This is a fun spin on both Lasagna and Tacos. I was inspired by something my mother used to make when I was a little girl (she called it Mexican Casserole) though hers was made with flour tortillas and modeled a bit more after enchiladas than tacos. I needed gluten free, though, so though I'd try it with fried corn tortillas. Ours turned out nothing like my mom's (probably has something to do with the fact I never actually asked her for the recipe) but it was a big hit here! It takes about an hour from start to finish and I love it because I have just enough time to do all the dishes before pulling it out of the oven and setting the table. It's simple, easy cleanup, and all the food is in one dish. Garnish with sour cream and hot sauce.
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 (8 ounce) package cheddar cheese (I like sharp)
- 2 tablespoons jalapenos (or whatever you like)
- 5 large tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans (black beans are lovely, too)
- 16 corn tortillas, fried ahead of time (or the equivalent of pre-made tacos)
- 7 tablespoons cumin
- 6 tablespoons chili powder
- Pre-heat oven to 375*.
- Brown the ground beef on med/hi (for an electric stove, I set it to 8), adding 2T of cumin, a few shakes of salt and pepper, and another 2T of chili powder.
- While the meat is browning, prep the veggies! The onions and the tomatoes should be chopped down to 1/2in or so (this doesn't really matter and is purely a matter of preference). Mince the garlic and cilantro, as well (keep everything separate).
- Drain and rinse the beans.
- Brown the onions and garlic together for 2 minutes before adding in the tomatoes, cilantro and seasonings.
- Add the tomatoes, cilantro and 3-4T cumin, 3T chili powder, again, a little salt and pepper (to taste) and the jalepenos.
- After the tomatoes have begun to really simmer and let out their juices, it's time to turn the heat down to medium.
- While the veggies are simmering, grate the cheese.
- Grease your baking pan/dish.
- By now, the veggies are done and you can gather all your bits n pieces together to build your "Taco Lasagna".
- Layer your casserole, starting with taco, then meat, then beans, then tomato mixture, more tacos, meat, tomatoes, tacos, cheese. The order and how much of what goes where is up to whim of the moment, of course.
- Bake for 15-20 min or until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown.
- Enjoy with Sour cream, hot sauce or sliced hot peppers.