Friday, March 11, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

Facebook is an amazing tool. I recently reconnected with an old high school friend via the social networking site, and discovered she has been a vegetarian for many, many years. I asked her if she'd be willing to share some of her favorite veg-friendly recipes, and she happily (and generously) obliged. When I was perusing her recipe list, this recipe for Mexican Lasagna immediately caught my eye.

I only changed a few things from her original recipe, based off of what I already had in my kitchen. I also accidentally added 2 tablespoons of cumin versus 2 1/2 teaspoons...which, for me, ended up being a beautiful mistake. But if you're not a fan of intense spicy/smoky flavors, then stick with the 2 1/2 teaspoons.

Mexican Lasagna
Yields: 4-5 servings
-2 tsp olive oil
-11/4 cups diced white onion
-2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
-1 cup salsa (I used Trader Joe's Fire-Roasted Tomato)
-1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 jalapeno, diced and seeded
-1 tbsp. dried cilantro
-Lemon juice
-Tabasco sauce
-Salt and black pepper, to taste
-4 (8-in.) whole-wheat flour tortillas
-11⁄4 cups shredded cheese (I used Stop and Shop Mexican Three-Cheese blend)
Garnish: reduced-fat sour cream

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Spray a square casserole dish with nonstick spray.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and jalapenos; season with cumin, salt and black pepper. Add a few dashes each of the Tabasco sauce and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro.
3. Put 1 tortilla in baking dish. Top with 11⁄2 cups bean mixture; sprinkle with 1⁄4 cup cheese. Repeat layers 4 times (I did only 3 more layers).
4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly around edges and cheese is melted. Remove foil and cook for 5 minutes more. Let lasagna cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream, if desired.

Z makes a mean Mexican Lasagna, and nothing can beat it. But this version was definitely fantastic, in its own way. I loved the texture from the chunky salsa and black beans, and the copious amounts of cumin were a surprisingly nice touch to the dish. This was one flavor-packed lasagna that was also surprisingly light, and nutritious to boot.

What new recipes have you made lately?


  1. Wow, this sounds fantastic! I love all of the great new vegetarian recipes you're exploring lately!

  2. this is a perfect vegetarian recipe! how fun to reconnect with an old friend on FB!

  3. That sounds really good... and this coming from a meat eater!

  4. Yum, I love this take on lasagna!! I do eat meat, but when there's pasta involved, I could eat it without meat forever!


  5. I made this for some friends on Monday and everyone LOVED it! I served large tossed salad topped with avocado as a side dish. It was a wonderful combination.

  6. Sounds wonderful! So glad you and your friends enjoyed it. :)