Vegetarian Lasagna Southwestern Style

lasagnaRecently I met up for lunch with a vegetarian friend of mine. She is health and cost-conscious (successfully so, I might add) so she makes meals at home over the weekend to freeze for the week ahead. She told me about what she made in her last round of cooking and it sounded so awesome that I asked for the recipe to share here.

So I bring you… Vegetarian lasagna, Southwestern style! The beans, corn, cheese, and salsa layered between classic lasagna sheets give this dish a Mexican flavor. Whether you are vegetarian or not it is certainly worth trying.

Best of all, if you want to do what my friend does and freeze food for the future then this recipe is perfect. You can either prep the lasagna then cover with aluminum foil or cling wrap and freeze the whole tray before cooking or you can cook the tray then divvy up equal portions to be refrigerated in separate containers. This recipe yields 9 servings.

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 C. salsa (you can make your own or buy it at the store)
  • - 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2 C. corn (can be frozen or cut from a fresh cob)
  • 1 (15 oz.) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C. (2 oz.) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 C. (4 oz.) low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 C. (4 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large egg white
  • 15 lasagna noodles, cooked

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add onion and cook until begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add salsa, corn, beans, cumin, and half of garlic.

3. Process ricotta in food processor for 1 minute or until smooth. Add egg white, cream cheese, 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, and remaining garlic. Pulse 3 to 4 times.

4. Coat a 13″x9″ baking dish with cooking spray. Spread even layer of 3/4 C. bean mixture on bottom of dish. Place 3 noodles over mixture to cover. Add 1 C cheese mixture, 3/4 C. bean mixture, and 1/4 C. cheddar cheese. Repeat layer pattern until all ingredients have been used, ending with bean mixture followed by remaining 1/4 C. grated Parmesan.

5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and add 1/4 C. of cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered for additional 10 minutes until top layer is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.