Who says lasagna has to be Italian? When I think about lasagna, I think about layers and layers of veggies. So, tonight, let's make Mexican lasagna.
Therefore, the secret to this virtually fat-free lasagna is the layers of fresh veggies, the potato-based nacho cheese sauce, and vegan fat-free refried beans.
Actually, the layering melds all the flavors together like a hot comforting nacho without the calories and fat in corn chips.
Although most people believe lasagna originated in Italy, debates exist claiming its origin in Greece. Others suggest England. We typically eat a red sauce lasagna loaded with vegetables; at least that’s how we vegans eat it.
Some people use zucchini or sweet potatoes to avoid noodles. I like to mix it up, trying different ways to cook pasta and keep it interesting.
SHORT-CUTS TO STRESS-FREE VEGAN COOKING
In my world, it's all about making it easy and taking less time. For that reason, there are always options when making vegan dishes everyone will love.
First, if using lentils for this recipe, try the vacuum-sealed brown lentils at Trader Joes in the produce section.
Not only are Trader Joe's Lentils cooked perfectly, but they also are oil-free and delicious. Not to mention, it will save you 30 minutes of prep time.
Obviously, if you choose the alternative meat option, the products are in your freezer section. As always, I recommend Bocca Original Crumbles since they are fat-free and super easy to use.
Another quick tip, when making lasagna, is using Pre-baked Ready Lasagna Noodles. Gluten-free and already set for the pan, these lasagna noodles save a ton of time!
Yet another tip is to buy Ortega Vegetarian Re-fried Beans, which are made without oil. Instead of making your own refried beans, sometimes, the canned work just as well.
MAKING THE NACHO CHEESE SAUCE
Because this recipe calls for Nacho “Cheese” Sauce, again, it is your choice to whip up a batch of vegetable nacho cheese sauce or use your own store-bought favorite.
For this particular Mexican lasagna recipe, you only need half the Nacho “Cheese” Sauce recipe, but because I plan, I make a whole batch to use it for something else later in the week.
Of course, shredded vegan cheese can also be substituted if you are in a hurry, based on your own personal dietary plan.
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN LASAGNA RECIPE
First, saute the onions and garlic in a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat until the onions are translucent. Then, add the lentils or alternative meat chosen. Next, add a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and a packet of taco seasoning.
While the lasagna filling cooks, reduce heat and simmer until fluids are all absorbed. In the meantime, it is time to make the sauces to layer in the Mexican lasagna.
Because refried beans are thick and difficult to spread, I put them in a large cup blender with a cup of vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Now, it can be spread on the layers of Mexican lasagna.
In a second blender cup, I slightly blend 1 can of tomato sauce and add a cup of Green Chile Sauce, and stir together ( or you can use your favorite salsa).
Using a 9 X 13-inch pan, pour half the tomato/green chile mixture into the pan's base. As a result, your noodles will not stick to the bottom of your pan.
Now, it's time to layer! Place the Pre-baked Ready Lasagna Noodles slightly crossing over one another in the base of the pan. Then, pour the refried bean mixture on top of the noodles, spreading to cover the noodles. Next, add a layer of meat filling, followed by Skinny Nacho “Cheese” Sauce.
Once the cheese is drizzled, begin again with a layer of noodles, then bean mixture, ending with the tomato mixture and drizzles of cheese sauce, like this.
For serving, I keep about a half cup of cheese sauce to drizzle on the top of the lasagna right before I am ready to serve it. Also, I make Skinny Pico de Gallo as a garnish as well.
While the Mexican lasagna cooks for 30 minutes covered in the oven, I make the Skinny Pico de Gallo.
When the Mexican lasagna is ready, remove the aluminum foil, and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes. Then, please remove it from the oven and cover it again. Let it set up for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Another cooking tip to help is that the longer you let a lasagna or a Vegan Meatloaf set up, the better it cuts, and the easier it is to serve.
Sometimes, I even cook the Vegetarian Mexican lasagna a day ahead and then reheat it, which is another option.
HOW TO SERVE THE MEXICAN LASAGNA RECIPE
To make a beautiful presentation, cut individual pieces of Mexican lasagna, and plate them.
I love Mexican food and all ethnic food, but this Mexican lasagna recipe is to die for. And if you enjoy this recipe, try similar recipes below.
- Cauliflower Nachos
- Potato Nachos…A Game-Day Treat!
- Crunch Wrap Supreme
- Coleslaw with Avocado & Cilantro
- Sweet Potato Tacos
- Taco Tuesday Skinny Potato Tacos
- Skinny Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Cream
- Roasted Vegetable Tacos
- Oil-Free Lentil Tacos
- Tater Tot Nachos
- Taco Lettuce Cups
- Green Plant-Based Potato and Kale Enchiladas
- Vegan Sour Cream
Tomato/ Green Chile Layer
- 15 ounces roasted diced tomatoes slightly blended
- 1 cup Green Chile Sauce or salsa of choice
Refried Bean Layer
- 1 can vegan oil-free Refried Beans
- 1 cup water
Nacho Cheese Sauce
- ½ recipe Nacho Cheese Sauce or vegan cheese sauce or cheese of choice
- ½ recipe Pico de Gallo
- Extra Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Saute onion and garlic in a non-stick skillet on medium-low onions are until translucent.
- Use a little vegetable broth if onions are sticking to the pan.
- Add cooked lentils or alternative meat.
- Cook until heated through
- Add 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Then add taco seasoning packet, and stir.
- Reduce heat to low and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed and everything is browned.
- Then, prepare the other ingredients.
REFRIED BEAN PUREE
- Empty a can of vegan refried beans into a large blender cup
- Add 1 cup of water.
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside
TOMATO/GREEN CHILE SAUCE MIXTURE
- Using the second can of fire-roasted tomatoes, blend slightly (pulse) to break up diced tomatoes but not completely puree them.
- Add 1 cup Green Chile Sauce or salsa of choice and stir together.
NACHO CHEESE SAUCE
- Follow directions on the attached linkNacho Cheese Sauce (you only need half a recipe, but I make the whole recipe to sue for another recipe later) (you only need half a recipe, but I make the whole recipe to sue for another recipe later)
GARNISH (PICO de GALLO)
- Follow directions on the attached link Pico de Gallo (you only need half a recipe)
LAYERING THE LASAGNA
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a 9 X 13 inch pan, pour half the tomato/green chile sauce in the bottom of the pan.
- Make sure you spread it around, so it is covering the entire base of the pan.
- Then, put a layer of oven-ready noodles on the bottom, overlapping the noodles a little to form a barrier.
- Now, pour half of the refried bean puree over the noodles, and spread to cover all the noodles.
- Add half the meat mixture from the pan.
- Next, drizzle with skinny nacho cheese.
- Then, add another layer of noodles, followed by bean puree, meat mixture, and ending with tomato/green chile mixture and cheese on top.
- Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove aluminum foil and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, recover with aluminum foil, and sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
- Cut individual pieces and place them in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
- Drizzle with extra cheese sauce.
- Garnish with Pico de Gallo
- The lasagna can be made a day ahead and reheated.
- The Mexican lasagna will last one week in the refrigerator.
- Mexican lasagna can be frozen.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