Monday, January 24, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

I think it's humanly impossible to leave your parents' house without food. Sometimes I feel like my mom is literally throwing it at me as I walk out the door.

"Wait! Take one more slice of pie!"

"There's so much garlic bread! We'll never finish it alone."

"Let me package up some Greek salad for you. You did like it, didn't you? THEN TAKE SOME!"

And while I once thought it was just one of my mom's idiosyncrasies, I've found that Adam's mom is in on this game, too. So much so that his parents actually purchased a cooler for us to haul food in when we come to visit (including homemade eggnog during the holidays).

These people mean business.

And let's be clear about something: I'm not even close to complaining about it. I love it. I look forward to it. And I take full advantage of it :)

This week I benefited from the Parent-Child-Food-Gifting Phenomenon in the form of Mexican Lasagna. This deliciously loaded casserole is exactly what you might expect:
  • Tortilla shells in place of noodles.
  • Salsa instead of tomato sauce.
  • Beans n' veggies substitute for meat.
  • Cheddar replaces Mozzarella.
My mom sent me home with a hefty Tupperware-full after Sunday's family lunch, and we'll be enjoying it for at least two dinners this week.

So, although Adam and I clearly aren't starving (um, chocolate- peanut butter cupcakes anyone?), I'm more than happy to let our parents keep pretending we are.

Mexican Lasagna
(From the Hungry Spoon Mama...who credits this recipe with Diane T. of our local newspaper)

For all my vegan buddies out there, you can easily vegan-ize this hearty casserole by substituting the cheese with Garlicky White Bean Dip. Another tasty alteration would be to replace the burrito-size tortilla shells with crumbled tortilla chips.

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) refried beans
  • 6 burrito-size tortilla shells
  • about 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • fresh cilantro and salsa
1) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat; add oil and saute onions, bell peppers, garlic, oregano, and cumin for about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

2) Divide the tomato mixture evenly between 3 bowls. Add a can of beans to each bowl and mix well. In the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan, spread one of of the bean mixtures. Top with 2 tortillas and 1/3 of the cheese. Add another bowl of bean mixture on top, 2 tortilla shells, and another 1/3 of the cheese. Complete layers with remaining beans, tortillas and cheese.

3) Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 - 35 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.


  1. LOVE it! I make this but no way is it as photogenic. Mine looks like colorful dog food.

    Is the photo the one your mommy made? or did you make it? Either way its gorgeous!!! =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. Mmmm anything mexican is right up my alley! I love the flavors of mexican food, the spices are so delicious!

  3. It looks delicious and so perfect! I love Mexican lasagna. Mexican anything, really.

  4. I LOVE Mexican lasagna but it's been forever since I've made it. Yours looks soooo good. Thank you for the recipe, I can't wait to make it! :)

  5. Aren't moms the best? I also like to go "grocery shopping" in their cupboards haha!

  6. Yum, that recipe looks so good!!

    I definitely take advantage of free food from my parents. It's the same with me too. I never fail to leave there without food. I love it!

  7. Smile. This reminded me so much of my own family. They love sending me home with food (and now I do the same whenever I have family visit my house!). I love the sound of Mexican lasagna. It would be perfect on a cold night, and it would help clear my sinuses. Thank you for sharing your casserole with me...I hope you have a great Tuesday...I'm already ready for the weekend :-)

  8. Ha---my mom does that too! I love it...makes me life easier :)

    Mexican lasagna is great. I love mexican food and putting it in lasagna format makes all the tastes and textures come together in a perfect way!

  9. This WOULD be awesome with that white bean dip!

  10. Looks very flavorful and packed with protein. Exactly what I need :D

  11. Maybe Mexican Lasagna is something I can sneak into Marcus' first attempt was somewhat of an epic fail. Thank you for sharing a recipe from Mama Hungry Spoon!

  12. I'm totally guilty of sending food home with my kids as well- I think it's a mom thing. :) My mom sends me food too, so this phenomenon spans generations. But I wouldn't complain if all of the food looks as good as this- it looks fantastic!

  13. OH goodness, two of my favorite loves.. mexican, and lalalal lasagna. Oh my word... it sure looks toothsome...

  14. Funny thing--I am usually the one sending home food with my parents now being that I am the cooking fanatic of the fam! But I wish my mom would push me out the door with some of this lasagna!! Yum!

  15. mmmm the only Mexican Lasagna I've ever had was approximately 17 billion calories per bite. It was delicious, but not something I can recreate on a regular or even annual basis. This looks a lot more reasonable.

  16. I could live off of bean and cheese tacos, so stacking them sounds right up my alley. :) My mom always seems to think I'm starving, so she likes to send me home with lots of stuff, too!