Feb 10, 2014

Vegan Mexican Lasagna

This tasty casserole is a great way to feed a hungry crowd! Put it together ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven to warm. For the sauce I made a variation of an enchilada sauce using a tomato base, which worked perfectly. One word about corn tortillas… don’t try to find them without added chemicals in a regular supermarket. I’ve looked and looked. You will need to buy them at a health food store. Trader Joe’s also has them. Or you can make your own!

Wanna know what I like best about this dish? RESISTANT STARCH. Mm-hm. It’s loaded with it. Beans and corn are both very high in resistant starch. What is it? See my post on Roasted Red Pepper Polenta Pie to learn about the benefits of resistant starch.


  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen/thawed corn kernels
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • vegan cheese shreds (optional)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

~ for the sauce

  • 6-8 dried red peppers (I used Guajillo, but you can use whatever kind of peppers you like.)
  • 1 carton Pomi brand strained tomatoes (see note)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 TBS ground cumin
  • 2 dates
  • 1-2 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce (optional)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

~ for the “refried” beans

  • 6 cups cooked, unsalted pinto beans (or 4 cans, drained)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 TBS chili powder


  1. Prepare the peppers by removing the stems and the seeds. Soak them in water for about 3 hours, then drain and rinse.
  2. Place peppers in a food processor with all remaining sauce ingredients and process until smooth.
  3. Place the sauce in a saucepan and simmer until warm. Put a lid on it! The sauce has a tendency to spurt up when it gets hot.
  4. For the beans, water sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is tender. Place the onions and garlic into a food processor with about ¾ of the beans and the spices and process until smooth. Return to pan and saute until warm.
  5. Lightly grease a large, deep casserole dish.
  6. Build the casserole by first coating the bottom of the casserole dish with some of the sauce, then lay in 6 of the tortillas, then beans, then corn and top with a bit more sauce. Repeat this one more time, then top with the remaining 6 tortillas.
  7. You should have enough sauce left over to cover the top of the casserole. Sprinkle with the sliced olives and, if using, some shredded vegan cheese and a some smoked paprika.
  8. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes (or longer if you’ve assembled it ahead and refrigerated it) until hot.
Serves 8-10. Enjoy!

NOTE: The reason that I recommend Pomi brand tomato products is because they are packaged in non-reactive container AND because they are purely tomatoes. Nothing added, no salt! Almost all supermarkets carry Pomi tomato products.

Healthy trails,

6 responses to “Vegan Mexican Lasagna”

  1. jocelina says:

    Yum, I'm getting really hungry reading about this! Maybe I can get my mom to make this.

  2. Helyn says:

    Yes you should! Or we can make it together when you come visit!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    can I use this tomato sauce recipe on spaghetti?

  4. Helyn says:

    Yes, you certainly could! You will want to simmer it for about 30 minutes to an hour though instead of just warming it. Enjoy!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wasn't able to find whole dried red peppers anywhere but I was able to find them diced. If it's not too much work for you, about how many tablespoons of dried diced red peppers would correspond to 6-8 whole?

  6. Helyn says:

    Hmm, I would guess about 1 cup would be about right. Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *