Make ahead and freeze-ahead meals are the staple of lots of main dishes and this Mexican casserole layers a tomato sauce spiked with spices and salsa with cheese, black olives and meat for a savory always-have-it-on-hand kind of meal.
This mexican lasagna recipe may be my most favorite for giving. I think I’ve probably made if for just about everyone I know who has had a baby or some kind of surgery and not only does it taste awesome, but you can make it ahead and refrigerate it for a day or even two if you have to before you cook it and it still turns out well.
My only complaint is that it’s sort of a soft dish–it doesn’t have a lot of crunch so we eat ours with tortilla chips–so that’s tortillas in the casserole and tortillas in your hand…just don’t count the calories I guess.
I gave this recipe to my friend Alesha once and the poor girl made it so much that her husband won’t hardly touch it anymore. Burned the poor boy out on it. And when I mentioned to her that I was going to put it up here, she got all thoughtful for a second and said, “Oh I need to make one of those…” Ruh roh. I’ll apologize to her husband now. Sorry I brought it up again Bobby.
P.S. this casserole can also be frozen after assembly. Just wrap it well and it should keep for a month or longer. Just set it in the fridge to thaw overnight. If you’re like me when I do that, it doesn’t thaw. You may have to set it out on the counter for a couple of hours before baking.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup salsa mild, medium or hot
- 1 package taco seasoning or your own
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce not spaghetti sauce
- 16 ounces small curd cottage cheese
- 2 egg
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 package 10" flour tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.
- In a large skillet cook, crumble and drain the ground beef. Add the salsa, tomato sauce and taco seasoning and stir to combine. Simmer on low heat 10-15 minutes.
- In a separate bowl mix the cottage cheese, egg and oregano and mix well. Set aside.
- In a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish, begin your layers starting with tortillas on the bottom. It's okay if they overlap. Next spread 1/3 of the meat mixture, 1/2 of the cottage cheese, and 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Dot with a few black olives. Repeat tortillas, sauce and cheeses for a second layer, using the last half of the cottage cheese mixture.Top with a third layer of tortillas and spread over the last third of the sauce. Do your best to cover any exposed tortillas or they get really crispy.
- Cover with remaining cheese and black olives and bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.