Delicious layers of cheese, chunky chili tomatoes, sweetcorn and blackbeans make an easy, quick to prepare dinner in this Spicy Blackbean and Sweetcorn Lasagna.
This Spicy Blackbean and Sweetcorn Lasagna makes its appearance on our dinner table quite often and for good reasons too:
It is so easy and quick to prepare.
The recipe can prepared ahead, kept in the fridge or freezer and popped in the oven when ready to eat
It makes a great vegetarian dinner option and above all...
IT IS DELICIOUS
Don't you just love make ahead dinners especially to just pull out of the freezer and into the oven. It makes life so much easier on busy weekdays or to serve to unexpected guests making this Spicy Blackbean and Sweetcorn Lasagna is one of those amazing dishes. Don't get me wrong here, I love preparing and cooking fresh meals too but sometimes when your day is way too busy to cook or unpredictable, then these make ahead meals really come in handy. It also prevents you from getting takeout which can be expensive...and when you have boys like mine who are ALWAYS hungry and two large pizzas are never enough. then this Lasagna will save the day and my wallet?
In the previous post, I did a recipe for homemade ricotta, which I use in this lasagna. Homemade ricotta is easy to make, but you can use store bought too if you prefer. The reason I use homemade ricotta is that the lasagna uses a lot of this ingredient and 2 litres of whole or full cream milk makes the perfect amount for this recipe.
This being a quick and convenient recipe, I use canned blackbeans and tomatoes, frozen sweetcorn and a jar of pasta sauce to bring all this deliciousness together. The spice level is totally up to you, add as much or as little chili flakes as you prefer, but I love chili in food and tend to add a bit more...okay maybe a lot more when a recipe calls for it.
A combination of mozarella and cheddar was grated for this lasagna, but again really use any cheese you like. I prefer the no boil lasagna sheets / lasagna noodles which are pre-cooked and just need to be used as is. If you are using lasagna sheets/ lasana noodles which require boiling first then please follow the instructions given on the box before using in this recipe.
Here are a few tips if you using no boil lasagna :
No-boil noodles / lasagna need a lot of liquid to cook through properly. So ensure that the sauce is not too dry, but not too watery either. the sauce and /or ricotta should coats the lasagna sheets/noodles well
Try not to overlap the sheets otherwise the overlapped portions do not cook well
Follow the package instructions well about use and time in the oven.....and thats it....easy right
A great recipe thats a real keeper and a go-to perfect for weekday dinners.
Spicy Blackbean and Sweetcorn Lasagna
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml olive canola or sunflower oil
- ½ an onion finely chopped
- 2 medium green sweet bell peppers diced
- 1 cup / 175g fresh or frozen sweet corn
- ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes adjust amount to taste
- ½ teaspoon chili powder optional
- 1 can / 410g chopped tomatoes drain out the liquid from the can
- 15 oz / 400g bottled pasta sauce any brand you prefer
- 2 x 410g cans blackbeans liquid drained
- 15 oz / 425g store bought ricotta OR Homemade ricotta made from 2 litres milk
- 1 cup / 113g grated cheese
- About 12 no boil lasagna sheets / lasagna noodles see note 1
- Salt and pepper to taste
MAKE THE SAUCE
- In a pan on medium heat, cook onions in oil for about 2 minutes. Add in the diced pepper and cook until softened, which should take about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the sweet corn, dried chili flakes and chili powder if using. Cook for 2 minutes
- Add the can of drained chopped tomatoes, the cans of drained blackbeans and pasta sauce into the pot and cook for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir often to prevent scorching.
- Heat the oven to 180 °C / 375 ° F
LAYER THE LASAGNA
- Divide each, the sauce, the ricotta, the lasagna sheets and the cheese into portions depending on how many layers you want on the lasagna. I make it with 3 layers so everything is divided into 3 equal portions.
- Start layering the lasagna in an oven proof dish by placing a bit of the sauce the bottom.
- Place a layer of lasagna sheets over this mixture.
- Cover the sheets with some of the ricotta, add the sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese then top with the lasagna sheets. Continue in this manner for about 3 layers and end with a layer of ricotta, sauce and grated cheese.
- Cover with foil, try to create a bit of a dome with the foil so that it does not come into contact with the top layer of the cheese, otherwise the cheese sticks to the foil when being pulled off after baking.
- Bake covered with the foil for 20 minutes and remove foil and bake for a further 5 minutes just until the top is slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
MAKE AHEAD OPTION
- Refrigerate prepared and unbaked lasagna covered, up to 1 day, and bake as above. Or, freeze up to 1 month. When you are ready to eat and serve then thaw the frozen lasagna in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed