Tonight, I combined two of my favorite cuisines: Italian and Mexican. The result: Mexican Lasagna! I was quite happy with the final product. My one complaint was that it could have had a little more heat (see my note at the end).
I tried something new tonight as well: I also used no-boil lasagna noodles! I have to admit, I was a little wary of them. The few times that I have made lasagna in the past, I have boiled the noodles and then assembled. However, it turns out my fears were unwarranted. The noodles were perfectly cooked. These noodles will be a great time (and dirty dish) saver in the future!
Preheat the oven to 400º. Then, start with the chicken part of the lasagna…
- Mince up 4 cloves of garlic and 1/4 of a red onion.
- Coat the bottom of a skillet in EVOO (medium-high heat).
- Add the garlic and onion and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add 1 package of ground chicken.
- Break the chicken up with a wooden spoon.
- Season with 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and some s&p. (Sidenote: In hindsight, I should have seasoned the chicken after it was browned. Next time, I’ll wait until the chicken is cooked through before adding spices.)
- Stir, and cook until browned.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add 1 small can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
- Stir and cook just to heat the tomatoes. Once tomatoes are warm, shut off the heat.
While the chicken mixture is working, start on the veggies…
- Slice up about 6 scallions. (Don’t waste: use both the green and the white parts!)
- Mince up a pile of cilantro.
- Rince and drain 1 can of black beans. Pour into a large bowl.
- Add the scallions and cilantro.
- Season with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder and oregano.
- Add 1 bag of frozen corn. (I used a mix of both white and yellow kernels. Use whatever you prefer. You can also used canned corn instead; just remember to drain it before adding!)
- Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.
- Mix to combine all flavors.
Once the veggies and chicken are ready, you’re ready to assemble…
- Start by opening a large can of crushed tomatoes and adding a little to the bottom of a baking dish. (Silly me used crushed tomatoes with basil. Not really Mexican. Next time, I’ll use fire-roasted crushed tomatoes.)
- Then, layer the lasagna noodles.
- Next, add 1/3 of your bean & corn mixture.
- On top of that, add 1/3 of your chicken.
- Then, add 1/3 of the remaining crushed tomatoes.
- Add some hot sauce to the tomatoes.
- Finish the layer with Mexican cheese. (I used Sargento’s Artisan Authentic Mexican blend since it was on sale. Sooo glad I did because it’s delicious!!)
- Repeat the layers 2 more times: noodles, beans/corn, chicken, tomatoes/hot sauce, and cheese.
- The last layer should be just noodles, tomatoes/hot sauce, and cheese.
- Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven.
I placed my lasagna on the middle shelf and placed a baking sheet on the bottom one. My lasagna was taller than the dish, so I was afraid it would spill over. (Only one itty-bitty drop did, but I’m still glad the sheet was there. It’s much easier to clean than an oven!)
(Teeny, tiny side note: The foil kind of stuck to my cheese! It was not a big problem. It was just a little bit, and it was nonstick foil. Just make sure you “tent” your foil when to prevent this from happening when you make this meal!)
Cook the lasagna for about 38 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through. Then, remove the foil and cook for 5 more minutes (to melt the cheese).
Remove from oven, and let stand for about 8 minutes before serving.
I was very pleased with the final product. The noodles were cooked through, the veggies tasted great, the chicken had good flavor. Again, my only complaint was about the level of heat. I expected a little more. Maybe I didn’t add enough Tabasco. Next time, I’ll definitely add more and will use some canned chili peppers in the veggie layer. I also will use a little more chili powder. Other than that, this was a very satisfying dish. I though so, and so did my husband and brother-in-law. Enjoy!
I was so excited about this meal that I ate half of it before taking a picture! Sorry!!