Ok ok ok, I know that it isn’t the most appetizing picture, but trust me, enchilada lasagna is GOOD.  I cook this dish at least twice a month.  It is easy, fairly quick to make, and somehow always tastes great.  As I said with Mexican Leftovers, most of the Mexican dishes that I make are the same ingredients put together a different way, so I usually have all of the ingredients at home ready to go.  Plus, I wrote this recipe as a vegetarian dish, but you could easily add any kind of meat into the layers for more substance and a different flavor.

Why is this an enchilada lasagna instead of just enchiladas, you ask?  Because I have yet to make enchiladas without the tortillas revolting.  They either rip apart (yes, I have tried heating them up) or they spring open, throwing the contents all over the dish.  Leaving the tortillas in their natural state – i.e.  flat – just makes everyone happier. 

For this recipe you will need:

1 tsp oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 packet of enchilada seasoning
1 Tbsp diced jalapeno (optional)
1 cup salsa
1 cup black olives, sliced
6 corn tortillas
1 cup refried beans
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (really, doesn’t everything cook at 350?). 

In a sauce pan, sauté the onions in the oil for about 2 minutes just to take the edge off.  Then throw in the tomatoes, water, jalapenos (if you are using them), and spice packet and bring them to a boil.  Once it is boiling, drop the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then throw in the salsa and the olives and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, spread the beans evenly on the 6 tortillas.  It is really the easiest way to incorporate them without having to worry about globs of refritos in some bites, and nothing in the others.

Now, all of the parts are ready, so we just need to assemble.  This is easy, right?!  And, it is just like lasagna in that you stack everything on top of each other.  Put a spoonful of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a round baking dish (or any dish that is appx. 7×7 inches), then a tortilla, then a sprinkling of cheese, and then some more sauce to coat.  Then tortilla, cheese, sauce, tortilla, cheese, sauce… you get the idea.  Once the last tortilla is on, you pour the rest of the sauce on so that everything is covered and then top the whole thing with the rest of the cheese. 

Bake the dish for about 25 minutes covered, and then 10 minutes uncovered.

Oh, mama.  This stuff is good!  It will serve 4 people if you want it to (especially if you add in meat), or if two people are really hungry then that will work, too.  Not that I know of any two people who would finish this puppy off…

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