Black Bean Lasagna

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9   lasagna noodles (8 ounces)
2  15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
   Nonstick cooking spray
1/2  cup chopped onion
1/2  cup chopped green sweet pepper
2  cloves garlic, minced
2  15-ounce cans low-sodium tomato sauce or tomato sauce with seasonings
1/4  cup snipped fresh cilantro
1  12-ounce container low-fat cottage cheese
1  8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/4  cup light dairy sour cream
   Tomato slices (optional)
   Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Mash one can of the beans; set aside.
2. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; add onion, green sweet pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until tender but not brown. Add mashed beans, unmashed beans, tomato sauce, and snipped cilantro; heat through.
3. In a large bowl combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream; set aside. Spray a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick coating. Arrange three of the noodles in the dish. Top with one-third of the bean mixture. Spread with one-third of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with bean mixture. Reserve the remaining cheese mixture.
4. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Dollop with reserved cheese mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes. Garnish with tomato slices and cilantro, if desired. Makes 8 servings.
Make-Ahead Tip: Refrigerate unbaked casserole, covered, up to 1 day, and bake as directed. Or, freeze up to 1 month; thaw frozen casserole in refrigerator overnight, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through. 

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