Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna

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How is the year going so far for you guys, as GREAT as frosted flakes, about as cool as digi-pets (you know, like it seems fun and exciting at first until you realize how boring it is after about 5 seconds), or maybe as lame as furbys…..? Sorry, don’t know why my inner 90’s kid is surfacing right now. I think it’s the new year making me feel older. I’m also sorry for those of you feeling really lost right now. Don’t feel bad, you kinda just had to be there.

Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna. You know what’s really surprising?… In all of my crazy cooking days I’ve only made a few lasagnas ever. I really don’t know why because when I do whip up a pan of it (or in my ginormous family’s case, two) everyone loves it. It’s actually one of Brock’s favorites and he’s probably the hardest to feed in my family #PickyLittleTurdbucket.

Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna (6) Ok, so this is totally unrelated to Brock but, do you see the salt and pepper grinders in the background? Yeah, those were a Christmas gift I got this last year. We’ve been looking for them forever since we moved here but they don’t seem to carry well-made ones anywhere. Plus, the few cheapy ones that we’ve seen are outrageously priced (especially since we know from past experiences that they’ll probably break after five seconds of usage). My mom knows me well enough to know I would get excited about shakers. Yep, that’s right guys I’m a super weird person. Instead of the typical stuff you’d want to receive for your last teenage Christmas, I asked for cast iron pans and antique dishes. I’m thinking that’s gotta be pretty unusual.

Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna (2) I used to be really fun and girly when I was younger. I liked making cute things to decorate my bedroom and making it feel all warm and cozy. I think after moving across the globe I lost that desire though. I guess it just seemed pointless to mess with changing rooms that I knew I wouldn’t be living in for very long. Currently my room is the most boring space of plainness and functionality. I spend very little time in it because I basically live in the kitchen. Hey, at least I’ll have a fully stocked kitchen when I move out someday (hopefully not that much time from now). My parents are awesome and went through extreme efforts to get me not just one, but a whole-stinkin’-enchilada set, of cast iron cookery and with all the chaos going on for New Year’s and wedding cake planning and life stuffs, I still haven’t used them yet! This is another one of those reasons why I should probably seek professional help for my mental disorder.

Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna (3) So as for this lasagna, it’s a pretty basic recipe except for the fact that I sub the typical ricotta with a cheese mixture/bechamel sauce of my own. Mostly because ricotta is hard to get here, but also because the kiddos don’t like it as much with the ricotta. I also like to add the mild heat and awesome flavor of chipotles to the mix. You can add heat to your own personal taste if you like it hotter but I try to keep it pretty light on spice so that the heat-wimps (that group includes me most of the time) will eat it too.

Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna (4)  The creamy bechamel sauce with the chipotle makes it so good. I’d definitely vote this a must try!

Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna (5)

Chipotle Beef and Bechamel Lasagna

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 8 - 10 servings


  • 1(16-ounce) box lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Meat Sauce Layer:
  • 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo or pureed chipotles (add to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • Creamy Bechamel Sauce Layer:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg


  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse in icy cold water for at least a minute then set aside.
  2. Meat Sauce Layer:
  3. Add ground beef to a large saucepan over medium high heat. Use a spatula to crumble it as it cooks and cook until completely browned. Add garlic and onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until starting to soften then pour in water, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Add the fresh basil, all of the dried herbs, chipotles, salt, and pepper. Add more chipotle to taste, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes while prepping other pieces of lasagna.
  4. Creamy Bechamel Sauce Layer:
  5. Whisk the olive oil and flour together in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk constanly until it starts to thicken, then pour in milk while whisking and stir until smooth. Continue whisking very often for 8 to 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add basil, nutmeg, and cream cheese to the pan and stir until cream cheese is melted into the sauce. Stir in parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes then whisk in egg.
  6. Assemble:
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Spread about half of the meat sauce on the bottom of a greased 13x9 or similar dimension casserole dish. Top with an even layer of lasagna noodles (you can cut a few to fill in the odd spots). Spread about half of the bechamel sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  8. Repeat layers once then bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes until browned and bubbly. Cool for a few minutes before serving and top with additional basil leaves if desired.

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  1. says

    This lasagna sounds OUTRAGEOUSLY good! I’m loving that you used a bechamel sauce…and I love your Christmas gifts 🙂 my list would’ve been totally similar to yours if I didn’t just get a new camera for Christmas, haha. Love it!

  2. says

    We don’t celebrate Christmas, but I am totally with you on the dishes and cast-iron pans. That would be the best gift ever. Totally something I would ask for. A friend just got me a wooden spoon and I am so happy with it, I want to sleep with it under my pillow! Okay, that was just slightly…odd.

  3. says

    This sounds really amazing. My two little ones love ricotta and will eat it plain out of the jar, lol, but I do like the idea of subbing a bechamel sauce- that’s something different! I’ll try that. I haven’t made a lasagna in SOOO long, but it will be great for the cold, unpleasant weather we’ve been having. Lasagna is total comfort food. Thanks for posting this recipe 🙂 Great photography, by the way!

  4. says

    YUM! This looks amazing! I LOVE pretty dishes! They’re so fun 🙂 Also, there’s nothing like a hearty, delicious comfort meal on a chilly winter night!! 🙂

  5. says

    #PickyLittleTurdBucket That was hysterical!

    Love this cultural fusion! I bet this is delicious! Adding it on the “To Try” list. Thank you!

  6. Suzanne Delaney says

    This looks really good. For years I have relied on Martha Stewart’s lasagna recipe, which also calls for bechamel instead of ricotta, and always get rave reviews for it. I use equal parts beef and ground pork for the meat sauce, plus a mirepoix, and add in white wine — it’s a rather labour-intensive sauce but great for whiling away a cold winter afternoon. I freeze a big batch so I can put together an easy dinner for a crowd. The “no-boil” lasagna noodles make it even easier. Whoever invented them was a genius!


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