Okay, I totally made that up! I got the idea for this dish from a recipe for vegetarian enchiladas from a Sunset magazine years ago. The original recipe called for making individual mini-casseroles but that was TOO much work!! I made a few adjustments to the recipe, including making it as one big casserole. The assembly process for this dish reminded me of making a lasagna but with Mexican themed ingredients-- and TACO-SAGNA was born!
This dish is really versatile-- it can be made primarily with pantry items (canned beans, sauce, etc) for an easy midweek dinner, it is completely vegetarian (if you make sure your refried beans are vegetarian) OR you can make everything fresh and have a great whole-foods dinner filled with healthy & nutritious veggies, legumes & whole grains (masa used to make corn tortillas is considered whole grain- did ya know?)
If you're looking for a dish to try out "meatless mondays" or take to a potluck that has vegetarians in attendance, this is a perfect dish-- I guarantee you won't miss the meat at all!
12 corn tortillas
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (or 2 cups homemade)
1 packet taco seasoning mix (or 2 Tbs homemade-I like this recipe)
1 16 oz can refried beans (or 2 cups homemade) I like the lowfat refried black beans
1 16 oz can pinto or black beans (or 2 cups homemade)
1 16 oz can corn kernels (or 2 cups frozen)
10-16 oz fresh steamed/wilted baby spinach leaves (drained, squeezed & chopped-- can sub frozen)
1-2 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, monterrey jack work well)
1 2.25 oz can sliced black olives
1) Pour tomato sauce into small bowl, mix in taco seasoning, set aside.
2) Cut tortillas in half.
3) Place 8 tortilla halves over bottom of 9x13 baking dish/casserole. Placement isn't particularly important, just try to mostly cover the bottom of the dish.
4) Spoon 1/3 of sauce over tortillas.
5) Spread refried beans over tortilla layer.
6) Add pinto beans.
7) Place 8 tortilla halves over bean filling layer. Again, try to basically cover the bottom.
8) Spoon next 1/3 of sauce over tortillas.
9) Evenly spread corn kernels over tortilla layer.
10) Using your fingers pinch apart spinach into small evenly distributed clumps.
11) Place last 8 tortilla halves over spinach/corn layer.
12) Spoon last 1/3 of sauce over tortillas.
13) Sprinkle 1-2 cups of shredded cheese over the top
14) Top with sliced olives (if desired)
15) COVER with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
16) Casserole is done when cheese is melted and edges are bubbly. Makes approx. 8 servings.
Serving suggestion: Top taco-sagna squares with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped chives.
Final Note: As well as being able to freeze this entire casserole uncooked, the cooked leftovers will also freeze & reheat beautifully!! This week is a bit of a freezer refill week. Yesterday, I made a big batch of freezer burritos for hubby and myself and today I made one taco-sagna for dinner and one for the freezer. I'm trying to take my own advice from Sunday's tip!!