“After 16 years of marriage, I am still finding out new facts about my husband. For instance just last week I discovered I really didn’t know my husbands favorite style of food. I’m a soup girl. But I noticed that the soups I’ve been making lately have not been devoured by my family as quickly as they used to be. Admittingly, I have been making a LOT of soup this winter so it could be they were just getting tired of it. When I asked my husband why he wasn’t eating the soup he announced that he prefers hearty dishes, substantial meals . . . like casseroles. Casseroles?! He told me years ago he wasn’t a casserole man. I guess his idea of casseroles were bland gratin based dishes he had growing up. But since we have switched to a vegetarian diet, he really enjoys casserole type meals like vegetarian lasagana, mexican guisido and the like. I knew immediately that I’d have to find some new recipes to toy with that would give us some alternatives to the ones I already make regularly. Something with a different flavor than your average lasagna. I remembered I had come across a well received and delicious looking dish that Natalie at foodblogandthedog.com had posted recently. She called it Mexican Tortilla Lasagna with Roasted Salsa Verde. It was a savory blend of roasted red pepper sauce, sauted mushrooms and grilled veggies layered on tortillas instead of noodles. I knew immediately this would be the change I was looking for. It would add a new twist on my husbands request for a “casserole”. I realized that I was missing quite a few ingredients, but I found that this recipe is wonderfully versatile. The end result was a delicious roasted and grilled bell pepper and mushroom lasagna layered with whole wheat tortillas and smothered in roasted red pepper sauce. I use feta cheese in this dish but if you are a goat cheese fan, this would be amazing with goat cheese. This is already on our households top 10 delicious list!”
-To make this vegan, see footnote
-Adapted from foodblogandthedog.com
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 – 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 3 small or 2 medium, very ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp vegetarian worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 1/2- 2 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 12-18 oz fresh mixed mushrooms, sliced or roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- canola oil (or any high heat oil)
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
- 2 green peppers, seeded and sliced
- 2 leeks, white and pale green parts rinsed, cut lengthwise in half, then sliced
- 8 whole wheat flour tortillas
- 1 cup light sour cream (See footnotes to make vegan)
- 4 oz feta cheese or goat cheese (See footnotes to make vegan)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (See footnotes to make vegan)
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- In food processor, mix the drained roasted red peppers, tomatoes, chipotle chile powder, sugar, cumin and worcestershire sauce until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and saute onions with a pinch of salt for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the processor with the red pepper sauce and blend again until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently until reduced to about half and thickened. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add in the mushrooms and saute about 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic, thyme, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Saute a few more minutes until mushrooms are tender. Set aside.
- On a large griddle or oversized skillet, heat canola or a high heat resistent oil over medium or medium high heat. In single layer batches, grill the zucchini, red and green peppers and leeks until tender and partly browned (see photos). Set veggies aside as they are cooked and add in more in single layer until all veggies are cooked.
- In casserole or lasagna dish, layer 2 tortillas on the bottom, overlapping then tearing away the double layer (see photo). The pieces you tear away can be placed in the corners where there may be a gap in tortillas.
- Take 3-4 tbsp red pepper sauce and spread on the tortillas
- Scatter 1/3 of the veggies over the sauce.
- Spread 1/3 of the sour cream over the veggies. (See footnotes to make vegan)
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the feta cheese over the mixture. (See footnotes to make vegan)
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheddar cheese on the top. (See footnotes to make vegan)
- Repeat the layers 2 more times starting with the tortillas.
- On top of the last layer, put two more tortillas, the rest of the red pepper sauce (you should only have a few tablespoons left) and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
- Cover the dish and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove cover then bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned.
- Serve with salsa and guacomole or my avocado butter.
Make sure you start the red pepper sauce first as the it will need to be reduced down to about half. While it is cooking, you can start on the other items.
The red pepper sauce is awesome in this. You might want to double the recipe so you have extras to garnish with.
I tried this with a mix of fresh and dried, reconstituted mushrooms but found the fresh were more tender. The dried were too meaty and tough in this dish.
If you love goat cheese, this dish would go beautifully with it. My family doesn’t especially love it so I use feta but oh, how lovely this would be with goat cheese!
To make this vegan, eliminate the cheddar and feta cheese and substitute the sour cream for a vegan one. Double or triple the sour cream amount and then double the red pepper sauce recipe and spoon a few extra tablespoons along with the sour cream as well as on top of the tortilla layer as called for. On the last layer, spread at least 4-5 tbsp sauce on top and leave off cheddar cheese.