallow casserole, lightly greased, put a layer of chips or torn tortillas.  Next put a layer of meat sauce, then a layer of sour cream mixture, then 1 c. of the grated cheese.  Repeat.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Serves 6.