I believe that cooking should not be a chore, but an adventure! For example, who says you can’t mix the flavors of two cultures to come up with an amazing new recipe? I think that combining the flavor of enchiladas from Mexico and lasagna from Italy to come up with Mexican Lasagna is ingenious. However, if my dear mom was still with us, I’m sure she would object. My mother had rules about everything, and cooking was no exception!
Cooking According to Mom
I miss the days of cooking with my mom. We had so much fun together! If I ever dared to veer from the traditional way of making certain Assyrian recipes, she would say “brati, le oya,” which means “my daughter, it won’t work.” Of course, I never let that stop me. And on a few occasions, I even won her over once she tasted the new and improved recipe.
I got the idea for this Mexican Lasagna recipe from a cookbook that a few friends put together. It was a fundraiser for our friend, Sheri, who was battling breast cancer. Although I never tried Sheri’s original recipe, it did inspire me to create this one. I never make the same recipe twice. I prefer to mix things up a bit, or I tend to get bored. If I have chiles on hand, I’ll add them, if I have salsa, cottage cheese, queso fresco, or anything else that would complement the other ingredients, in they go! If you’re feeling ambitious, consider making your own enchilada sauce, like I do! Use this recipe as a starting point, and have fun adding your own flair!
If you’re extra adventurous, consider using homemade pasta to make this Mexican Lasagna, instead of store-bought. It works beautifully in this recipe and will require less cooking time.
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A delicious combination of Mexican ingredients, prepared like Italian lasagna. A surprisingly delicious combination of ingredients!
- cooking spray
- 1 16 oz can refried beans
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese
- 1 19 oz can enchilada sauce green or red
- 1 package Barilla oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 6 cups taco soup or chili
- 6 cups shredded Mexican cheese
- 1 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
- 2 T. sliced black olives (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick cooking spray. Microwave refried beans and cream cheese together for one minute. Stir to combine, and set aside.
- Add approximately 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom.
- Layer 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. If using the Barilla noodles, lay them across the pan horizontally, they will expand during cooking. Cover noodles with two cups of chili or taco soup. Make sure to use a slotted spoon to drain most of the liquid before adding.
- Layer the provolone cheese over the chili, followed by more noodles.
- Spread the refried beans and cream cheese mixture over the noodles, followed by two cups of chili, and two cups shredded cheese.
- Add more noodles, and top with the remaining chili, and two cups of shredded cheese.
- Cover with the last layer of noodles, and pour the enchilada sauce all over, making sure to cover the noodles completely.
- Top with the remaining shredded cheese, and sliced black olives (if using). Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray, and cover the pan, making sure foil does not come in contact with the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes, making sure the top layer of cheese is melted.
- Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with sour cream and salsa.
The pictures used in the recipe don't follow along with the recipe steps. This is because the recipe is pretty flexible. I don't make it exactly the same every time.