So I take it from the response on Friday’s post that pressure cookers are back, baby. Holy moly! I loved reading all of the comments. I learned so much and it’s made me excited to share some pressure cooker adventuring (like the dulce de leche I made on Saturday). I’ll try to post a few pressure cooker recipes each month (not to replace what I’m already posting but in addition to – shall we say Thursdays? Sure!) and update you when I’ve made a recipe from my site in the ol’ pressure cooker.
But today, let’s talk about this lasagna recipe. Not pressure cooker friendly (I don’t know, I suppose you could get all crazy and try it; at the very least you could get your black beans ready in a jiffy with the pressure cooker if using dried), this black bean lasagna has been a long time family favorite. I remember making it all the time for Brian’s sister, Amy, and her husband, David, when we lived in Northern Utah almost a decade ago and they had just moved there from Oregon. They were our dinner pals and I loved making food for them since my kids were all four years and younger and I was in those years of dinner time = food being thrown constantly on the floor while little Houdinis figured out how to unbuckle their high chairs/boosters. Feeding real, live adults was a pleasure (as long as they were ok eating amid the aforementioned chaos).
I’m pretty sure this cheesy black bean lasagna is still Brian’s favorite lasagna variation which is quite impressive since although he enjoys a meatless meal now and again, I don’t think he’s ever actually requested one besides this. He asks for black bean lasagna quite a bit, especially if we’ve been on a long run of bad dinner experiments. Those are never the best of times.
While it doesn’t necessarily fit into any specific food category (not really all Mexican, certainly not 100% Italian), it’s a beautiful mess of smoky flavors, tender beans and lots of saucy goodness. Hearty, simple, and delicious. Oh, and don’t forget cheesy. Yum!
You can use either crushed or diced tomatoes - a lot will depend on how you want the texture of the finished lasagna to be (you could even use a 15-ounce can of each). Same with ricotta or cottage cheese. I've made this with both and when I use cottage cheese, I like to drain any excess liquid and lightly blend it (not to smithereens - just a few short pulses).
If you don't have no-boil lasagna noodles on hand (I prefer the Barilla brand or the whole wheat ones at Target), you can use normal noodles but boil them several minutes short of al dente and pat dry before using.
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 can (6-ounces) tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cans (15-ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 28 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes (see note above)
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups (about 15 ounces) ricotta cheese or cottage cheese (see note above)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (depending on the flavor you want)
- 3 cups (about 12 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 9-12 no-boil lasagna noodles (enough for 3 layers)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent.
- Stir in the tomato paste, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and mix until the ingredients come together. Add the beans, crushed or diced tomatoes, and broth. Using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, lightly mash the beans. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta or cottage cheese, parsley or cilantro, and 2 cups of the cheese.
- Spread about 1/2 cup or so of the sauce mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer three noodles, 1/3 of the sauce mixture followed by 1/3 of the cheese mixture (just dollop it in spoonfuls, it doesn't need to be a completely even layer). Repeat two more times. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese on top.
- Cover with lightly greased foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the lasagna is heated through. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Source: adapted over the years from my Aunt Marilyn by way of my old recipe binders