Tex-Mex Lasagna – and how I aim to ride this train

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Hey Everyone! I’ve been taking some time off to enjoy Christmas and New Years with my family and today is my first “official” day back. I had an absolutely wonderful time doing something we very rarely (if ever) do – nothing. This is such a rare thing for me. I never “just” sit and relax because I’m happiest piddling, always doing something.

But over Christmas break I didn’t photograph food, write, crochet, quilt, embroider, organize (although in full disclosure, my friends reading this are giggling now at the very thought of me organizing anything), or in any way be productive other than to relax, rest, and goof off with my family. Katy Rose wasn’t feeling well one day and we actually spent an entire day watching cute cat and puppy videos on Youtube -Good times good times. I’ve gotten several emails (and it is so sweet of y’all to send them!) from folks who were afraid they were no longer receiving my newsletters that I send out over the last two weeks. Well, the problem wasn’t your email, it was that I wasn’t writing newsletters because I was busy doing the following:

Kinda Clockwise (you’ll figure it out): Experienced this much snow, Held a new baby (Welcome to the world, Andy!), Double dated with my in-laws, had lunch with m’boy, oversaw the mass messy decorating of cookies…

I also…Taught my mom how to make tortillas, really wished they made trains like this for adults, held a ferret (first time), took my youngest and her friend to Kidventure, made a big dinner for Christmas day ….

(I’ll get emails about the disposable dishes and I promise to promptly give them the attention they deserve)

In addition to that I…

Did some pretty rockin’ nail art if I do say so myself, realized my son needs a bigger bb gun, took a few meals off from cooking, made mass quantities of pickled onions along with all sorts of other kitchen cookery and mayhem, and rescued various frozen objects from the depths of the abyss that is my freezer.

Okay so now I feel refreshed, and ready to board that train of life again.

You know, we’re all riding that train, and the difference in our journeys is largely based on what kind of passenger we are. If you don’t know it already, I’m about to go off on a tangent because I’ve been thinking about the different kinds of passengers lately…

Now, lots of folks quietly get on board and take their seats, content to be along for the ride, maybe read a good book or two, and stare out the window at the scenery. Other folks might mill about, chat a bit with their fellow passengers and experience a few parts of the train such as the dining car, smoking car, etc (Hey, I’ve never ridden a train so I’m just going by what I saw on that episode on Big Valley where Audra had to have her appendix removed in the Barkley’s private car).

Those kinds of passengers probably have a real good ride and enjoy themselves just fine – but that isn’t me.

Me?  I start looking for my seat the moment I step on board and only stay there long enough to drop off my luggage before I’m off to find the livestock car. By the time we reach the second depot, I’ve figured out how to shear sheep. By the third, I’m spinning wool…only it has to dry some after I dye it so while that is going on I’m off to find the chickens and gather some eggs. While others are sitting happily in their seats, I’m jumping across couplings to get from car to car just a havin’ me a good old time making full use of this train’s resources.

You know, a few people will most likely wake up from their naps and see me buzzing about and declare that there must be something wrong with me. I’m ADD, OCD, or some other D, too much energy, unable to sit still, overly cheerful (which is odd, but a lot of folks nowadays see that as a bad thing, too), etc. But by golly, I don’t know how long I’m gonna be on this train so while I’m here I’m going to make the most of it!

Eventually, when we pull into the final depot, where I get off, I’ll be handing out wool coats and Denver omelets on my way out the door, just a grinning from ear to ear as I make my way through the disembarking crowds to hitch my team up to my own wagon, load my own luggage, and quietly make my way to a tiny cabin deep in the woods. Then, and only then will I do my sitting.

That day is coming soon enough so I don’t have time to waste now.

Oh, guess what else I did in between shearing sheep and gathering eggs? Yup, you got it! I made a Tex Mex Lasagna for supper! This stuff is too good not to make. I had a version of it this past summer but found the recipe wasn’t an easy one to follow or duplicate so I made up my own using ingredients you can easily keep on hand. It’s a large casserole but it’s very filling so there is no need to serve anything alongside it unless you just really want to. Leftovers heat up like a dream, too, and although I haven’t done it myself, I imagine it would also freeze very well.

So while our train is going down the tracks today, lets squeeze in some time to cook us up a good supper.

You’ll need: Ground Beef, Salsa (mild to hot, up to you), taco seasoning packet, dried (or fresh) cilantro, corn, refried beans, cheese, no cook lasagna noodles, chopped green chilis, black beans, and onion.

