Turkey & Black Bean Taco Lasagna – {The Recipe Redux}

Add an adventurous twist to Taco Tuesday by turning traditional tacos into hearty Turkey & Black Bean Taco Lasagna. This recipe is simple and nutritious thanks to ingredients like lean ground turkey, a can of black beans, bell peppers, cottage cheese, cumin, chili powder, and lots of cilantro.

Instead of noodles and ricotta cheese, I use flour tortillas and low-fat cottage cheese to create luscious lasagna layers.

Turkey & Black Bean Taco Lasagna

Rib-sticking casseroles make me happy. With two grown boys at my table (Josh is 21, if you can believe it, and Simon is 18), I often hear this question right after dinner: “Mom, what’s for dinner?” They always seem to be hungry; it takes a lot of food to fill ’em up!

We’re all big fans of tacos, and casseroles are always a hit, so my taco transformation makes sense. At least to me it does.

Turkey & Black Bean Taco Lasagna

For this month’s Recipe Redux, we were challenged with cooking up a healthy new take on tacos.
My recipe for Turkey & Black Bean Taco Lasagna is just that.

I start with lean ground turkey, rich in protein and low in saturated fat. {3 ounces of ground white meat turkey has 98 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 0 grams saturated fat.} Turkey has a mild taste, which makes it the perfect canvas for a world of interesting flavors. For this dish, I turn to cumin, chili powder, salsa, and cilantro to amp up the flavor profile.

I also use a can of black beans in the recipe. Beans are technically a vegetable, which is no surprise given their stellar nutrient profile. Beans and other pulses are filled with fiber and potassium, and they’re fat free. And if you drain and rinse a can of beans, you’ll wash away 40% of the sodium.

Turkey & Black Bean Taco Lasagna

Lasagna and Italian cooking go hand in hand. But there’s no reason you can’t shake things up, which is why I turned to the cuisine of Mexico for my lasagna re-do. Flour tortillas replace noodles, and instead of ricotta cheese and pasta sauce, I use cottage cheese and salsa. My veggies of choice are beans, corn kernels, and bell peppers, and I use flavor boosters like cumin, chili powder, and cilantro.

Turkey & Black Bean Taco Lasagna

Turkey, Black Bean Taco Lasagna
 
Whenever I survey our online community, tacos come up as one of the top family favorites. They are versatile, and you can set out a build-your-own taco bar to give the kids more control of what goes into their taco shells. I took some creative license with tacos by turning them into a lasagna. Instead of noodles, I used flour tortillas, and for the filling, I cooked up a mix of lean ground turkey, bell pepper, black beans, corn kernels, salsa, cottage cheese (vs. ricotta), spices, and cheese.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or organic canola oil
  • 1 large bell pepper (any color), cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • One 16-ounce jar salsa
  • One 15½-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Five 8-inch flour tortillas, cut in half
  • One 16-ounce container low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. The key here is to soften and caramelize the peppers so their natural sweetness shines through. You don’t want to burn them though, so adjust the heat accordingly!
  2. Add the turkey, green onion, cumin, and chili powder and cook, stirring frequently until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add the salsa, black beans, corn, and cilantro to the skillet and stir to combine.
  4. To assemble the lasagna, arrange a third (about 2 cups) of the turkey mixture in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish. Layer half the tortillas over the meat, allowing them to overlap. Spoon half of the cottage cheese and ½ cup of the Cheddar cheese over the tortillas and spread evenly.
  5. Place 2 more cups of turkey mixture over the cottage cheese. Layer with the remaining tortillas and cottage cheese. End with the turkey mixture.
  6. Top with the remaining Cheddar cheese and bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts and the lasagna is heated through, about 25 minutes.
Notes
35% vitamin C, 20% calcium, 15% iron.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1 slice), Calories: 360, Fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 37g, Sodium: 670mg, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 36g,

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