Friday, April 9, 2010

Latino Lasagna AKA Taco Casserole

This dish is one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers. This is a variation on Lizabetti's Light and Healthy Enchiladas and it is made from leftovers from Lizabetti's Healthy Tacos. While the dish is similar in concept to the enchiladas, but the different shape gives it a whole different taste and texture.  We used to make this dish in college, but then we just called it "Taco Casserole". It is a very satisfying and filling dish and still very healthy.

This meal makes a great weekday dinner and and is a perfect work lunch the next day. I got several lunches out of the one meal, I guess you call that second order leftovers. It also heats up very well in the microwave without losing flavor.

I like to serve it with guacamole, sour cream, and fresh salad greens. For a little extra zing, also serve some of the warm sauce on the side . I also highly recommend that you go with corn tortillas for a more authentic Mexican taste. 

Like all leftover recipes, the ingredient quantities are just a guideline, you should use what you have.

  • 8 oz Taco meat from the Healthy Taco Recipe
  • Spicy black bean dip, I like Trader Joe's, but you can use leftover refried beans as well.
  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups Left over (or fresh) Chunky Salsa
  • 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes.
  • 1 Pinch cayenne
  • 1 Pinch chili powder
  • 1 Package high fiber tortillas or corn tortillas. You can also use the left over taco shells from the tacos.
  • 1 Cup cooked rice. Usually I have some left over in the fridge.
  1. Place the Salsa and diced tomatoes in a pan
  2. Simmer on low until tomatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. If desired, add cayenne and chili powder.

I like to use a heavy Creusete baking pan, you can also use glass, ceramic, or metal.
  1. Pre-Heat oven to 375 oF(191 oC).
  2. Place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. This will prevent sticking
  3. Cover the bottom with tortilla shells. Cut them to shape to ensure that you cover the entire bottom.
  4. Place a layer of the bean dip.
  5. Place a layer of rice, followed by a layer of meat.
  6. Add a layer of cheese and top with another layer of tortilla's.
  7. Add another layer of sauce and top with the rest of the cheese.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 oF(191 oC).

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