These are a lot of ingredients, I know, but they’re gonna make a rib sticking, tongue wagging, awfully good supper!

Chop your onion and brown it with your ground beef over medium high heat until nice and done.

Isn’t this silly that I am showing you a photo of my skillet posed on a cutting board instead of on my oven? It’s just kinda dark in that oven corner of my kitchen so I came out to my little diner.

Shred your cheese if you have a block or skip this step if you have preshredded cheese.

I’ve gotten in the habit of shredding cheese for lasagnas because it melts and gets so smooth and nice. The pre-shredded stuff (which I am STILL  a fan of!) is coated with anti-caking agents that keep it from getting as smooth as what you shred yourself. A lot of folks are horrified to learn that anti-caking agents are usually a form of cellulose,which is sawdust basically, but that doesn’t bother me. If I’m gonna go and get all horrified over something I can find a lot bigger and more worthy reasons.

Add in your salsa (saving just a little for the bottom of your baking dish), tomato sauce, taco seasoning, cilantro, chilis, and refried beans to the ground beef and onions.

Stir that up really good and cook it a few minutes over medium or so until it is nice and bubbly.

 Add in your drained corn and black beans and stir them up good, too. 

 Like so :)

 Spread the remaining salsa over the bottom of your baking dish.

 Cover that with some lasagna noodles.

If you have to break them to get them to fit, knock yourself out. 

Spread half of your filing over the noodles.

Top with half your cheese.

 Then more noodles…

I bet you know where this is going, right? ~winks~ 

 The rest of your filling…

and the rest of your cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes, or until bubbly and pasta is tender (which, coincidentally, is about 45 minutes, see how this works out?) :)

Let sit for about five minutes or so before cutting. 

 Dig in and go explore the other train cars! 

TexMex Lasagna

TexMex Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1.25 ounce package taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 15 ounce can refried beans
  • 4 cups shredded cheese (I use mild or medium cheddar, use your preference)
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 4 ounce can chopped or diced green chilies
  • 16 ounce jar salsa (mild or hot, your preference)
  • 8 ounce tomato sauce
  • 9 ounce package oven ready lasagna noodles

Instructions

  1. In large skillet, brown ground beef and onions until beef is no longer pink in the center. Drain off any grease. Add refried beans, chiles, taco seasoning, cilantro, 1/2 of the salsa, and tomato sauce. Stir and place over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in corn and black beans.
  2. Spread remaining salsa into bottom of 9x13 dish. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, breaking to fit if need be. Spread 1/2 of the filling from the skillet over the noodles. Top with half the cheese.
  3. Repeat.
  4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and pasta is tender.
  5. Allow to sit for five minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
  6. This recipe is really easy to adapt to your tastes. Use whatever cheese you like, mild or hot salsa, chicken instead of beef if you prefer, leave out the corn and black beans if you like, and if you can't find oven ready lasagna noodles, just buy regular ones and boil them according to package directions before assembling this dish.
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In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was, in me, and invincible summer.

~Albert Camus

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Comments

  1. STACY JACOB says

    ok, sorry to be a pain…but this looks delicious. I am new to cooking, but i want to give this one a try! Can you double the recipe and freeze one of the lasagna’s? What do most people use to keep their frozen food in? Foil pans? To re-heat, so you do it straight from the freezer or thaw first? What oven temp would I use to re-heat? Sorry to sound so dumb…but I have never frozen a cooked meal before although I do need to start…just not sure where to start :(
    Thank you for your help and Happy new year!

    • says

      Hey Stacy! you are not in the least little bit a pain! I’m thrilled to have you here because I LOVE to be able to make things easy for folks whenever I can :)
      Here is how I would personally freeze this one (and yes, you can definitely do so!). I would take the dish I wanted to bake it in and line it with heavy foil, leaving a good overhang on the sides. Then, prepare your lasagna in the foil lined dish. Cover it with more foil and put in the freezer until good and hard (a day or so). Then, take out the foil wrapped lasagna and wrap it again and return it to the freezer and your baking dish to your cabinet. This way, your dish is still handy when you need it and when you get ready to bake your lasagna, it fits in perfectly!
      You can thaw it by taking it out of the freezer and putting it in your baking dish, then putting both in the fridge the night before you plan on having them for supper. BUT, if you’re like me, supper will sneak up on you and you’ll want to bake it directly from the freezer. While that is not ideal, it won’t kill ya either! Take your frozen lasagna and put it in your baking dish. Place both in a cold oven and then turn it on to preheat. Oh, did I mention that in all of these scenarios you should remove the foil from the top before baking? Well, do that ;) . Then, just add about ten minutes to your cooking time.

