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Beef and Cheese Tortilla Towers

Beef and Cheese Tortilla TowersQuick and easy ground beef and bean chili sauce served over hot cooked macaroni.

This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of choline.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
1 (16-ounce) jar thick-and-chunky salsa
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 small whole wheat tortillas (6 to 7-inch diameter)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Cantaloupe-Mango Salsa:
1 cup coarsely chopped ripe mango
1 cup coarsely chopped cantaloupe
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Cooking Directions:

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove drippings. Stir in salsa, beans and cumin. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through and most of liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place 2 tortillas in single layer on pan. Spoon generous 1/2 cup beef mixture on each tortilla; sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Repeat layering of tortillas, beef mixture and cheese twice. Sprinkle remaining cheese over tops of tortilla towers.
  4. Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts.
  5. For Cantaloupe-Mango Salsa: Meanwhile, combine salsa ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Cut each tortilla tower into 4 wedges. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with fruit salsa.

Makes 4 (2 wedge) servings.

Tip: For a festive look, as shown in photo, use a small cookie cutter to cut stars from an additional tortilla to garnish tower tops.

Test Kitchen Tips:

  • Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef.
  • Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71.1°C).
  • Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe; 2 wedges): 478 calories; 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 91 mg cholesterol; 1725 mg sodium; 65 g carbohydrate; 7.1 g fiber; 39 g protein; 8.2 mg niacin; 0.6 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 4.8 mg iron; 18.4 mcg selenium; 7.0 mg zinc.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.