When it comes to making Mexican-style dinners for my family’s dinner we love to use easy to prepare recipes that use readily available ingredients that are found in our normal grocery store. As a busy mother and wife… I just don’t have time to look for specialty ingredients.

The following two recipes will take 15-20 minutes to prepare and then while they bake you can do your other activities. The Tex-Mex Lasagna should be prepared 6-8 hours ahead of time so I like to prepare it early in the morning and refrigerate it for when I get home from work. I then just pop it into the oven. Each of these recipes will easily feed a family of 4-5 people. 

Tex-Mex Lasagna Dinner Recipe

12 pieces lasagna noodles, uncooked

3 cups spaghetti sauce (with meat or mushrooms works great)

1 cup water

1 (15 1/2 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained

1 (10 ounce) package frozen yellow or white corn, thawed

1 packet chili seasoning mix

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 1/2 cups low fat Monterey Jack cheese, grated 

In a large mixing bowl combine together the spaghetti sauce, water, red kidney beans, yellow corn and the packet of chili seasoning mix. In a 9″ x 13″ baking pan, spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture across the bottom. Arrange 4 pieces of the uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the spaghetti sauce layer. Pour 1 cup of the sauce mixture on top of the noodles. Pour half of the ricotta cheese on top and then another cup of the spaghetti sauce…working in layers as you go along. Gently spread the remaining ricotta cheese on top and then arrange the final 4 lasagna noodles on top. Finish up by pouring the remaining spaghetti sauce on top. Cover the baking dish and place into the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. Cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Remove aluminum foil from the pan and sprinkle the grated Monterey Jack cheese on top. Place baking dish back into the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.

Fiesta Bake Casserole Recipe

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 (28 oz.) can baked beans

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup picante sauce

1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large frying pan, brown your lean ground beef with the chopped onions and peppers. Drain off fat. Stir in the can of baked beans and the picante sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Spoon the meat mixture into a 2 or 3 quart casserole dish. Crush the tortilla chips and place on top of the meat mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top. Place back into the oven and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until all of the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and let casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Shelly Hill is a mother and wife living in Pennsylvania who enjoys cooking, baking and canning. Shelly is the owner of the popular online foodie blog called Shakin ‘N Bakin in the Kitchen at http://wahmshelly.blogspot.com where you can find menu ideas, cooking articles, cooking tips and free recipes.