This hearty Healthy Mexican Lasagna recipe is sure to become a regular for your family. Make it in a disposable pan and it becomes a great recipe to make when bringing dinner to a friend (but no judgement if you make it in a disposable pan for yourself.)
There are a few recipes from my child that I remember very vividly. One of these recipes that was very beloved was Mexican Lasagna. It was actually the "Blue Ribbon" Southern Living recipe winner sometime in the late 1990's. (Whoever you are, thank you!) I can still envision my mom sitting at the kitchen counter flipping through that magazine looking for new recipes.
When I left for college my mom prepared a book of some of my favorite recipes to send with me. I am really thankful that she thought about the importance of cooking for myself. (Little had I known that she had been preparing me for this time my whole life by including me in her cooking.) Tucked inside that recipe book was a black and white photocopied image of the Mexican Lasagna recipe.
Honestly, I didn't really pay attention to it until about 9 years later when I was married, teaching myself to cook more foods, food blogging, and trying to make healthy dinners. I opened that recipe book from my mom and it was like a light from heaven shown down right on it and said "make me". So I did.
Needless to say, this blue ribbon winner became a winner in our house too. Ever since then I have been making adjustments to the recipe to add more high nutrient foods, reduce the saturated fat, and amp up the flavor even more. I am proud to present to you with my version of Healthy Mexican Lasagna, an all-in-one nutritious and delicious meal (my favorite).
Healthy Mexican Lasagna
- 1 lb lean ground beef (80/10)
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 large green bell pepper diced
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can whole kernel sweet corn drained
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 8-10 eight inch whole wheat or corn tortillas
- 2 cups reduced fat cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheese like Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack
- Non stick cooking spray
Toppings of choice:
- shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced olives, sour cream, salsa
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add ground beef and cook thoroughly, breaking into small pieces with a spoon. When cooked fully, remove from skillet and on a plate lined with a paper towel. With another paper towel, wipe out most of the oil, leaving just a small amount.
- To the same, heated skillet add the onion and pepper. Cooked until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 °F.
- Reduce heat in skillet to medium low. Add the cook beef back to the skillet. Then, add the crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, tomato paste, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Stir to combine and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the burner after simmering.
- Prep a 9 x 13 baking pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Then spoon a small amount of the beef mixture to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.
- Cut tortillas in half and layer about 4 ½ of them over the mixture to cover the bottom.
- Spoon the rest of the beef mixture on top of the tortilla layer. Then layer the rest of the tortillas on top.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cottage cheese, eggs, pepper and shredded cheese together until well blended. Spoon this on top of the tortillas.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 8-10 minutes.
- Cut in pieces, dish out, and sprinkle desired toppings on top. Enjoy!
So what exactly did I change from the original recipe? I swapped out some ingredients and added veggies everywhere I could. Using whole grain tortillas ups the fiber content as do the kidney beans. Fiber helps you feel FULL so you enjoy a more reasonable portion without feeling deprived. You can totally make this a gluten free entree by simply using gluten free corn tortillas instead of wheat. I also enriched the meat sauce with lots of canned tomatoes which adds great antioxidants and other nutrients. The lean beef and cottage cheese make this a high protein, super satisfying dish. You can also make this vegetarian by replacing the lean beef with another can of your favorite beans.
Even with all these healthy changes, Team Braddock still gives it the seal of approval:
Healthy Mexican Lasagna has become my go-to recipe for when I make a meal for friends who just had babies, surgery or other events that make cooking difficult. It's always a crowd pleaser whether they are "healthy" eaters or not. This recipe freezes beautifully after you assemble it (pre-baking) so I always make a pan for our family too for a later date. You can cook it straight from frozen but will need to add about 10-15 minute extra cooking minutes.
I'm totally guilty of making this in a disposable 9 x 13 pan for MYSELF so that there are no dishes!
Top this dish with your favorite toppings like tomato, cilantro, onion, olives, peppers, salsa, avocado and/or sour cream. There's no wrong way to dress this up.
Definitely add this recipe to your weekly dinner line-up and book mark it for when you need to bring a meal to a friend. It will not disappoint!
Thankful for my Southern Living roots,
P.S I am in kitchen-love with the Le Creuset stoneware dish in Carribean blue I used in this photo shoot. I highly recommend it because it's beautiful for serving things right out the oven and cleans up easily. #Win