Taco Casserole (aka Taco Lasagna)

taco casseroleCinco de Mayo is coming up and what else do you need besides Taco Casserole? It’s nowhere near authentic but it sure is comforting and yummy.  This recipe is actually filled with lean protein, veggies and only a small amount of cheese on the top.  To make it more indulgent, feel free to double the amount of cheese and sprinkle it between each layer in addition to the top.

Taco Casserole
Yield: 6 large pieces
Total Time: 1 hour

• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 lb ground turkey
• 1 package low sodium taco seasoning
• 1 medium zucchini or summer squash, small dice
• 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 red bell pepper, medium dice
• 1 cup black olives, sliced (plus more to garnish)
• 2 large roma tomatoes, chopped (plus more to garnish)
• 8-10 oz enchilada sauce, reserve 1/4 cup
• 9 ounces lasagna noodles, cooked (15 noodles)
• 1 heaping cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
• 2 green onions, chopped (for garnish, optional)

Saute the onion with a sprinkle of salt until translucent over medium heat, about 7 minutes. Add turkey and taco seasoning and cook fully, about 8 minutes. Add zucchini, beans, garlic, red bell pepper, olives, and tomato, season with salt and pepper, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  In a 9 x 13 baking dish, spread the 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place one layer of noodles on top of the sauce, overlapping as necessary (I had 4-5 noodles per layer). Sprinkle on 1/3 of the turkey mixture and 3 tablespoons enchilada sauce. Repeat layers so there are 3 layers of noodles. On the top layer of noodles, spread turkey mixture, remaining enchilada sauce and cover with cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center is warm and the cheese has melted, then uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes to firm up. Sprinkle with olives, tomatoes, and green onion to garnish; serve hot.

taco lasagna

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