Easy Mexican Lasagna

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Give an Italian classic a Mexican mix with this Mexican Lasagna—layers of corn tortilla play host to ground beef, green chilis, black beans, and so much more.

Easy Mexican Lasagna close up view

Frequent visitors to the site will know I like to experiment, mixing two ingredients that may seem at odds with each other at first. For instance, mixing butternut squash and mac ‘n’ cheese made for one cozy meal. And it wouldn’t be the holidays without my Cranberry Horseradish Sauce! But to mix two cuisines is something I rarely undertake. So much can go wrong. But… as is the case with this recipe, so much can go RIGHT.

The genesis of this recipe goes back to when I was making your typical run-of-the-mill lasagna (you know… the kind with lasagna noodles). I was so focused on the ingredients I would stack ON the pasta that I forgot to buy the actual pasta. So, I scoured my kitchen for something I could use instead. Enter: corn tortillas. Now, on that particular occasion, I set those tortillas aside and opted for some penne I had hidden in the back of my pantry, but the idea of making a lasagna with tortillas stuck with me. I figured, if I’m going to use tortillas, why not go all in on a Mexican Lasagna?

This recipe, then, is what you get when you translate Italian into Mexi-Spanish. It’s built like a lasagna but uses ingredients indigenous to Mexico. They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, in this case, necessity also makes one heckuva sous chef.

How Do I Make My Own Taco Seasoning?

While it is certainly more convenient to buy taco seasoning at the store, making it yourself puts you in control of the flavor. If you have time, why not give it a go? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (for a smoky flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (for a bit of heat)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning (2 packets)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 4 oz. can of green chilis
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 6 cups shredded cheese 
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (for garnish)
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (for garnish)
  • sour cream (for serving)
Easy Mexican Lasagna ingredients top shot

How To Make Mexican Lasagna

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps top view

Step 2: In a large skillet over MEDIUM heat, cook the ground beef and diced onion until the beef is thoroughly browned and the onion is tender. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes, just until the garlic is fragrant.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps front view

Step 3: Sprinkle in the taco seasoning, pour in the water, and stir the mixture well. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps front view

Step 4: Stir in the fire-roasted diced tomatoes with their juices, green chilis, and the black beans. Cook until heated through. This is a great time to taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps front view

Step 5: Arrange 6 corn tortillas on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, overlapping them slightly to cover the entire surface. Spread one-third of the meat mixture over the tortillas, then sprinkle 2 cups of the shredded cheese on top. Repeat these layers two more times, ending with a generous layer of cheese.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps top view

Step 6: Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the lasagna is bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps top view

Step 7: Once out of the oven, sprinkle the top with the diced tomatoes and sliced green onions for a pop of color and freshness. Let the lasagna sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps top view

Step 8: Cut the Mexican Lasagna into squares and serve with a spoonful of sour cream.

Top Tips For a Perfect Mexican Lasagna

  • Keep an eye on the garlic as you sauté it. You want to avoid burning it, which can happen very quickly.
  • Letting the lasagna sit after cooking gives the layers time to set and makes it easier to cut and serve.
  • Gently warm the corn tortillas in the oven or microwave beforehand to make them more pliable and less likely to tear.
  • It is important you don’t drain the tomatoes; their juices will keep the lasagna from drying out.
  • If you have the option, make the lasagna ahead of time; doing so allows the flavors to mingle.
Easy Mexican Lasagna close view

FAQs

What type of cheese should I use?

A blend of Monterey jack and cheddar works great for this recipe.

Do I have to keep the aluminum foil on?

No. In fact, if you want a crispy top to your lasagna, I suggest removing the aluminum foil for the last 10–15 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. That cheese can go from yellow to brown very quickly.

What else can I add to the lasagna?

Corn kernels will bring some color and sweetness. I also suggest sliced olives, jalapeños, or cilantro.

My lasagna turns into a mess once I cut into it. What am I doing wrong?

First, let it set for at least 10 minutes so the layers can rest. Second, ensure your knife is sharp. Last, try a serrated edge; it should be able to cut through the layers without disturbing them.

Can I use pasta instead of tortillas?

Yes, if you prefer. You can use lasagna sheets or short noodles, if you like. Cook the noodles al dente (they’ll be finished off in the oven) and use a saucier meat mix (pasta tends to absorb more liquid).

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps top view

Serving Suggestions

Mexican Street Corn Salad: If you don’t end up adding corn to the lasagna, you can serve it on the side as part of the Esquites recipe.

The Best Queso Ever (Mexican Cheese Dip): Grab some tortilla chips for an appetizer and slam-dunk them into this ravishing cheese dip.

Mexican Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone Frosting: For dessert, line up a slice of chocolate cake with a nice kick to it.

How to Prep and Store Mexican Lasagna

You can make the lasagna ahead of time. Just cover it up and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also keep the uncooked lasagna in the freezer for up to 2 months. You may need to add 15 minutes to the cooking time if you are using a chilled lasagna. If you’re using a frozen lasagna, make sure to thaw in the fridge overnight.

And as always, if you have any leftovers (unlikely in my opinion), simply covered the dish with aluminum foil (after letting it cool completely, of course). It should last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Easy Mexican Lasagna steps front view
Easy Mexican Lasagna close up view

Easy Mexican Lasagna

Give an Italian classic a Mexican mix with this Mexican Lasagna—layers of corn tortilla play host to ground beef, green chilis, black beans, and so much more.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning (2 packets)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 4 oz. can green chilis
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 6 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 medium tomato diced (for garnish)
  • 1 bunch green onions sliced (for garnish)
  • sour cream (for serving)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over MEDIUM heat, cook the ground beef and diced onion until the beef is thoroughly browned and the onion is tender. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes, just until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Sprinkle in the taco seasoning, pour in the water, and stir the mixture well. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Stir in the fire-roasted diced tomatoes with their juices, green chilis, and the black beans. Cook until heated through. This is a great time to taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Arrange 6 corn tortillas on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, overlapping them slightly to cover the entire surface. Spread one-third of the meat mixture over the tortillas, then sprinkle 2 cups of the shredded cheese on top. Repeat these layers two more times, ending with a generous layer of cheese.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. You'll know it's done when the lasagna is bubbly and the cheese has melted.
  • Once out of the oven, sprinkle the top with the diced tomatoes and sliced green onions for a pop of color and freshness. Let the lasagna sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Cut the Mexican Lasagna into squares and serve with a spoonful of sour cream.

Notes

  • Gently warm the corn tortillas in the oven or microwave beforehand to make them more pliable and less likely to tear.
  • It is important you don’t drain the tomatoes; their juices will keep the lasagna from drying out.
  • If you have the option, make the lasagna ahead of time; doing so allows the flavors to mingle.
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