Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna! Also known as Taco Lasagna or Mexican Casserole, this dish is layered with corn tortillas, ground beef, green chiles, beans, salsa, and cheese. A huge hit with a crowd! Perfect for potlucks.

Sliced taco lasagna made with tortillas, beans, beef, tomatoes, and cheese in a baking dish
Elise Bauer

You know what I love about Mexican "Lasagna" (aka"Mexican Casserole," "Stacked Enchiladas," or "Taco Lasagna")? It's like all of my favorite Mexican foods—tacos, enchiladas, tostadas—layered into one giant dish.

Video: How to Make Mexican Lasagna

1:29

Mexican Lasagna

What is Mexican Lasagna?

It's called a Mexican "lasagna" because it's layered like its distant Italian cousin (very distant). Only in true southwestern style, we are using corn tortillas in place of lasagna noodles, salsa instead of sauce, beans in place of béchamel, and mild cheddar and jack instead of ricotta and Parmesan.

Mexican Lasagna made with tortillas, beef, beans, and cheese ready to serve
Elise Bauer

Make-Ahead Casserole for a Crowd

As you can imagine, it is a filling dish, perfect for potlucks and large gatherings of hungry people. You can assemble it ahead of time, refrigerate, and bake it before serving, or you can bake, cool, and warm it back up in the oven (covered with foil).

Serve with with guacamole and sour cream.

taco lasagna slice
Elise Bauer

Storing and Freezing Mexican Lasagna

Mexican lasagna makes great leftovers, too! You can even serve it with eggs for breakfast. The casserole with keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

Like traditional lasagna, this casserole also freezes well. Cool the baked casserole, wrap either the whole casserole or individual servings in plastic and foil, then freeze for up to three months. (If you plan on freezing the whole casserole, line the pan with foil or parchment before baking, freeze solid, and then use the foil or parchment to lift the casserole out of the pan and freeze it separately; this frees up your casserole dish!)

More Crowd-Pleasing Casseroles to Try

Mexican Lasagna

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 90 mins
Servings 8 servings

Corn tortillas come in different varieties. The sturdy yellow corn tortillas will have more flavor, and hold up better in this casserole, but they do require "softening" or cooking in a little oil before layering. If you use tender white corn tortillas, you may not need to soften them.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef or ground turkey

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1 14-oz can refried pinto beans (or you can make your own refried beans)

  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • 1 28-oz can crushed or diced tomatoes, preferably "Fire Roasted"

  • 1 7-oz can diced green Anaheim chiles

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (choose sturdy tortillas made with yellow corn)

  • 2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 ounces)

  • 2 cups coarsely grated mild cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

To serve:

  • Sour cream

  • Avocado

  • Cilantro

  • Iceberg lettuce

Method

  1. Brown the ground beef:

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan or cast iron frying pan on medium high heat. Add the ground meat, breaking it up as you add it.

    Sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle on the chile powder, cayenne, cumin, and coriander. Increase the heat to high. Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

    Do not stir the meat unnecessarily. Allow the meat to brown on one side, and then stir it so the other side can be browned.

    As soon as the meat is browned, remove the pan from the burner. The meat will continue to cook in the heat of the pan.

    Once you are sure that the meat is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan to a bowl. Set aside.

    Add the spices to the beef as it browns
    Elise Bauer
    Cook the beef until browned and crumbled
    Elise Bauer
  2. Sauté onions, bell peppers, garlic, add tomatoes, chiles, oregano:

    Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the empty pan used to cook the meat and set over medium heat.

    Add the onions and chopped bell peppers. Cook until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for an additional 1 minute.

    Add the diced tomatoes, green chiles and oregano. Bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the tortillas.

    Saute the onions and garlic for the sauce
    Elise Bauer
    Make the sauce with fire-roasted tomatoes
    Elise Bauer
  3. Cook the tortillas:

    While the sauce is simmering, soften the tortillas by frying them in a little oil. In a 9-inch skillet, heat 1/2 cup olive oil on medium high heat until it is sizzling hot, but not smoking.

    Cook the tortillas one at a time, for 5 seconds on each side, so that they soften, but don't get crisp.

    Remove the tortillas with a metal spatula or tongs and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

    Soften the tortillas in a little oil in a skillet
    Elise Bauer
  4. Preheat oven:

    Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 9x13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

  5. Assemble the casserole:

    In baking dish, arrange 4 tortillas in one layer, overlapping slightly (tortillas will not cover bottom completely).

    (If you don't have time to pre-soften the tortillas, coat the bottom of the pan with some olive oil and spread a little sauce over the bottom before adding the tortillas.)

    Spread half of bean mixture evenly over tortillas in dish and top with half of meat mixture. Sprinkle one third cheese over the meat and spread half of the sauce over the cheese.

    Repeat layering of tortillas, beans, meat, cheese, and sauce and top with remaining 4 tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas.

    To make mexican lasagna add a layer of tortillas in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread with bean.
    Elise Bauer
    To make mexican lasagna, add a layer of ground beef on top of the beans
    Elise Bauer
    To make mexican lasagna, sprinkle grated cheese over the beef layer
    Elise Bauer
    To make mexican lasagna, spread half the sauce over the beans, beef, and cheese
    Elise Bauer
  6. Bake:

    Bake casserole on the middle rack in the oven at 350°F for 35 minutes, until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is completely melted and bubbling.

    Repeat layering until all the ingredients are used up
    Elise Bauer
    Bake the taco lasagna until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling
    Elise Bauer
  7. Cool and serve:

    Let the casserole stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.

    Serve with sour cream, chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, and thinly sliced iceberg lettuce on which has been sprinkled vinegar and salt.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
716 Calories
48g Fat
34g Carbs
39g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 716
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 62%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 1128mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 55mg 274%
Calcium 543mg 42%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 872mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.