Every time we have a casual get-together or a family celebration we have special dishes that make their way to our dinner table. Lasagna is one of them. Besides Mexican traditional dishes such as birria, menudo and tamales, a hearty spicy lasagna is one we also include on our party menu.
Because it’s so filling and layered with so many ingredients, it’s an easy dish to transport and prepare for dinner. Lasagna is also great for Sunday dinner prep because it keeps and freezes well for a mid week meal when we only have time to re-heat leftovers.
To give this dish a tasty Latin flavor, I’ve incorporated spicy chorizo and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. To give it extra heat, add chopped jalapeños or a tad more red pepper flakes. Your family will love this new twist on this classic dish everyone loves.
Recipe developed for El Mejor Nido.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 4.5 ounces Mexican chorizo, cooked (about ½ cup)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Maggi Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Nescafe Clasico Pure Instant Coffee Granules
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
- 12 lasagna noodles
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 1 can (13 ounces) tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Cook beef, stirring occasionally, in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; add chorizo, bouillon, 1 teaspoon black pepper, oregano and coffee granules. Stir to mix well. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add diced tomatoes with juice; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Spray two large baking sheets with cooking spray. Drain noodles and lay flat to dry in single layer on baking sheets.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Combine ricotta cheese, egg, Cotija cheese and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.
- Add ½ cup tomato sauce to bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add a layer of 3 lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, then second layer of 3 lasagna noodles. Add ½ of the meat mixture, a third layer of 3 lasagna noodles, 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese and remaining meat mixture. Top with final layer of 3 noodles, remaining tomato sauce and remaining 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese. Sprinkle with basil.
- Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until cheese begins to bubble. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.