My Favorite Go-To Dish

A favorite in my house for its ease and bold flavors.

A favorite in my house for its ease and bold flavors.


You know your favorite pair of jeans?

The ones you can don anytime, anywhere, and know they’ll fit well, look good and do no wrong?

This recipe is exactly like that.

“Mexican-Style Lasagna” is from Everyday Food. And I’ve made it countless times since it was published in the magazine’s March 2005 issue way back when.

You layer tortillas in a baking pan with canned pinto beans, purchased salsa, plenty of cheese, and a green sauce of spinach, cilantro and scallions you whip together in the food processor in seconds.

It’s one of my favorite no-brainer recipes — easy to assemble with no heavy lifting. It also takes well to adaptation. The original recipe is vegetarian. But on occasion, I’ve added leftover shredded rotisserie chicken and even diced Italian sausage. You could even add more veggies, such as diced zucchini or red pepper.

 Mexican-Style Lasagna

(Serves 4)

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

4 scallions coarsely, chopped

Coarse salt and ground pepper

10 ounces fresh baby spinach

Nonstick cooking spray

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup prepared salsa (mild or medium)

8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (375 degrees if using disposable nonstick bakeware; increase baking time to 35 – 40 minutes). In a food processor, combine cilantro, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with as much spinach as will fit; pulse, adding remaining spinach in batches, until coarsely chopped.

Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay 4 tortillas in bottom of dish (they will overlap slightly). Layer with half of beans, salsa, spinach mixture, and cheese; repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese and pressing in gently.

Cover dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

From Everyday Food, March 2005


Another Mexican Recipe: Chicken Chilaquiles


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