(Sloppy) Mexican Lasagna


Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | Photo by HealthyandLazy

As the old joke goes, all Mexican food has the same four ingredients, there’s just a dozen names for it – taco, burrito, enchilada, quesadilla – and today, I’d like to add another candidate to the field.  Mexican Lasagna.

It really isn’t much different from other Mexican foods (and for the record, when I say “Mexican food,” I mean the type of food they serve in Mexican restaurants in the US, not in Mexico – and I’ve been told there’s a difference).  However, lasagna is much easier to serve – you don’t have to assemble 20 tacos in the kitchen, or lay out every bowl and serving utensil in your armory for a make-it-yourself buffet line.

All you need is one big pan and a casserole dish, and you’ll have a nice, hot dinner for four.

A couple notes before I get going with the recipe.  This does call for a zucchini, and zucchinis look an awful lot like cucumbers, and it’s not inconceivable that someone (my wife) could go to the store (Publix) and quickly grab a zucchini (cucumber) as she passed through the produce section.

In the midst of my absent-minded, blues-folk singing, knife-wielding cooking prep, I managed to make it through quite a bit of this recipe before I realized my zucchini wasn’t very zucchini-ish.  But we go with the flow in my little kitchen, and lacking a zucchini and with a pound of diced cucumber relaxing on my cutting board, I went ahead and tossed in the cucumber (and I realized those aren’t interchangeable veggies).

There was so many other flavors that you’d hardly notice the zucchini’s absence or the cucumber’s presence, but I’d probably stick with the zucchini if you can.

Veggies Simmering

Simmer down now | Photo by HealthyandLazy

Oh, and my mixture also was a little soupy (a problem I solved by letting it simmer for an extra while, and then scooping the mixture out with a slotted spoon).  I was pretty lazy about draining the canned goods though, and I’m sure someone with a little more foresight and a little quieter music could probably avoid the problem altogether.

Also, I used the wrong size tortillas – large ones will work much better (8-inch), but I used little taco tortillas.  They didn’t really fit in the  dish right, so I had to cut them in half and space them around.  Really, I managed to mangle this recipe, but everything still came out tasting like Mexican food should.

So, that’s that.  Feel free to question my ability, but not my enthusiasm!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with peppers, drained
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 11 oz can corn niblets, drained
  • 1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce
  • 4 large tortillas
  • 1 1/4 – 1 3/4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • olive oil
  • sour cream for topping
  • 1 large pan
  • 3 quart casserole dish

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Toss the chopped onions into a pan with some olive oil and saute until

Onion and Cucumber

Onion and Zucchumber | Photo by HealthyandLazy

they begin to turn translucent, about 3-4 mins on medium heat.

Step 2) Add the chopped Zucchini and cumin to the mix and let ’em chill for a few, until the zucchs are a little tender.

Step 3) Add the tomatoes, corn, beans and enchilada sauce.  It’s important to have as little moisture as possible, so make sure all of you canned goods are drained-drained, not just drained.  Let the mixture simmer until everything is heated through.

Step 4) The ideal consistency is like a hearty chili, not soup.  If there’s a lot of extra moisture, let the mixture simmer for a little longer to steam some of it off.

Veggies ready to cook

Veggies ready to mingle | Photo by HealthyandLazy

Step 5) Spray your casserole dish with cooking spray, and then lay down your first tortilla.  Top with a thin layer (maybe 1 1/2 cups) of your mixture.  Top that layer with 1/4 – 1/3 cup of cheddar cheese.

Step 6) Repeat the layers until your dish is full.  I ended with a tortilla and cheese (mostly because I had one leftover tortilla), but you could end with mixture and cheese if that works better for you.

Step 7) If your dish is really full, place it on a cookie sheet just in case of bubble-over.  Cover the dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Step 8) Top with sour cream and eat!

Baked Mexican lasagna

Fresh from the oven | Photo by HealthyandLazy

And while I’ve got ya here, take a minute and check out Oh So Much Tasty’s beginner cooking tips.  It’s a great list for those new to the kitchen, but has some nuggets of wisdom that even experienced cooks might enjoy.  And it’s a darn good blog, too.

P.S. – The blog underwent a bit of a redesign – how do you like it?

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8 responses to “(Sloppy) Mexican Lasagna

  • liz

    Yum. I haven’t made one of those in a while. Might have to do that sometime soon. Another similar thing I really love is something I call “Chili and Cornbread Casserole”- make a similar “chili/soup” like mixture (I like to season it like a would chili) and put in a casserole dish lined with a cornbread crust made of:
    2 c. flour
    1/2 c. corn meal
    1 T. baking powder
    1 t. salt
    6 T. butter or margarine
    1/3 c. milk

    It’s soooo good! Reminds me that I should make it sometime soon and post it on my blog. :)

    -liz
    ps love the new look!

    • healthyandlazy

      That sounds great – you can’t go wrong with cornbread crusts. You should definitely get that recipe up on your blog! I’m planning on trying your crepes this week – can’t wait!

  • jen

    I’m making this for dinner today! Can you remind me when you added the cilantro? As a garnish, or does it get shimmered with the bean mixture?

  • healthyandlazy

    I added in the cilantro toward the end of the simmering.

    I hope you enjoy it!

  • Sarah Bassett

    In the spirit of Mexican food…

    http://newyorkknowsbest.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/real-mexican-food-at-real-mexican-prices/

    New York finally has some decent and authentic Mexican food to feed the stomach and soothe the soul :)

  • Kiki Oosterbroek

    A couple of months ago I started a whole new approach to food and cooking; more organic, more veggies and more variety too, but- this is KEY – not MORE cooking time. Your site meet my needs 100%!
    (my husband got tipped by your dad to check out this site)

    We live in Suwon (S-korea), and drove to Seoul (45 minutes drive only) to pick up Cilantro and fresh Basil – unfortunately it was NOT available…so we used dried Coriander seeds (crushed them) and dried Basil…and still, it turned out so TASTY! In fact, the meat was NOT missed at all my husband said (a big meat eater).

    Your recipes are a tasty read and we will try out more later this week!
    THANKS!!!!

    • healthyandlazy

      Greetings from the other side of the world!

      You can’t go wrong with more organic and more veggies – I really think that if you make an effort to eat fresher and healthier, it makes a big difference in how you feel on a daily basis.

      Sorry to hear about the cilantro and basil – hopefully the drive was nice :)

      I’m really glad you like the blog! Thanks for checking it out!

      -Casey

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    […] but I always feel like something’s missing when I eat chili.  So, recently inspired by a Mexican Lasagna over at Healthy Food | Lazy People, I’m going to turn my slow-cooker chili into the base for […]

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