Southwest Lasagna is a twist on your standard Italian Lasagna, but there are a few differences. You use flour tortillas instead of pasta noodles, Mexican Cheese blend instead of ricotta cheese, and Taco Seasoning and Fire Roasted Tomatoes instead of seasoned pasta sauce. The black beans and corn are added as a Southwest touch. For the meat filling, you can use beef, turkey or chicken, just as you choose to use in Italian Lasagna.
The result is similar to a Stacked Enchilada Casserole, where you use corn tortillas and a red chile sauce. You find these type of layered dishes in many cuisines. By swapping ingredients, you change the region, yet retain the commonality which sometimes spread from country to country, where the local ingredients were used sand a whole new dish was created.
Yield: 4 servings
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ pounds 90% lean ground beef
3-4 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
½ medium red onion, chopped
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (we use diced)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1-2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
8 8 inch flour tortillas, cut in quarters to layer easier
4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (Cheddar-Monterey Jack)
2 scallions, finely chopped for final topping
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the beef, Taco Seasoning and the red onion. Brown the meat, about 5-10 minutes. Spoon off any grease if the beef wasn’t real lean. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, liquid and all. Add the drained black beans and corn. Stir to combine and heat about 4 to 5 minutes to heat the mixture thoroughly. Add the salt or to your taste.
Coat a shallow baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cut the tortillas in quarters to fit and layer in the pan easier. Spoon ⅓ of the meat mixture in the bottom of the dish, spreading it evenly. Evenly spread 1 cup of the cheese on the meat, then add a layer of the tortillas. Repeat with a layer meat, then cheese then tortillas again. Add a third layer of meat, cheese and tortillas. Add the last cup of the cheese on top of the top layer of the tortillas. Bake the Southwest Lasagna for about 12 to 15 minutes until cheese starts to bubble and starts to get golden brown, but not burn. Everything is cooked, so you’re just heating the tortillas and cheese. Remove from the oven and top with the chopped scallions. Cut into serving size portions and enjoy.