Or: Recipes I Received For My Bridal Shower That I Have Tweaked Beyond Recognition, Part II.
(Part I here)
Yep, the bones of this Mexican Lasagna were gifted to me on a blue piece of paper; a hand-written beloved family recipe for a “Mexican Beef Tortilla Stack” from a friend and colleague. It was one of the first meals I ever cooked as a freshly married 22-year-old. It was delicious as-is, but there was something missing.
Did anyone else’s Mum creatively pack vegetables into everything she cooked when you were growing up? Mine did! And as a result, a meal without bulk veggies just doesn’t feel quite right to me.
And so the tweaking began. I started adding mushrooms, then capsicum, then zucchini. I made it lasagna-shaped instead of tortilla-stack-shaped. And then I did something really crazy and threw in some chorizo one time.
And so a ridiculously delicious Mexican Lasagna was born.
I have a theory that some of the ugliest foods are the tastiest. And there’s certainly nothing very pretty about this guy. But what he lacks in aesthetics (or, ahem, photogenic-ness) he makes up for in robust flavours, crunchy edges and hot, gooey, melty cheese. And that’s a plate of food I can get behind. Just the smell that fills the house when this thing is in the oven is enough to make me weep!
Now, this recipe makes one BIG BOY Mexican Lasagna. I make it giant-sized because I like serving it as left-overs a day or so later, and Chris loves taking it for lunch. So we get through it. Plus it’s fantastic to serve to a group if you’re having people over. Chris’s family adores Mexican food as much as we do, so I’ve busted this out once or twice for them and still had enough left for a couple of lunches. But the recipe can easily be halved if you’re after a more demure-sized dinner. You can also take the level of cheese down a notch or two if you want – we just like it nice and cheesy in this family!
I love this with a big side-serve of salad – the freshness and crunchiness of salad really pairs well with the cheesy gooeyness. Plus it makes it all feel a bit healthier.
(PS If you’re a Mexican lover, this recipe might just float your boat too!)
Spicy & Cheesy Mexican Lasagna
Serves: 8 – 10
1kg beef mince
250g chorizo sausages, diced
1 brown onion, diced
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 small green capsicum, diced
200g mushrooms, diced
1 zucchini, grated
1x packet taco seasoning
2x 375g jars salsa
1x 400g can black beans (or kidney beans)
10x flour tortillas
100g baby spinach
2 cups grated cheese
Fresh green salad, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180° C.
- Cook mince in a large saucepan until browned. Add chorizo and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
- Add the capsicums, mushrooms and zucchini. Cook, stirring, until softened.
- Stir in taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water and two thirds of the salsa. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Stir in black beans and cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
- Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture of the base of a large lasagna dish. Sprinkle 1/4 of the baby spinach leaves over the top. Place 2 tortillas over the mixture to cover it. Repeat for 3 more layers. Note: I tear up a couple of the tortillas and use the pieces to fill the gaps in each layer.
- Spread remaining salsa over the top layer of tortillas. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges have browned slightly.
- Serve immediately with salad.
- This reheats extremely well in the microwave
- If you would like to freeze this, I recommend only cooking it up to step 5, and simply freezing the filling in a big container, rather than assembling the whole lasagna and freezing.