My Mexican-Style Lasagna
Why I Love This Recipe
So my nephew came in one night and asked if we could have lasagna for supper. Great idea, except that I had no ricotta, no marinara, no mozzarella, and only 7...yes, you heard me right, s-e-v-e-n lasagna noodles. Not one to deny my darling boy his hearts desire, I started rummaging around for foodstuffs I could morph into a reasonable facsimile of lasagna. Here's what I ended up with, and it was so delicious, I'm making it this way from now on! It makes the perfect amount for 3 or 4 people, or 2 with leftovers...unless you're feeding a male teen!
Ingredients You'll Need
7 lasagna noodles, broken in half cross-wise
1 jar Salsa (hot, medium or mild; your choice)
1 pound (+/-) 80-85% ground beef (most packages have more like 1.25 pounds)
1/4 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Italian or Mexican seasoning blend
1 6-8 oz container of soft cream cheese with chives
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese-blend
1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
In a pot of salted, boiling water, cook the halved noodles until done, per package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a sauté pan, heat a small amount of cooking oil and add onions and ground beef, breaking meat into small crumbles.
Cook until beef is no longer pink, and onions are translucent. Add Italian seasoning blend, salt and pepper to taste.
Turn off heat and empty the container of cream cheese with chives into the cooked meat, stirring to coat meat and encourage melting. Set aside.
Lightly spray a 1-1/2 qt. rectangular casserole with vegetable cooking spray.
Spoon a scant amount of salsa into the bottom of the casserole, and spread around to cover surface.
Lay 4 cooked noodles to cover sauce; overlapping slightly.
Spoon half of the meat mixture over the noodles, spreading evenly.
Sprinkle with some of the Mexican cheese blend.
Cover with 4 more noodles, and top with half of remaining salsa, remaining meat and cheese.
Place 4 more noodles on top.
Spread remaining salsa on top of noodles, and cover with cheese.
Finish by covering the casserole with a coating of the crushed tortilla chips.
Bake in a 400F pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, until casserole is bubbling, and top is lightly browned.
If necessary, cover with foil during last 10 minutes of cooking, if casserole browns too quickly.
Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting to serve.