I found out about “Texas lasagna” when I was browsing through Pinterest trying to figure out new ways to use ground beef and ground turkey. We do all the standards in our house – tacos, burgers, meatloaf – but I was definitely in the mood for a new recipe to mix it up.
Essentially, Texas lasagna is a southwestern style casserole. Instead of traditional lasagna noodles, you use corn tortillas. Instead of mozzarella and ricotta, you use cheddar and cottage cheese. And of course, lots of yummy seasonings like chili powder and paprika give it an extra punch of flavor. It sounded like the perfect way to mix up our ground beef routine.
Let me step back a minute and address the cottage cheese before ya’ll go running away. I’m going to be real with you – I do NOT like cottage cheese in it’s plain form. One of my only memories of eating it was back and my dietetic internship when we had to try diets in different textures and I was forced to taste-test regular and modified versions of cottage cheese. Ugh.
The thing is, though, I know that cottage cheese can be really quite good for you! It’s rich in slowly-digesting protein and it also has a particular amino acid called leucine that’s particularly beneficial for recovery after exercise. So I’ve always been on the lookout to find a way that I could possibly enjoy it.
So in addition to solving my need for a new ground beef recipe, this Texas lasagna has also effectively solved my cottage cheese dilemma. I like it in this recipe! The cottage cheese lends a creaminess and saltiness to the dish and somehow works perfectly with the cheddar and tomato flavors. It’s like a cottage cheese fiesta for the skeptics & haters! 😉
I started developing this recipe by looking at one I found on The Recipe Critic which sounded divine – but just a little more indulgent and calorie-dense than I was personally looking to make. So I changed up quite a few things to make this my own better-for-you version:
- Used just a few basic seasonings I had at home, rather than pre-packaged taco seasoning (though either would work fine)
- Switched from regular canned tomatoes and sauce to no-added-salt versions
- Went with a lean 90/10 ground beef (you could also use 93/7 or you could use ground turkey)
- Cut back on the amount of cheese and the number of tortillas
- Skipped the optional toppings
The result is still rich, yet slightly more waistline friendly. Give it a whirl and let me know what ya think!
- 1.25 pounds 90/10 ground beef
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, no added salt
- 15 oz can of tomato sauce, no added salt
- 1 cup low fat (1%) cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 8 corn tortillas (6 inch) torn
- 1.75 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, mix egg and cottage cheese in a bowl.
- In a 9x13 dish, add half the meat mixture, followed by half the tortillas (go 3 across and split the 4th in half to layer over any gaps at the top - see photo in post if this doesn't make sense!), half the cottage cheese/egg mixture, and half the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers one more time.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and enjoy!
- 449 calories, 23 g fat, 11 g sat fat, 550 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 36 g protein, Vitamin A: 28%, Vitamin C: 27%, Calcium: 32%, Iron: 21%