Meatless Monday: Smoky Black Bean Mexican Lasagna

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This dish is a variation of this recipe, which I got out of the January 2011 issue of Everyday Food.  I played with the ingredients and spices even further and came up with this tasty spin.  Even my husband, who does not like mushrooms, likes this dish.  Aside from seeing them, you do not taste a mushroom-y taste.  This "lasagna" is, however, satisfying.  It's warming.  You'll be a little embarrassed to realize you've eaten 1/4 of the pan, by yourself, in one meal.  Oops.

Smoky Black Bean Mexican Lasagna
serves 4

2 Tb vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1- 15 oz can black beans or 1 1/2 c prepared black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 lb button or cremini mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
10 oz spinach (if frozen, thawed and excess liquid squeezed)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1- 16 oz jar salsa
4 oz cheese, grated (I suggest monterrey jack but use chedder, pepper jack, or any combo)
5 medium sized flour tortillas, halved
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

In a large sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium to med-high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until they begin to soften and start to become translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and the spinach if using fresh and continue to cook the mixture another 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and softened.  If the spinach is cooked, just add in with black beans.  Add in the black beans and warm through.  Add in spices and stir for a minute or so.  Add about 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced to just coating the vegetables, for about 5-10 minutes.

Assemble your lasagna:  spoon out half the bean mixture into the bottom of an 8x11 inch rectangular casserole dish (can be done with a 9x13).  Pour over 1/3 of the salsa (about 2/3 cup) and 1/3 cheese.  Top with 3 tortilla halves, covering the mixture.  Repeat this layer, and sprinkle on the remainder of the salsa and cheese.  Bake in preheat oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove from oven and allow to sit a couple minutes before cutting.  Serve with avocado, small salad, rice, chips and salsa- whatever floats your Mexican- inspired boat!


  • If you're not quite convinced about the meatless thing, just add in 1 lb any ground meat in place of the mushrooms.
  • You may need more cheese.  It depends on how cheese-loving you are.
  • I used jarred salsa here, and suplemented it with the PW's restaurant style salsa.

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