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Enchilada Lasagna

By Thepickyeater @pickyeaterblog

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Enchilada lasagna brings Mexican flavors and Italian layers to this veggie loaded weeknight meal. With layers of tomato salsa, corn tortillas, veggies, and beans, then topped with cheese and black olives, you'll have a complete healthy meal rich in nutrients, and high in fiber and protein all in one pan!

Is it possible to combine Mexican and Italian food, to create a lasagna that reminds you of an enchilada? That's the question I was asking myself last week when I experimented with this recipe. And the answer was a resounding: yes!

This Vegetarian Enchilada Lasagna is the perfect Italian and Mexican fusion dish. It's easy to make vegan, naturally gluten-free, and it's perfect if you are feeding a crowd. It's also super kid-friendly, and an easy way to sneak in extra veggies if you have picky eaters.

This recipe took about 45 minutes to make, including baking time. And the portions were just the right size!

Kitchen Tools and Equipment You'll Need to Make Enchilada Lasagna

How to make this Vegetarian Enchilada Lasagna - Step by Step

Step 1: Chop your veggies, and saute the red onion, red pepper, garlic and corn over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Step 2: Heat up the beans, and add a couple teaspoons of taco seasoning until the beans are as spicy as you like.

Step 3: Meanwhile, add a couple teaspoons of taco seasoning to the veggies, and add in the spinach.

Step 4: Start assembling your "lasagna"! In an 8×8 baking dish (or larger depending on how many people you're making this for) - start with a layer of the tomato sauce, 1/3 of the salsa, and a layer of the corn tortillas.

Step 5: Top the corn tortillas with 1/2 the refried beans, 1/2 of the veggie mixture, and a drizzle of the tomato sauce + salsa.

Step 6: More layering - top with the corn tortillas, the remaining 1/2 the refried beans, and the remaining 1/2 the veggie mixture, a drizzle of the tomato sauce + salsa.

Step 7: Then top with the corn tortillas again, and the rest of the tomato sauce + salsa. Top that with the cheese, olives and tomatoes, and it's ready to go into the oven!

Step 8: Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min, until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Serve and devour.

It was a huge hit with my whole family. Everyone (kids included) thought it had just the right level of spice and flavor without being too hot. Of course, if you like things extra spicy you can always add a hotter salsa or some cayenne pepper to your dish!

What Makes This Enchilada Lasagna Healthy?

This Enchilada Lasagna not only quenches your craving for Mexican flavors, but it's full of plant protein, and fiber. Here are some of the ways this Enchilada Lasagna packs a healthy dose of nutrition in every bite:

  • Tons of veggies: You'll be able to sneak in a large serving of vegetables with this dish as it's loaded with corn, onions, red pepper, and spinach. The veggies bring vitamins, minerals and fiber to this recipe. The spinach especially is rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, K, folic acid, iron, and calcium
  • No refined grains: Instead of using layers of pasta like a traditional lasagna this recipe uses corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are a healthy substitution for white flour tortillas because they're made from a whole food rather than processed white flour. Corn tortillas are lower in fat, calories, and carbohydrates, and higher in fiber compared to white flour tortillas. They are also gluten-free!
  • Plant-based protein: The refried black beans provide fiber, protein, and are rich in Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Vitamin B1 and Iron. Enchiladas are often made with ground beef, so replacing the meat with a ton of veggies + beans keeps this casserole hearty and satisfying, but reduces the unhealthy fats and calories. Each serving comes in at only 270 calories which means you can go back for seconds completely guilt-free!

How do you make enchiladas not soggy?

If you're not a fan of soggy enchiladas you are not alone. Most of the time when you make enchiladas the traditional American way you use corn tortillas and lots of sauce. They key to getting enchiladas that aren't soggy is to either fry the corn tortillas prior to layering them in this bake, use less sauce, or both. To achieve that "fried" texture without adding extra calories and fat, I recommend toasting the corn tortillas in a skillet using just a spray of olive oil cooking spray. Or, you could just use less sauce if you don't want your enchilada lasagna to have soggy tortillas.

Can you make enchiladas with flour tortillas?

Yes, you could make enchilada lasagna with flour tortillas. Instead of using white flour tortillas opt for whole wheat tortillas so you're still getting the fiber and health benefits from whole grains.

What to eat with Enchilada Lasagna?

Enchilada Lasagna is a complete meal on its own, since it has loads of veggies, protein from the beans and cheese, and whole grain carbohydrates from the tortillas. But this dish pairs well with a simple side salad, or a side of avocado, or guacamole for some healthy fats.

Enchilada Lasagna: A Kid-Friendly Dish

Enchilada Lasagna is one of those dishes that everyone in the family will want to devour, even if you have a picky eater in your home. Topped with melted cheese, and smothered in a salsa tomato sauce, your kids won't even realize they're eating a whole serving of vegetables. If your kids aren't big fans of olives, leave them off. All they'll see on the top is the melted cheese and they'll want to dig right in. If you want to entice them a bit more put their favorite Mexican topping on the top. Try a scoop of guacamole, sliced avocado, or maybe more cheese.

Top tips for making Enchilada Lasagna

  • If using frozen spinach make sure you thaw the spinach overnight in the refrigerator prior to using OR thaw in the microwave.
  • Squeeze all the water out of the frozen spinach before adding it to the onion, corn, and red pepper mixture.
  • If you have different veggies in your fridge you can use those. Orange, yellow and green peppers are all great substitutions. You can also use seasonal vegetables such as zucchini and summer squash in the summer. Or butternut squash in the fall and winter.
  • Add your favorite Mexican spices. If you don't have taco seasoning use chili powder, paprika, cumin, and whatever you like to spice up your Mexican dishes.
  • If you don't have corn tortillas you could use whole wheat flour tortillas.
  • You can make the lasagna ahead of time. Assemble and store, covered in the fridge. Bake when you are ready to serve it.
  • For a vegan option, omit the cheese or use a vegan-friendly cheese.
  • For more firm tortillas in your enchilada lasagna, try pan frying them with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray before layering.

Be Sure To Check Out These Other Healthy Mexican Recipes!

If you have tried this Enchilada Lasagna recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on , , and to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Enchilada Lasagna

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