Sorry no picture - will fix that I promise!
Okay...so the basis for this recipe is not original. Woman's Day magazine in September of 1998 printed the original recipe and called it Turkey Lasagna. Over the years, I've adapted and changed the recipe to totally our liking. We are preparing to go on vacation to the beach next week. As always, when I know I'm going to have a kitchen, I try to do some "freeze ahead" meals so that I can relax as well. I've been busy this week freezing spaghetti casserole, tortilla soup with chicken, swedish meatballs, chili, and just today, I made this!
It makes A LOT, no lie! So you could half it if necessary. Also, if you desire to make it a traditional lasagna - the adaptation will follow
16 oz Tinkyada Pasta Joy Elbow Macaroni
2 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 4 oz cans diced green chiles
1/2 cup salsa
4 cups frozen corn kernals
4 Tbs Chili Powder
1 Tbs Garlic Powder
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 tsp dried Oregano
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (I suggest buying the block and shredding yourself b/c of how they preserve shredded cheese - sometimes flour is used dfor separation).
Brown meat in pan and drain well (especially beef!). Add tomatoes, green chiles, salsa, corn and spices. Heat until just combined flavor-wise. Turn off heat and allow to cool. (this will keep the pasta from over absorbing the liquid and turning to mush).
While browning the meat cook pasta - cut time shy by about 5 or 7 minutes...they should be REALLY al dente.
Drain and rinse the pasta REALLY well.
Mix meat mixture and pasta together. Add 2 cups of the cheese and mix well.
Spread mixture into two 9X13 pans. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese
NOW....to bake immediately - set oven to 350 and bake for about 35 minutes until all warm and bubbly.
OR...fridge overnight (or for up to 3 days in fridge) and bake for about 45 minutes.
OR....fridge overnight, then freeze for up to 2 months (covering well with foil). Bake at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours (covered for the first hour).
Actual LASAGNA directions:
Use 2 boxes of Tinkyada Pasta Joy Lasagna noodles INSTEAD of elbow macaroni. Soak noodles for about 10 minutes in luke warm water - and rinse well...they'll still be hard....but gummy.
In 1 9 X 13 pan (or two 9X9 pans - which I like better b/c the noodles fit better). Place a little meat mixture sauce on the bottom and layer bottom with noodles. Top with meat mixture and cheese. Repeat layers twice...ending with cheese.
Baking instructions are the same temp, but extend each by about 15 minutes.
If you make the lasagna, you will have leftover meat mixture (unless you really load it up!), serve in taco shells or add a can of chicken broth to turn into a taco soup. :D