Baked Cheese and Tortilla Pie with Jalapeños, Corn and Pinto Beans

Jalapeño Pepper Plants
At least once a year towards the end of the summer I'm confronted with the problem of disposing of an absurd number of jalapeños from the over-zealous plants in my garden. Giving dozens away to friends and family turns out to be an inadequate solution, and I'm not especially partial to the taste — or labor, to be honest — of preserving them. So jalapeño-heavy recipes it must be then…

Even people of average tolerance to heat should not be deterred by large quantities of hot peppers when they are tempered with plenty of dairy — east Indians have happily known this for centuries, serving cooling bowls of yogurt raitas with their spicy dishes. So last year I made an extraordinarily simple jalapeño pie loaded with jalapeños and lots of cheese and eggs that was surprisingly easy on the palette.

This year I went with loads of jalapeños and cheese again, but in a more elaborate Mexican-style pie with plenty of cool sour cream, pinto beans, and some lovely fresh local sweet corn. Layered like a lasagne but with soft corn tortillas instead of pasta, this is a firm but deliciously gooey pie that goes beautifully with a green salad and vinaigrette to cut the dairy.

Baked Cheese and Tortilla Pie with Jalapeños, Corn and Pinto Beans

If you're still not sure about using twenty whole jalapeño peppers, reduce the amount by as much as half, or chop them into finer pieces. The crisp juiciness of fresh jalapeños makes them a must in my consideration, but if you do use canned jalapeños be sure to reduce the amount a little and cut them finer.

Baked Cheese and Tortilla Pie with Jalapeños, Corn and Pinto Beans Baked Cheese and Tortilla Pie with Jalapeños, Corn and Pinto Beans
Recipe by
Cuisine: Mexican
Published on November 4, 2008

A Mexican-style ”lasagne” pie with layers of creamed and spiced pinto beans, corn, cheese and jalapeños baked between soft corn tortillas and topped with more cheese

Print this recipePrint this recipe

Bean layers:
  • 2/3 cup dried pinto beans (2 cups cooked)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • large handful fresh coriander, chopped
Cheese and corn layers:
  • cooked kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn (or 3/4 cup frozen corn, defrosted)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated aged Cheddar cheese (about 5 1/2 oz)
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
You will also need:
  • 10 soft corn tortillas, 10" or larger
  • 2 9-inch flat-sided pie plates
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 20 jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup grated aged Cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 oz)
  • chili powder for garnish
  • To prepare the bean layers, rinse the beans under cold running water and soak overnight under several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain and rinse, and place in a small saucepan covered with several inches of fresh cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft. Drain and remove the beans to a small mixing bowl. Mash the beans with a potato masher and mix with the sour cream, chili powder and coriander.

  • Prepare the cheese corn layers by stirring together the corn, Cheddar cheese, sour cream and chili powder in a separate mixing bowl.

  • Preheat an oven to 300°.

  • If necessary, trim the edges of the corn tortillas to sit comfortably but fully within the 9-inch pie plates. For each of the pies, brush one side a tortilla with olive oil and place oiled side down in the bottom of the pie plate.

  • For each pie, spoon a quarter of the bean layer mixture onto the tortilla and spread evenly. Place a tortilla on top, and spoon and spread a quarter of the cheese corner layer mixture over that. Scatter half the jalapeños evenly over the cheese and cover with another tortilla. Repeat a layer of the beans, add another tortilla, and repeat a layer of the cheese and corn. Cover with one more tortilla and brush the top with a little olive oil.

  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble around the edges and the top tortilla begins to brown. Remove from the oven, turn on the broiler and move the oven rack to the top. Scatter the remaining Cheddar cheese and sprinkle a little chili powder over the pies. Place under the broiler, one at a time if necessary, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese on top begins to bubble. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

  • Run a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen from the pan, and slide the pies onto serving plates. Serve in wedges, with a little extra sour cream if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Baked Cheese and Tortilla Pie with Jalapeños, Corn and Pinto Beans


TNL said...

This has been bookmarked...I am going to try this one..I adore each of these ingredients!

thanks for the recipe, Lisa.

karuna said...

i need to try this one out. specially the corn pie filling and the jalepenos just made my mouth water.yummy

Johanna GGG said...

I admire your efforts to use up your jalopenos and can't think of a better person to be dealing with such a surplus but honestly I would have to think twice about 2 jalopenos - 20 is way past my limits! But like the idea of the pie

Anonymous said...

Yay for using up jalapenos! And I'm the exact opposite of Johanna up there--I think that, once seeded, they barely make an impression at all, so 20 sounds just fine!

Darius T. Williams said...

Looks great - sign me up!


Meeta K. Wolff said...

This is the perfect kid meal (minus the jalepenos)!! Lisa what a fantastic idea. I also love the inclusion of pinto beans here!

Laavanya said...

That sounds absolutely out of the world delicious.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Oh lovely! Just what I could do with on this cold, wet, miserable night! I think I will be watching the fireworks from my window tonight!

Anonymous said...

This looks very tasty and easy! I'll be making this soon! Thank you for posting it.

Peter M said...

So simple and quite appetizing...could be a nice addition to a buffet table.

Anonymous said...

You can send them over to me please! I would be SO happy with a massive glut of jalapenos I cannot tell you! There is no way they would grow like that in London...loving the pie though - if I just had a big bag of jalapenos I could try it! ;)

Usha said...

Wonderful this recipe !

Sharmi said...

hey Lisa, fresh Jalapenos from garden, cheese so yum! I too grew jalapenos this summer they are still coming well.

Mansi said...

Lisa, this is soooo good!! and healthy too, in a way:) It looks quite appealing, so I'd request you to send this in for my vegetarian thanksgiving recipe event if you can!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh wow 20 jalapeno peppers!! Yikes. Looks delicious though.