Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tex-Mex Lasagna

Another Mexican dish for Nate! I'm happy to say it turned out really well. Both Nate and I really enjoyed this dinner. We didn't end up eating dinner until 8:10 last night, so I'm so happy it was good! I make a Mexican lasagna which we both really like, it uses tortillas instead of noodles. This recipe is another fun variation. I saw the idea over at Not So Homemade, and adapted it, I also made my own sauce. One perk of this recipe is that you are more than likely to have every ingredient on hand. All I had to buy was a green pepper and an onion. Love it when that happens!

This makes an 8x8" or 9x9" pan. Simply double for a 9x13".

1/2 lb. lean ground beef
9 lasagna noodles
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
2/3 cup frozen corn
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
shredded Mexican cheese blend (I had colby jack on hand, so that's what I used)
1 (8 oz.) can mild Rotel sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
6 oz. water (just use the tomato paste can)
1 cup mild salsa
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
salt and pepper

In a pan, combine the ground beef with a small amount of salt and pepper, 2 Tbsp. of taco seasoning, green peppers, and onions. Cook and crumble the ground beef. Once finished, set aside. Par boil the lasagna noodles (cook them most of the way through and take them out a few minutes before finished). Rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process. Lay out the noodles on a piece of parchment paper so they don't stick together. In a medium bowl, combine the Rotel sauce, tomato paste, water, and salsa. Add a pinch of salt if you need. In an 8x8" or 9x9" baking dish, pour some sauce into the bottom of the dish. Make sure it's enough to cover the entire bottom. Lay some lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. You will most likely have to trim down the noodles so they will fit. Pour a small amount of sauce on top of the noodles. Add 1/2 the meat mixture on top and then 1/2 the beans and corn. Sprinkle some cheese over the top. Add another layer of lasagna noodle, then sauce. Make sure you add a fair amount of sauce to ensure the noodles finish cooking in the oven. Then add the other 1/2 of the meat mixture, beans, and corn. Sprinkle some cheese over the top. Add the last layer of lasagna noodles and a fair amount of sauce on top, making sure it covers the top. I had just a little bit of sauce left over, so don't stress if you don't use it all, but you should use most of it. Cover the baking dish with a square of parchment paper, and then cover with tin foil. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil and parchment paper and sprinkle some cheese over the top. Return, uncovered, to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Let the lasagna stand for a full 10 minutes before slicing, or else your lasagna will be a sloppy mess when you dish it up. Nate finds this 10 minute wait almost unbearable, poor guy! Dish up and serve hot with a fresh and crisp green salad. Enjoy!

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