Yes, I made this Mexican lasagna with Cinco de Mayo in mind. But truthfully, I really don’t need an excuse to bring Mexican food into my life. Rice, beans, tortillas and salsa all top out the list of foods I regularly enjoy in some capacity. And I think it’s fair to say by now that I am a huge fan of cashew cheese, including the cashew nacho cheese sauce that I used here.
While I was making this dish, it occurred to me that it would be really difficult to mess it up. I suppose you could. But there’s not much science that goes into layering things and baking them together for a casserole-like dish — and even less science when it comes to using tortillas rather than lasagna noodles because there’s less risk of overcooking the tortillas than the noodles. I tried to keep this recipe as simple as possible, but that doesn’t mean sauteed vegetables, black olives, veggie crumbles or any number of other ingredients won’t also work here.
Similarly, if you don’t have a blender or don’t feel like making the homemade cashew sauce, you could easily substitute a vegan cheese for the cashew cheese sauce. If you do that, I would suggest adding a little extra salsa to the middle layers.
For me, the best part of this lasagna — aside from the taste, of course! — was that you get to avoid the frustration of having to soften corn tortillas and roll them into enchiladas. If you’ve ever tried this before, you understand first-hand how nearly impossible it is to do this without breaking any tortillas. I sort of decided at some point that I wasn’t interested in dealing with that sort of annoyance in the kitchen anymore. Layering the tortillas solves that problem while keeping the flavor and spirit of enchiladas intact.
Enjoy with a side salad and/or your favorite accompaniments. For me, that would be chips and lots of guacamole. And margaritas, of course!
Note: if you’re budgeting your time for this meal, make sure to set out time to soak your cashews, if necessary. As I’ve said before, I never soak my cashews but am confident in my blender, which leaves no cashew pieces and gives me a smooth sauce. Without soaking my cashews, I was able to have this dinner ready in under an hour (including the 30 minutes needed for baking) If you’re less certain about your blender, though, be sure to soak your cashews first for at least 2 hours. Alternately, simply use my suggestion of spreading middle layers with salsa and sprinkling with a vegan cheese of choice.
- 2 cups good quality jarred salsa, not super chunky (plus more needed for nacho cheese)
- 12 or more corn tortillas (12-17, depending on size of baking dish)
- 1 15 oz. can refried beans (I prefer Amy's brand)
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 1 prepared recipe nacho cheese sauce from Ultimate Vegan Nachos
- Blue Corn tortilla chips, crushed, for topping (optional)
- Spread 1/2 cup salsa over bottom of an 11x11" (or similar sized) cassrole/baking dish. Then line the dish with a layer of tortillas so the bottom is covered but the tortillas are not overlapping too much (you may have to cut some).
- Spread 1/2 of the refried beans over tortillas. If the beans are too hard and not spreadable, thin out with a little salsa or water until they spread but are not too watery. Sprinkle beans with about 1/2 of the black beans and 1 cup of frozen corn. Pour 1/2 of the nacho cheese sauce evenly over beans and corn. Spread to cover if necessary.
- Add another layer of tortillas, then repeat above steps using remaining refried beans, black beans, corn and cheese sauce.
- Spread the final layer of tortillas on top of everything, then cover with remaining 1 1/2 cups salsa. Spread to cover tortillas evenly. Sprinkle with crushed blue corn tortilla chips if using.
- Bake lasagna, uncovered, in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before slicing. Serve warmed with desired toppings.