Southwest Lasagna

1 package (16 oz) lasagna noodles (uncooked, gluten-free, or “no-boil” is fine)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 15 oz cans black beans, drained

¼ cup fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried, and minced

¼ -½ teaspoon (approximately) hot sauce (Tabasco, Sriracha, etc)

2 16 oz jars mild salsa

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1#  Monterey jack cheese, grated

8 oz part-skim mozzarella, grated

½ cup parmesan cheese

salt

pepper

1  9” x 13” pan (supermarket disposable lasagna pans work well too).

Preheat the oven to 375°

  1. In a large saucepan, over a medium heat, sauté the garlic for 20-30 seconds or until it’s fragrant.  Add the black beans, and bring to a simmer.  Add the cilantro, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and hot sauce.  The beans should be mildly spicy.
  2. Set the beans aside to cool (although you can do the following steps with warm beans).
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the salsa and tomatoes.
  4. Set aside ½ cup of the tomato mixture, and ¼ cup each of the Monterey jack and mozzarella.
  5. Spread approximately 1/3 cup of the tomato mixture into pan. On top of the tomatoes, spread/arrange three lasagna noodles (or four, depending on how many are in the box, and how many fit in the pan).
  6. Spread almost 1/3 of the tomato/salsa mixture on top of the noodles, 1/3 of the cheese, and 1/3 of the beans.
  7. Add another layer of noodles, and repeat Step 6
  8. Place the final layer of noodles over the mixture. Over the top of these noodles, spread the remaining sauce, and then sprinkle the top with remaining cheeses, including the parmesan.
  9. Bake, covered with plastic wrap, then foil, for 50-60 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked through. The noodles are cooked through when a paring knife easily goes through the layers.

Yield: approximately 8-10 servings

Southwest lasagna notes for success:

  • Gluten-free lasagna noodles also work well with this recipe. 
  • Dried black beans will work well too. Simmer, covered, for approximately ½ pound of beans for 1 ½ – 2 hours until they’re cooked through. Check the water level frequently to make sure it hasn’t all been absorbed by the simmering beans.
  • If you can only find whole tomatoes, and not diced, then chop the tomatoes, or squish them with your hands.
  • Before you chop the cilantro, soak it in a bowl of cold water for at three minutes, to remove any dirt that remains in it. If there’s still some dirt in the water after soaking, empty the bowl, and soak again, repeating once or twice more until no dirt remains in the bowl.