I remember the first time I tasted cilantro. It was at Taco Bell long ago (I haven’t been to a Taco Bell in over 10 years). Some sort of steak taco, gordita or something. I thought the meat had gone rancid and I spat it out. I couldn’t make a big enough deal out of it to my friends how awful that mouthful was. Yep. I’m a member of the I Hate Cilantro Facebook group. That said – I’ve learned to tolerate it, and even acknowledge it’s rightful place is in salsa. Nonetheless you will never find it in any of my Mexican recipes. Feel free to plop it all over yours, though.
It took me a while to warm up to the idea of Mexican lasagna. Realizing that most folks make it with tortillas and not pasta noodles helped a great deal. Bottom line – it’s kind of like deconstructed enchiladarritotacos. And it’s freaking good. . This dish comes together fairly quickly, in spite of what it sounds like. Just keep all your ingredients close by to the baking dish when you’re ready to layer. If you have someone else in the house, it is a fun dish to assemble together. Finally, It is very unusual for me to include ingredients like a can of cream of chicken soup – this is to keep the prep time and clean up minimized. The anal side of me wants to make my own creamy base, taco seasoning and refried beans, but the that’s-a-lot-of-freaking-work side of me says “hellz yeah, Campbells!”. If you want to make an even bigger mess, try making my No Fail Mexican Rice for a side dish.
Mexican Lasagna With No Cilantro!
Mexican food the way it is supposed to be – delicious and without the vile weed.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the sides of a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
In a small covered pan, heat the refried beans on low.
In a medium pot over medium heat, combine enchilada sauce and cream of chicken soup. It will look a little weird at first. Stir or whisk well, it will eventually combine. Lower heat to simmer or warm.
In a large pan, heat tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add pork and saute until almost cooked through, breaking it up with a spatula and flipping as needed. Towards the end, add the onions and cook until meat is no longer pink anywhere. Remove from heat and stir in taco seasoning and tomatoes.
Ladle enough of the sauce/soup mixture to cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Make a layer of tortilla halves next, facing the cut sides towards the walls of the baking dish. Cover any remaining gaps with adequate pieces of tortilla. It does not have to be pretty 🙂
Spread half of the warmed refried beans over the tortilla layer, cover with half the remaining sauce, then half the meat & veggies, and then half the shredded cheese.
Cover that layer with another layer of halved tortillas.
Add a layer each of the remaining refried beans, remaining sauce, remaining meat and veggies and the sliced black olives.
Cover with a final layer of tortillas, followed by the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with chives.
Cook at 350 F for 30 – 35 minutes until cheese is melted and just starting to brown.
Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes to cool
Dive in! Don't forget the sour cream!
The ground pork can easily be subbed out with ground beef, if desired.