      Also, since you are talking about eating one and freezing one,you may just want to make one recipe and divide it into two 8×8 baking dishes instead of a 9×13 because it does make a good bit :)
      I hope this helps and please just come right on back here and ask me more questions anytime you need to!
      Gratefully,
      Christy

      • Alicia Clinton says

        Thank you for taking the pain out of this all Ms. Christy! I have been wanting to make a ziti for some time and this sounds amazingly easy. Freezing it would be good too! Especially since I work outside of the home my husband works in and still have to plan and make most of the dinners/meals.

    • says

      Hi Stacy!! Just a kind word of advice, from an old fashioned, everyday, family cook… stay away from that network on television that “claims” to bring CHEFS as in IRON and good cooking… it’s nothing more than a liberal politically motivated program!!! Stick with Christy… she’s an AWESOME guide and an even better REAL LIFE COOK, too!!! Just my opinion with some common sense advice, dashed in!! Good luck… you’ll do great, most of the time with real cooking, it’s the practice and common sense things that bring savory/sweet redemption to our tables!!
      Bless you!!
      Kaye ; ()

  2. Julianne says

    That is a simply GORGEOUS set of disposable serve ware dishes.
    So sparkly and Christmasy- like tinsel in the form of a dish!
    Seriously- I am a BIG FAN of anything that makes Christmas easier and less stressful for our families and that includes for the cook and those who do the washing up!
    Less dish washing means more time for visitin’ and spending quality time together on a very special day. :)
    Happy New Year, Christy! :) My college son LOVED the Butterfinger cake- he ate all but 2 pieces all by himself, lol. But not all in one sittin’! ;)

  3. Denise says

    I have not word one to say about the disposable dishes!!!! I think they are GREAT!! :) This recipe looks GREAT I will be trying it!! Thanks for all ya do here on your blog!! have tried so many of your recipes and will keep trying!!

  4. Susan H. says

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to the Jordans. Glad to have you back..we missed you. Glad you had some great down time. Enjoy those kiddies while you can. The tex-mex lasagna looks good. Bet it woud be extra good topped with some lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, sliced black olives and sour cream when served. Could also use tortillas instead of the pasta…my hubby isn’t a big pasta fan. Although I guess they are both just different forms of flour. We love tex-mex here. And I’m all in for the disposable dishes. A girl after my own heart. It’s the food and love inside that matters…not the dishes. What all was on the menu? Are you going to do the cooking show at your university this year? Know you didn’t have it this past fall. Would love to come to it if you have.

  5. Deanie says

    This looks soooo good! I can’t wait to try it. We live in Arkansas and our
    electricity was off for 4 days last week and we lost all of our freezer food. We’re starting over with our frozen meals and we will be glad to have a hot, one dish meal
    with easy ingredients to enjoy to put us back into good spirits. Thanks for sharing!
    Thanks for all you do to give encouragement and for sending out happy, helpful blogs! They always cheer me up and make me smile.
    I admire you so much!

  6. says

    Christy, loved this idea! Just would left the beans out…not my favorite…but the rest look so good! Great to know you had a wonderful time with family and everything is well! May this new year bring you and your family lots of joy, peace, fun, health and most of all, love! Thanks for sharing your great findings! Cheers from Brazil!

  7. Joan says

    I have to try this … we generally gobble down most things Mexican and any lasagna that comes our way.

    Did you know that you can use the ‘regular’ lasagna noodles without precooking them. Just add a little extra liquid to the meat mixture and be sure you cover the noodles completely. I do that all the time.

  8. Trice Kastein says

    Christy – I think I’ll just substitute homemade corn tortillas (no, not me making them, but one of the local restaurants makes them and they are yummy) They are a little thicker than the store bought corn tortillas but I bet they would be awesome in this dish. You know, if you sub shredded chicken for the ground beef it would be a lot like King Ranch Chicken!!! My mind can’t stop thinking of uses for this great recipe!! Thanks so much, you are an inspiration!

  9. Lana says

    Pinning this one! Love the disposables. We used paper plates and cups and the occasional plastic silverware for 8 days while our five kids and their families were here. I would surely rather spend time with them than in the kitchen loading and unloading the dishwasher.

