While lasagna might be a traditional Italian dish, Mexican ingredients result in an equally tasty and surprisingly easier creation. This recipe frequents our dinner table due to its whole-food, plant-based ingredients, deliciousness and ease.
A tip to keep in mind.. When shopping for corn tortillas, choose yellow or white shells with no or minimal oil. Since Mexican food is a regular thing for us we typically buy a big bag, making them pennies a piece. If you don’t plan to use shells regularly, seal in a freezer bag and thaw when needed.
You’ll notice this yummy dish isn’t cheese-filled like your typical lasagna. Learn more about the benefits of forgoing the cheese by checking out Dr. Barnard’s book: The Cheese Trap.
No worries though, the spices offer plenty of flavor and you can get a cheese-like essence by sprinkling one of our favorite ingredients – nutritional yeast – on top. Nutritional Yeast (*affiliate link) – an inactive form of yeast – shines in many of our recipes, including Better-than-Cheese Queso and The Creamiest Mac & Cheese. ???
This recipe is full of whole-food, plant-based ingredients offering countless health benefits. To name a few..
- Populations that eat a lot of legumes (beans, split peas, lentils) tend to have slimmer waists, a reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and greater longevity.
- Blue Zones are places around the world where people live the longest and rarely suffer from the chronic diseases that plague Westernized countries – no surprise, beans are a staple in their diets.
- A recent study by Harvard professor Walter Willett suggests that early deaths could be cut by about ONE THIRD if everyone moved towards a plant-based diet. And not even completely plant-based, just mostly plants!
- Seventh-Day Adventists studies have shown us that those who follow a plant-based diet have a lower risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, less chronic disease, are on fewer medications, and have lower blood pressure.
While this recipe makes enough to feed a small crowd, feel free to prepare it for two (or yourself)! It makes great leftovers – simply reheat and enjoy!
FREEZER MEAL: You can also freeze the dish once it’s assembled. Be sure to package in a freezer-safe container for best results. To reheat frozen lasagna, cover with foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 60-75 minutes, or until heated in the center. Letting the dish thaw in the refrigerator overnight takes about 15 minutes off the cooking process.
You’ll find this recipe doesn’t require special equipment and you likely already have the necessary supplies. But, in case you’re wondering, here’s what we used: 9 x 13 casserole dish, large skillet, chef knife (*affiliate links).
Plant-Based Mexican Lasagna
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced or 1 tsp minced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 15-oz can corn, drained and rinsed or 1.5 cups frozen, thawed
- 2 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed or 1.5 cups cooked
- 2 cups leafy greens, chopped spinach, kale, chard, etc.
- 24 5" or 6" corn tortillas
- jalapeno minced
- fresh cilantro chopped
- nutritional yeast
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Add all sauce ingredients to medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove and about 2 tablespoons of water to a large skillet and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add peppers, corn, black beans and leafy greens, stir, reduce heat to low, and let cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Coat a 9x13" casserole dish with oil. Place 6 tortilla shells on the bottom of the dish. Spread approximately 2 cups of filling over shell and top with approximately half a cup of sauce.
- Repeat this process with all tortilla shells (4 layers of tortillas), reserving about 2 tablespoons of sauce to spread across the top shells.
- After spreading remaining sauce over the top shells, sprinkle with minced jalapeno and fresh cilantro (if using).
- Bake on middle shelf of oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with nutritional yeast (optional) and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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