Sloppy Joes are such an easy meal to make and one guaranteed to be loved by your entire family. Lasagna is another very popular dish. What would happen if you mixed the two? You get a fantastic new family favorite, today’s Sloppy Joe Mexican Lasagna!
This casserole has the ricotta and Parmesan cheese layer we all love, sandwiched between a mixture of ground beef and pasta seasoned with your favorite Mexican seasoning mix, chili powder, and blended with tomato sauce. It is surprising how well everything goes together – like they were meant to be.
I love easy casseroles that often taste even better on the second day. Gluten-free pasta doesn’t hold up quite as well as regular pasta, but it is still good for leftovers.
While this is a fast recipe to make, you can make all the components for this dish in advance and then be able to assemble and bake it in no time. This would help if you’ve got company coming over on a weeknight – much less time spent in the kitchen and more time to be with your guests!
You could also use the sauce to make regular sloppy joes too. They will have a Mexican twist to them and be absolutely delicious. A really nice change of pace for The Artist and me! I serve ours over gluten-free buns or slices of bread and we really enjoy them.
Enjoy this Sloppy Joe Mexican Lasagna. Serve it the next time you have a bunch of kids or a gang of friends over and they will love it!
Have a fabulous weekend and I will see you back here for Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Undercooking the pasta just a little bit helps keep it from falling apart after baking!
McCormick makes a gluten-free taco seasoning mix that is very good. Look for the green stripe across the front of the package indicating it is gluten-free. For an easy to find good gluten-free pasta, we like Barilla brand. It is a corn-rice blend that holds up well in cooking and baking.
- Meat and Pasta Layer
- 6 to 8 oz penne pasta (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 medium red bell peppers, stem and seeds discarded, finely chopped
- 1 envelope taco seasoning mix (gluten-free if needed, like McCormick brand)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 cups (16 oz) tomato sauce
- Cheese Layer
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Additional chopped green onions, for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a 9-inch square (2-1/2 qt) baking dish next to the stove.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, pulling it out of the water just a little before done and rinsing with cold water. You want them to be al dente because they will finish cooking in the sauce and while baking in the oven.
- Make the Meat Layer: In a large saucepan, cook the beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking up clumps and drain. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 4 minutes until softened. Stir in the taco mix and water, bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until thickened. Add the chili powder, cumin, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until some of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in the cooked pasta.
- Make the Cheese Layer: In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan, green onions, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To Assemble: Spoon half of the meat/pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with the ricotta mixture, smoothing it out to cover most of the first layer. And then spread the remaining meat over the top. Sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle the top with chopped green onions and serve.
- Yield: about 4 servings
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