  10. Susan Davis says

    OH MY! It looks wonderful and I’m going to put it on my meal plan for this coming week!

    And I just wanted to tell you what a lovely pattern of dishes that isthat you used for your Christmas this year!. In fact, we’ve used that exact same pattern for every big event we’ve had in our family for the past several years! ;)

    God Bless Christy and I hope you and yours have a very blessed year!

  11. Ann G. says

    Printing this and will be making it but have to leave out the chilis, but everything else will be in it. Looks and sounds yummy!

    I made the S’mores Kits for Christmas gifts for each of my sorority sisters and their husbands, plus a few extra for us and our friend from Atlanta that spent the past week. All were put in zip baggies with the title and Santa’s hat “fudded up” stapled on and put in snowman bags I found at Wally World for 20 for $2. Everyone loved the idea as a gift.

  12. Lacey says

    Making this tonight!! Leaving out the can of chiles and the black beans only because i refuse to go to the store for just a can of chiles and a can of black beans!! Also, had some leftover brown beans in the fridge so I’ll be using homemade refried beans that I’ll leave pretty chunky to make up for the missing black beans. I can’t wait to try this!! Hopefully turning on the oven will serve the purpose of making supper and warming the house up a bit….I’m cold!!!

    • says

      You’re right, most of the recipes that I use call to rinse and drain the black beans also. I usually suggest people do that because normally if you add black beans to something the juice that is in the can is very strong in flavor and if you don’t rinse them whatever you add it to and will end up tasting like black beans through and through. In this recipe though, there is so much flavor from other elements that just draining your black beans will be fine.

  13. Lara Guerra says

    We have a version of this quite frequently at my house. It’s a great way to use up the odds and ends of salsa jars that always seem to be in the fridge! I layer mine with corn tortillas, broken corn chips (if I don’t have tortillas) or even just cover the meat mixture with a layer of corn bread. Such a versatile filling and so tasty!

  14. BethSherrill says

    Sooo glad you took a break and have come back with renewed energy. The recipe looks yummy, as soon as all the girls at work get over the new years diets I will take this in for lunch for the office, bet it will be a big hit!

    Enjoy your little ones while they are little, plenty of time to write and everything else once they are grown and gone.

  15. Kimberly Case says

    Christy, This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it. Practically every dish I make comes from a recipe in your book or you website.You are the first person I turn to when I’m making my meal plan each week. I’m so looking forward to getting my paws on that new cookbook when it comes out as well. Use those disposable dishes with pride, my friend! I use my “party china” when we have big family meals too….I would rather spend that extra time I save by not having to wash the dishes and use it hanging out my family, but that’s just my opinion. Happy New Year!

  16. Judy says

    Great reference to The Big Valley my favorite series of all time. And the Audra on the train is one of my favorite episodes. Just had to mention and for someone your age to know about it just made me super excited. Going to try the recipe too missed hearing from you but we all need the down time and special family time.

  17. Marguritte McGaha says

    I refuse to print any more of your recipes because I wasted four sheets of paper before I even got to the recipe. It is so wasteful just to get a recipe that you have to print all that other stuff.

  18. Bailey Yarbrough says

    Christy, I was looking for a good recipe for this evening, I was wanting baked chicken and wanted to find a way to kick it up. So anyway, I thought to myself wait how about Christy’s website but I couldn’t remember the site name or your last name (please forgive me)!!! So I went to google and simply typed in Christy and up popped Christy Jordan and there was your website. How amazing is that. I am going to make your skillet chcken with cream or chicken soup and ranch dip powder and broiled asparagus!!! Yummy!!!!

  19. Jen says

    I just got this all put together and put in the oven when I looked over on my counter and saw my can of green chilies sitting there unopened. Ah! That was one of the things I was really looking forward to! But a little FYI, on the recipe print out at the bottom, you never say to add the green chilies and that is why I left them out. They are on the ingredient list, just not in the instructions…unless I keep missing it, which is entirely possible :) Just thought you should know so you can edit it.

  20. Susan N says

    Merry New Year Christy. Nice to have some down time with your family. Another yummy idea. My niece from Texas came to see me over 20 years ago….. don’t see her often now. We made a similar casserole called King Ranch casserole with chicken, corn tortillas and stuff. But never thought of using the noodles like here. Somehow all the years i have cooked for (now adult kids) one of my “sides” has always been yellow hominy. You have to know how to cook it and not buy the yucky brands. I used to help my N. Alabama Grandma under the old oak tree make her hominy from her own dried shelled corn, her own lye made from solid wood ash and everything just like the old days. Then she would freeze in batches. Now THAT was some tasty hominy. When i make the chicken tortilla (serve the rotissary chicken off the bone, use bones for the broth) i like to add rinsed black beans, yellow hominy, fresh carrot slices & leftover salsa. Colorful & quick , easy soup. TexMex is so good for cold weather. Take care!

