As I prepare to post this, I realized that I probably should have shared this recipe yesterday for the proper Try It Tuesday, since that’s when I made it, and shared yesterday’s post today. Please forgive my less-than-logical order this week; I’m still figuring out a routine here in Florida.
My son and I are visiting his grandparents and we’re at home most days while my in-laws are at work. Since I love being in the kitchen, I offered to take over dinner prep. As I planned out the meals I would make for this week, my mother-in-law suggested a family favorite: Mexican Lasagna. On Tuesday, I gave it a try. While it’s not exactly quick (bake time: 40 minutes), it is super easy and adaptable to your family’s tastes. Here’s the recipe my mother-in-law wrote down for me:
1 pound ground beef
1 can (4.5 ounce) green chilies, drained
1 can (19 ounce) + ½ can (19 ounce) – or – 1 smaller can red enchilada sauce
10 8-inch flour tortillas (1 package)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Spray a 13×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray, then pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom. Set aside. Brown the ground beef and drain off the excess fat. Stir in the green chilies and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in the enchilada sauce and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Add a layer of tortillas to the bottom of the 13×9 pan. Top with some of the meat sauce. Add another layer of tortillas. Continue with remaining tortillas and top with sauce. Bake for 30 minutes, then add the shredded cheddar. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
My son, Vincent, often hesitates before trying new foods, but not this time. It looked enough like the lasagna he knows and loves that he started eating as soon as I put the plate in front of him. My father-in-law told me it tasted just like every other time they’d eaten it. Since it’s a family favorite, that is exactly what I’d hoped to achieve. I enjoyed the recipe as well and I was surprised that the layered tortillas did take on a very lasagna-like texture. Moreover, if you’re a left-overs for lunch kind of person like I am, this is tasty when re-heated.
As I mentioned before, this recipe can be adapted to fit your preferences. I served sweet corn as a side dish, prompting my mother-in-law to suggest adding the corn directly to the layers of meat sauce and tortillas. I would probably also reduce the amount of enchilada sauce and add a can of diced tomatoes with garlic, as well as some black beans. Speaking of which, you could replace the ground beef with ground turkey or go vegetarian and just do black beans. Finally, given the shape of tortillas and the size of my little family (2 ½ appetites to contend with), I’d probably make the Mexican lasagna in a 8 or 9-inch cake pan. I really do enjoy an easy-to-personalize dinner dish like this. Let me know what you think!