Midwest Mexican Recipe: Black Bean and Rice Mexican Lasagna

Mexican is (most of) my family’s favorite style of cuisine.  We eat it a LOT.  I want to share some of my favorite recipes with you as well as try some new ones.  Now let me clarify — I am NOT Mexican.  I am no where near Mexican.  The closest I am to Mexican is I’ve been to Mexico twice.  And it was only Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, so I’m not sure that counts.  Anyway, my recipes are not necessarily authentic Mexican.  These are recipes using basic ingredients like meat, cheese, canned tomatoes, beans, chilis, sour cream, tortillas, chips, chili powder, cumin, etc.  What I like to call “Midwest Mexican”.  Ahhh, it all falls into place, doesn’t it?

This week’s Midwest Mexican goes healthy and vegetarian.  I know, who knew Mexican could be either of those?  Quite a difference from last week’s recipe.

This quick and easy recipe is a bit altered from the original state.  It was intended to be Black Bean Enchiladas from Can You Stay for Dinner?

However I made homemade tortillas and they came out a bit too crispy to roll the filling into, so I ended up layering it like a lasagna.  Plus I realized there was not actually any enchilada sauce in the recipe, so I didn’t want to rename it Black Bean Enchilada Casserole, because I think that would be misleading.  Hence, Black Bean & Rice Mexican Lasagna.

Catchy, eh?

My variation was still very good, and if you’re looking for something a little healthier to add into your rotation, I would recommend it.

And for those not sure about meatless, you can very easily add cooked chicken or beef to this.

And if you like something a little, hmmm, creamier, you can certainly add cheese to the layers in addition to the top.

Chad and I both liked it, Maddie said she did although she only ate about two bites (again, typical for her), and Carlie of course threw a fit because it had tomatoes in it (the salsa) and wouldn’t eat it.  Yes, she won’t eat anything with tomatoes.  If this keeps up the kid is screwed for life, because we eat a LOT of dishes with tomatoes around here.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Black Bean & Rice Mexican Lasagna

  • 6 to 9 tortillas, depending on their size
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (could sub quinoa if you prefer)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 red bell peppers, julienned (cooked too, if desired)
  • 2 – 3 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 and 3/4 to 2 cups salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican style cheese


Mix together rice, 3/4 cup salsa, beans, peppers and taco seasoning.  Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Pour 1/2 cup salsa into the bottom of the pan and spread around to cover.  Layer 2 to 3 tortillas on the bottom, tearing to cover somewhat evenly.  Spread half the rice and bean mixture over the tortillas.  Repeat with 2 to 3 more tortillas and remaining rice and bean mixture.  Top with rest of the tortillas , then spread remaining 1/2 to 3/4 cup salsa over tortillas.  Sprinkle cheese on top.   Bake at 350 for about 18 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

Tip of the week:  Add salsa to any Mexican dish to up the nutritional content.  Most salsas are just tomatoes, onion, pepper and spices and can add a serving of veggies to your daily intake just by adding it to your dish.  Many salsas can have a bit of sodium, and always read the ingredient label to check for nutritional value.


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