  21. JackieToo says

    Christy, your tangent (which I always enjoy :) ) reminded me of this quote:

    “I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
    I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
    I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
    I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden.
    I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
    I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
    ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

    I’ve always wanted to be like Sister Hinckley when I grow up, but it sounds like you’re way ahead of me. You’re already half way there!

  22. Chris A. says

    Christy, I have a husband who insists it is the cilantro he doesn’t like in Mexican foods so….could you please tell me a seasoning that I could sub in this recipe that would work? Thanks so much! Want to try this soon!

  23. Tracy says

    I made this last night!! Due to diet and preference, I ended up cutting the taco seasoning (which I used low sodium) and cheese in half and omitted the cilantro. This recipe is SOOOO GOOD!!! The entire family loved it! This will definitely be added to our recipe favorites :). Thanks so much!!!

  24. Elizabeth in TN says

    Omgosh this does so stick to your ribs! I wish I had read the post about splitting it up and freezing half! I went the chicken route(crock pot night before with onion) and jumped in from there. I realized I forgot the tomato sauce after the fact but it didn’t make it any less amazing! Thank you <3

  25. Kristin T says

    I’ve been addicted to reading food blogs for several months now, but after I started getting yours, I deleted about 90% of the others. You make “real” food that’s not fussy or complicated, with simple, easy-to-find ingredients. I’m loving your cookbook I bought myself for Christmas, and eagerly await your next one!
    Thanks so much for the family stories. It makes me feel like I’m right there in your kitchen, laughing with a friend. Your daily emails and Facebook posts really brighten my day. Thanks so much for the hard work!

    • says

      YIKES, Kristin T, we certainly sound as though we are definitely ON THE SAME PAGE!!! So sick of all the televised JUNK, which “regular, normal, average folks,” have absolutely NO INTEREST IN whatsoever!!! My Mama was the best teacher ever, and of course grandmamma too… Christy runs second only to those two FINE and wonderful LADIES!!!

  26. says

    Christy, it has been a coon’s age since I stopped by, and my how things have changed! I greatly enjoyed reading up on what has been happening in your life, but it sure makes me miss living in Northern Alabama (don’t worry we didn’t know each other)!

    Hope you are having a wonderful New Year!

    • says

      OMGosh Alicia, please don’t revert or convert into Ina… she’s so very fake. Do you know anyone else who likes in “The Hamptons,” with that many gay boyfriends? Ina had every potential to be rather interesting . . . until… oh well, she’s just another atypical retired politician… the very liberal kind, too! No thank you, very much!!! Look @ her/their ratings…. down, down, down!!!
      Most of the programs are loaded with gay people and booze, and several scoops of Political Correctness…. therefore, these show are an absolute No can do for me!!! Happy, happy, happy!!!

  27. Carol - Kitchen Diva says

    Hey Christy, Just gotta say once again HUGE HIT with the FAM!I made it Friday night but I traded out the pasta and used Flour Tortillas instead (I don’t care for hot pasta) and they ate the WHOLE PAN! They loved it so much that they threatened to hold my dog hostage if I didn’t make it again this Friday! I will post a picture of them eating it while my dog sits safe (For Now) on the couch. You ROCK!

  28. Cindy Shearer says

    I make a Mexican Lasagne and like Belinda asked…YES you can use flour tortillas. I just tear them into large pieces and use them as a layer. I use burrito-sized and make them either in 2 or 3 layers. It’s a favorite dish with our family

  29. Denise says

    I split this recipe in two 8×8 pans and gave one to my sweet in-laws to take home to bake later. We really liked all the favors. BUT, one question: do you bake it covered or uncovered??? I was afraid it would dry out so I baked it covered for around 50 minutes. It was beautiful and a great consistency but some of the noodles were too “al dente”. Maybe they were old (bought them by mistake quite a while ago!) or maybe keeping it covered kept them from cooking completely???
    To cover or not to cover?
    Oh! I am a south Alabama girl who LOVES your recipes and cooking Southern!!! And LOVING this 80 degree weather, pollen and all! ;)

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