Monday, May 9, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

I love lasagna and I love Mexican food. So when I first ran across a Mexican lasagna recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website a couple of years ago I filed it away to use another day. Then I started to see them everywhere... I hadn't made my own and I got bogged down in the millions of variations out there in cyberspace; corn tortillas or flour tortillas? Maybe noodles would be better. Do I want to use taco seasoning or the dump stuff from my spice cupboard technique? Chicken or beef? Which sauce would be better? Red? Green? It quickly overwhelmed me and even though I was intrigued I didn't ever try it.

As I was planning my menu for the week I happened to scroll through my recipe file and I had 3 different recipes saved. I decided that was just silly, printed them, and spread them out on my desk to pick apart. None of them seemed quite right for my family on their own but surely I could combine the parts I liked and omit the things I didn't...Jeff was pretty sure I had lost my mind but I think he was convinced that maybe Mom isn't completely clueless after all after tasting the final product.

The only thing I would do differently is remember to leave the cheese off the top until the last 15 minutes of cooking time (you'd think I would learn....) and possibly leave the olives out to be put on the side as some people in our house aren't olive fans but other than that it was pretty darned good and I'll definitely do it again.

*Lasagna tip: Lay your noodles in opposite directions for each layer; it will help the finished product stay together better when you serve it. i.e. the bottom layer is horizontal in the pan, the second layer is vertical and the third layer is horizontal again. Who knew?!?

Mexican Lasagna
Serves 10

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey (I used beef)
1 yellow onion minced
2 cups long grain rice, unprepared
4 cups chicken broth ( I used water and soup base, it worked great)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chili powder
2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can diced tomatoes or 3-4 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 can black beans undrained
2 c. frozen corn
1 can olives, sliced
1 16 oz salsa verde, medium
1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
1 box no boil lasagna noodles
3 c. Mexican cheese blend (or whatever you have on hand)

1. Prepare rice with broth. While rice is cooking saute onions, garlic, and tomatoes with approx 1/2 of the spices until onions are tender. When rice is done mix the rice, onion mixture, and black beans together.
2. Brown hamburger; add approx 1/2 c water and remaining spices and let simmer for a few minutes. Set aside.
3. In a 9x13 casserole dish pour 1/2 bottle salsa verde and spread evenly. Layer noodles.
4. Divide rice mixture in half. Spread 1/2 over noodles; add cheese.
5. Add another layer of noodles; spread enchilada sauce over noodles evenly.
6. Layer taco meat; corn, cheese and another layer of noodles.
7. Spread remaining rice mixture over noodles. Top with olives if using and evenly pour remaining salsa verde over the top.
8. Bake at 375 for 50 min. Top with cheese; bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
9. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream. (I live in a house of cilantro haters so that didn't make it to the picture...)


Desi said...

This sounds great! I recently made a taco lasagna but it is very different from this one, I am definitely gonna try this one! And thanks for the layering tip :)

Laura said...

This is Laura Stewart. I'm in your ward. I saw a link to your blog on facebook. You are an awesome cook! Sheesh. And this Mexican Lasagna looks really good!

Jigglebuns said...

It is really good Laura!

It's good to "see" you here. I hope you come back often!