I’ve been thinking about my mom lately, because I’m working on a new cookbook and she is featured prominently in it.

You all know by now that she loved to entertain and she kept a diary of all of her dinner parties. One of the dishes she made the most is called Torta de Tortilla. It’s a perfect entertaining dish!

It’s a casserole that is so simple to construct, and is a mash up of her Texas and Mexican traditions. She was born in El Paso, Texas, which is right near the Mexican border.

She spoke fluent Spanish, and our family loved it when she made Mexican food.  You could add rotisserie chicken or ground beef into it if you wanted; but I like it just  the way it is.



Torta De Tortilla

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cans diced tomato with chilies
  • 2 olive oil, for pan
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 pounds colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 lime wedges and cilantro, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Add diced tomato with chilies and cook together 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  5. In a small sauté pan, heat a scant amount of oil over medium-high heat. One at a time, lightly toast each side of the tortillas until soft. Reserve on paper towels.
  6. In a 9” x 13” greased baking dish, layer 6 tortillas in bottom. Top with ¼ tomato mixture and ¼ the shredded cheese. Repeat for four layers.
  7. Pour half and half over layers evenly. Top with sour cream, dolloping and spreading across surface as much as possible.
  8. Bake for 1 hour at 350F.
  9. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
  10. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro to garnish.
  11. This dish can be frozen and reheated!