Monday, July 18, 2011

Spicy Black Bean & Spinach Lasagna

I first made this years ago, experimenting for a main dish for a vegetarian friend, and I was surprised at how much I liked it.  It has everything that you like in a lasagna but more!  Cheesy spinach and roasted peppers, spicy black beans with sauce! My husband says all it needs is meat; sausage, burger, pork... but every once in while, even meat-eaters should give it a rest.  But, I have to say there is lots of satisfaction from this dish, even without meat.

There are many variations of this recipe online, but I added the roasted red peppers because it adds to the other flavors in the dish. It makes a 9x13 pan, but you'll see by my pictures that I actually made 3 small individual dishes for a girlfriend dinner, and then 2 small 4x7 dishes that will be great later on, I even froze one of them. 

Serves about 8
Makes a 9x13 pan, or 2-3 smaller pans
2 eggs
15 oz ricotta
6 oz jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves
10 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
16 oz black beans, drained & rinsed
2 tsp cumin
1 large jar (2 lb 13 oz) pasta sauce, I like Classico Spicy Red Pepper

9-12 lasagna noodles

Here's a cool trick, if you don't have no-boil noodles, you can still use the regular kind by soaking them on a cookie sheet for several minutes while I mix together everything else.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together first 7 ingredients (eggs thru salt) and 1 cup of cheese. Set aside.
Partially mash the beans; stir into pasta sauce and cumin.

Spread 1/3 bean/sauce mixture on bottom of lightly greased 13x9 baking dish. Layer with 3 noodles, 1/2 spinach mixture, 1 cup cheese.
Repeat layers. (Then you'll  put your last 3 noodles on top of the cheese, then cover those with last 1/3 of bean/sauce, and last cup of cheese.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

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