What to do with leftover filling from another casserole dish? Improvise! Throw in some freshly shredded Cheddar cheese in between the layers, along with French-fried onions (Trader Joe’s brand) and half-heartedly crushed unsalted tortilla chips.
Assume you have the following leftover filling: pinto beans, ground beef, shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped sweet potatoes and onions, with tomato-based sauce.
Cut up 1 onion and crush 4 garlic cloves. Set aside. Heat a skillet over medium heat, put in 2 tbsp. of cooking oil. Sauté garlic, then add the cut up onion. After a minute, put in the leftover filling, along with about ¼ cup of water. After a minute, add in a 16-oz. bag of frozen spinach. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the spinach is fully mixed in.
Using a 9”x13” baking dish, cover the bottom of the dish with salsa and start layering with the crushed tortilla chips. Follow with the warmed up filling, then the freshly shredded Cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers until you run out of filling, then top that with crushed tortilla chips. Top again with shredded cheese mixed with French-fried onion rings. Cover with foil.
Place in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for 25 minutes, enough to heat through the layers. After that, remove the foil and return the dish back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese melts and (optionally) begins to turn brown.
Meanwhile, make yourself a garden salad or soup, depending on what side dish you can quickly whip up to serve with your tortilla chip casserole.