Mexican Lasagna

CasseroleMexican and Tex MexGluten-FreeEnchiladas

Mexican Lasagna, also known as Mexican Casserole, Stacked Enchilada or Taco Lasagna. Layered casserole with corn tortillas, ground beef, green chiles, beans, salsa, and cheese.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

How to Make Mexican Lasagna

It’s called a Mexican “lasagna” because it’s layered like its Italian distant 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 or taco lasagna recipe

Mexican Lasagna – Perfect for a Crowd

As you can imagine, it is a filling dish, perfect for potlucks and large gatherings of hungry people.

Makes great leftovers too! Serve with eggs for breakfast. Great with guacamole and sour cream.

Mexican Lasagna Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

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.


  • 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 corn tortillas (choose sturdy tortillas mad with yellow corn)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 oz)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated mild cheddar cheese (about 8 oz)


  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Iceberg lettuce


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.

2 Sauté onions, bell peppers, garlic, add tomatoes, chiles, oregano: Once the meat is done cooking, and has been removed from the pan in step 1, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and heat to medium.

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.

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.

4 Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 13x9x3-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

5 In a casserole dish, layer the tortillas with beans, meat, cheese, and sauce: 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.

6 Bake: Bake casserole on the middle rack in the oven for 35 minutes, until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is completely melted and bubbling.

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.

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taco lasagna slice

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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51 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. K

    Love this recipe. My husband is not so much of a casserole kind of guy but love tacos and enchiladas. I have made this for the third time now with using butcher shop ground chicken. Yummo! He is having me make this for dinner and some for work. He is gluten free and wants to share his good food with co-workers. Thanks for sharing.


  2. bonnie

    nevermind, just saw add to meat, now that I added it to tomatoes, hope this comes out good. didn’t do the beef, that’s why, duh. I am using cooked chicken.

  3. bonnie

    making now, but you didn’t mention when to add cumin, etc. I suppose while tomatoes are simmering

  4. Lydia

    I made this recipe yesterday and it was a big hit! It was delicious but a bit heavy. As well, I used corn tortillas that were small at 4 1/2 inches so I didn’t end up having three layers which was ok. Great recipe but time consuming!


  5. Jimmy james

    Pretty tasty. I did not add oil to ground beef. I added some fresh corn off cob to the salsa. Pictures show tostadas which dont need frying. Raw corn tortillas do need frying. The liquid in the ingredients is enenough to soften the tostadas. My prep time was 45mins. At 25 min cook time cheese and tostadas on top were starti g to brown. Dish was heated thru and thru but foil over top from start would probably allow to cook full 35mins. My oven cycles bottom and top burners to bake so that could also explain my results. We enjoyed the recipe.


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