Tomorrow is Good Friday, which means it is the last meatless Friday for my fellow Catholics and me. I've been sharing vegetarian and seafood recipes all during Lent, and I figured it was about time to pass along one of my favorite meatless meals, double bean Mexican lasagna. I got this recipe from a coworker several years ago. She had cut it out of a newspaper (I think it was the Topeka Capital Journal) and thought us dietitians might like it. She was right! This is a great vegetarian meal that I love to make year-round.
Calling this a lasagna is using the term loosely. This dish is similar to a traditional lasagna in that it is layered, but it uses layers of corn tortillas instead of noodles. In between the layers of corn tortillas is a hearty bean and sauteed vegetable mixture, and a generous helping of melted Mexican blend cheese. It has a bit of a kick to it, but isn't overly spicy. The mixture of vegetables, including onion, green peppers, and tomatoes is nice and colorful so it's easy on the eyes, and the taste buds. Oh, and did I mention it has lots of melted cheese?
Some assembly is required, but overall this is a really easy dish to make, and it makes a generous amount. My husband and I can eat off this for days! As a bonus, this is a great recipe for anyone looking to increase fiber in their diet. Between the beans, whole grain tortillas (yes, corn is a grain!), and vegetables, this dish packs a heavy dose of fiber. And the beans and cheese provide enough protein to make this vegetarian meal nice and hearty!
I have used a variety of combinations of beans, so feel free to use what you have on hand. I also have made this with homemade beans instead of canned. If you want to take the little extra time to make your own beans, use about 1 1/2 cups of each variety instead of one can.
Enough jibber-jabber. Let's make some Mexican lasagna! Start by sauteing and onion and two green peppers, and a couple cloves of garlic in olive oil. I have also made this with one green pepper and one red pepper, but I stuck with the original this time.
Add in beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir it all together. And the filling is done. I told you it was easy!
Now just layer it in a 9x13-inch baking pan. Start with about 1 cup of the bean mixture on the bottom.
Top it with 6 tortillas. The tortillas will be a little too big to fit in the pan perfectly so you will have to overlap them some, and I sort of fold the edges up the side of the pan.
Now more of the bean mixture.
And a layer of cheese!
6 more tortillas...
...then the rest of the bean mixture. I'm not good at dividing it in half, but when in doubt, I put more on the top layer!
Cover the dish and bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until it's heated through. Then take it out of the oven, sprinkle with more cheese and bake a few more minutes to melt the cheese.
And you're ready to eat. Is that melted cheese making anyone else drool? I thought so!
Double Bean Mexican Lasagna
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
1 (14 oz) can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
12 white corn tortillas
2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, peppers; saute until soft. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
Stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Remove from heat and set aside. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of the bean mix.
Arrange 6 tortillas over bean mix. Spread half of the remaining bean mix over tortillas. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese, then arrange remaining 6 tortillas on top. Cover with remaining bean mix.
Coat 1 side of foil with cooking spray and tightly cover dish. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Uncover and top with remaining cheese. Bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.