The tortillas in this dish take on many different textures. The one on the bottom gets soft from all the broth and turns into a sort of giant lasagna noodle while the top tortilla gets crunchy and sort of turns into a cheese cracker. Also, this dish is fairly inexpensive to make. It has the lasagna-esque layers but doesn’t require expensive ground beef, expensive cheeses, and cooking lasagna noodles. Again, I can’t decide which layer I liked best in this Mexican Lasagna; the soft, flavor-filled bottom layer or the crunchy, cheesy top layer? Either way, it was so yummy I wished I had taken pictures throughout so I could do this justice. Alas, all I have is the picture I took with my phone.
Update: I made this recipe again but used ground chicken instead of chicken breast. Delicious. Also, I made it in my Pampered Chef Rock Croc instead of a spring-form pan. I cooked all the ‘filling’ in the Rock Croc and then removed it to a mixing bowl. Then sprayed the pan with non-stick cooking spray and started making my layers. It worked perfectly! (While you may not have a special pan like this from Pampered Chef, you just need to know – any round casserole dish will do.)
1 tsp cooking oil
2 small chicken breasts or 1 large, salt and pepper, garlic powder
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies, DO NOT DRAIN
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2-3 T smoky Chipotle pepper sauce (I recommend using 1 Tablespoon and allowing it to simmer for a while and then add more if you like more heat.)
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed in your palms before added
1 1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese
4 8 inch flour tortillas
1/4 C sour cream
Place teaspoon of cooking oil in sautee pan and bring to medium high heat. Add chicken breast that have been sprinkled with salt and pepper and garlic powder. Brown lightly and then add drained beans and un-drained tomatoes. Put a lid on the dish and allow the chicken to simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred or chop the chicken and place it back in with the beans and tomatoes. Now add Worcestershire and chipotle pepper sauce. Add the thyme and allow to simmer another couple minutes. Taste the sauce now and see if it needs anything. Salt? Pepper? More hot pepper sauce?
Prepare a pan that can hold 8 inch tortillas with a little space around the edge. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray. (I used a spring form pan lined with foil. Which was convenient because I just popped the spring form pan open and removed the lasagna via the foil.)
Place a tortilla in the bottom. Place one ladle (with juice) atop the tortilla. Sprinkle some cheese over the chicken mixture. Top with another tortilla, another ladle of chicken mixture with juice, cheese and continue until you’ve layered four tortillas. Top the last tortilla with cheese and any remaining broth (not chicken and beans – just the broth – that’s left in the pot).
Place pan in preheated 325º F oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Using a sharp knife cut into wedges and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Using a pie server is helpful in removing it from the pan. I have this recipe written as 4 large wedges but it could easily be sliced into 6 wedges to feed 6 adults with a nice salad to complete the meal. ENJOY!