Anytime you can get your kids to eat something healthy is a win—whether they realize they’re eating it or not! Mexican food has been a weekly menu item in our house for several years and I make enough for leftovers (even freeze it)! Secret is—I substitute cauliflower and quinoa in place of rice, and black beans in place or in addition to meat/protein in this easy and delicious Mexican Lasagna.
You essentially have the best of both worlds in this Mexican Lasagna–save a little bit of carbs by using cauliflower in place of traditional rice, and get all the good fats, fiber, and protein to name a few that quinoa provides! If you want to keep it lower carb, use just cauliflower in place of the quinoa (same measurements as listed below). Best of all? Your kids are eating veggies, essential amino acids, a ton of vitamins, and fiber…and barely noticing! Try this the next time your family makes a Mexican Lasagna!
Healthy Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
This makes a double batch, so 1/2 it if you don’t want leftovers. Or, make a double batch and freeze it so you’ll have it already made for the next week!
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (this is about 3/4 cup “dry” quinoa
- 1 can rinsed black beans
- 1/4 -1/2 cup Mexican seasoning (to taste); Kirkland brand at Costco has my favorite one that doesn’t have added “junk”
- approx. 18 ounces of prepared riced cauliflower (12 ounces is the typical bag size you can find at Costco or Aldi’s; use less cauliflower if desired)
- water (for preparing quinoa and cauliflower)
- approx. 2 lbs meat of choice (I love Quorn meatless grounds or Quorn meatless chicken, which is pea protein)
- Olive Oil (for cooking the meat)
- Prepare riced cauliflower (follow instructions on package or use the InstantPot–“rice” setting; if using the InstantPot, I add approx. 2 Tablespoons water over the riced cauliflower. Don’t add too much water or it will be mushy)
- Stir 1-2 Tablespoons of Mexican seasoning into the cooked riced cauliflower; set aside
- Prepare quinoa (follow instructions on package or use InstantPot–“rice” setting; I add just enough water so it covers the quinoa, which is about 1 1/2 cups) Note: I try to use as few as dishes as possible, so after my cauliflower is done, I use the InstantPot to make the quinoa. I do not clean it in between.
- Stir 1-2 Tablespoons of Mexican seasoning into the cooked quinoa (or, if using the InstantPot, you can add the seasoning in before cooking)
- Combine quinoa mix with cauliflower mix and stir
- Add 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil to your pan (or InstantPot). Prepare meat of choice Note: I saute the Quorn in the InstantPot just to not dirty another pan. I occasionally add approx. 1 T water to the Quorn while cooking so it won’t burn on the pan
- Stir 1-2 Tablespoons of Mexican seasoning in the meat
- Add quinoa/cauliflower mix and the rinsed black beans directly in the pan (or InstantPot) with the prepared meat
- Stir. Add more Mexican Seasoning if desired
- In your 9×13 casserole dish, first add a very small amount of salsa directly to the bottom (just enough to barely cover it); then place ingredients starting at the bottom of the dish in the following order:
- one low-carb tortilla,
- thin layer of cheese,
- then prepared Mexican mix. Tortilla, cheese, Mexican mix. Repeat 2-3 times depending on dish depth. Last layer can be tortilla with a bit of salsa and cheese on top so the tortilla won’t burn, or end the top layer with your Mexican Mix (based on how “tortilla-y” you wan it). Since everything is already cooked, just heat in a 300 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
Mexican mix variations
Not feeling like Mexican Lasagna? I put this Mexican mix (minus the tortillas) directly into taco shells, dip into it with my famous Keto Tortilla Chips, and even throw some cabbage/favorite salad mix over it and make a Mexican salad. Enjoy any way you make it!