Looking for a fun way to mix up the dinner routine? This Mexican Lasagna features layers of beef chorizo, corn tortillas, refried beans and plenty of melted cheese!
At the end of last summer, I joined in a virtual sausage-making class with several other bloggers. We were using ground beef to make various styles of sausage – including breakfast, Cajun, Italian and Polish. Each style is delicious, and I had fun seeing how the spices and seasonings change as you move across the styles. One of the most surprising sausages was actually the Mexican style, or chorizo.
There are several types of chorizo, but the Mexican version of this sausage is often made using uncooked pork and beef. It is typically cooked without casing, and used for recipes like Huevos Rancheros or Chorizo con Queso. However, what I found striking about chorizo was the combination of seasonings. If you’ve ever cooked with chorizo, then you’ll know that it typically includes more liquid. That liquid? Vinegar.
We used red wine vinegar in our beef chorizo, and I was shocked at how closely the flavor of ground beef + vinegar + seasonings was to store-bought chorizo. Of course, that set the wheels in my brain turning, and I began wondering how to use that beef chorizo in a recipe. Then it hit me – Mom’s Mexican Lasagna!
Growing up, my mother had a version of Mexican Lasagna that was in our regular dinner rotation. Her version used ground beef with taco seasoning, and I remember it being quite tasty. However, I figured that with a few tweaks I could amp up that childhood favorite.
Much like a traditional Italian lasagna, Mexican Lasagna is a layered casserole-style recipe. However, instead of lasagna noodles, this dish uses corn tortillas. And instead of tomato-based sauce and ricotta cheese, this version features a cheesy ground beef filling layered in between those tortillas. It’s delicious!
The first change was creating beef chorizo using red wine vinegar and a bunch of seasonings. I enjoyed the plain ground beef version as a kid, but I have to say that I enjoyed this chorizo version even more.
My mother’s recipe also called for shredded Mexican-blend cheese, but I used a combination of Cabot’s Extra Sharp Cheddar and their Pepper Jack – we always keep in stock in our house. The whole thing went into the oven, and 30 minutes later our bellies were grumbling!
This easy Mexican Lasagna recipe totally hit the spot. The taste was amazing! I suspect this Mexican casserole will soon join the list of regular dinner options in our house. (And like many casserole-style recipes, this one tasted even better the next day – perfect for leftovers!)
If you’re looking for a fun way to put a spin on dinnertime in your house, try making your own beef chorizo. I’m already thinking of other ways I can use that chorizo! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Cheers!
Did you make this Mexican Lasagna at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
For the Filling
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef can use ground turkey
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 16-oz. can refried beans
- 1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles
- 1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 11-oz. can corn, rinsed and drained
For the Lasagna
- 16 yellow corn tortillas can use flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese I used Cabot Pepper Jack cheese
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- chopped cilantro
- diced avocado
For the Filling
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with nonstick spray; set dish aside.
- Using a large skillet, add onions, beef, red wine vinegar and spices (oregano, smoked paprika, chile powder, garlic powder, salt and chipotle chile powder). Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is fully cooked and no longer pink (~6-8 minutes).
- Add black beans, refried beans, chilies, tomatoes and corn; stir until well combined. Remove skillet from heat.
For the Lasagna
- Place 4 corn tortillas on bottom of casserole dish. (Note: Tortillas will not entirely cover bottom.)
- Using a large bowl, combine both cheeses; stir until well combined.
- Spread ~⅓ of the beef mixture on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle ~¼ of the cheeses on top of the meat mixture. Add 4 more tortillas on top. Repeat process until all ingredients have been used, finishing with 4 corn tortillas and the remaining cheese on top.
- Place pan in oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until cheeses have melted and lasagna is heated through.
- Top with sour cream, chopped cilantro, salsa and/or diced avocados before serving.
Looking for other fun Cinco de Mayo recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
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Will be making this soon with few subs i never had mexican lasagna and food before perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
Hey Ramya! I hope you enjoy this one. We love a classic Italian lasagna in our house, but this version is fun as it brings in all of the Mexican flavors. I highly recommend it!
What fun! Such great ingredients, of course. Mexican and Southwestern food is our favorite, with Indian a close second. I’ll make just about anything so I can serve it with avocados, sour cream, and salsa! Love this recipe.
I hear ya, Mimi! Mexican/Southwestern food ranks pretty high on our list, too. And for some reason, I always crave it this time of the year! I do recommend trying out that beef chorizo recipe – it’s pretty awesome, and there are so many ways that one could be used!
David, I just popped in to see what you were up to, and wow what a great recipe you have for us today. Knowing my background I bet you knew I’d love this one. It’s perfect TexMex comfort food.
I also make my own Mexican chorizo and I also add red wine vinegar, but I’ve not made a beef version. I usually use pork unless I have an abundance of moose mince. We also had a version of this when I was young, but using flour tortillas. I really like the idea of using corn tortillas.
Yes! This recipe truly is TexMex comfort food, Ron. You know us – we love Italian food, so a classic lasagna is always up there on our list. But a lasagna with TexMex flavors? Now that hits a craving for sure!
I’ve never cooked with moose, but I would imagine it would work well for chorizo as it’s fairly lean (I think). In fact, this Mexican lasagna made with moose might just need to make it’s way to your kitchen, yes? 🙂
Sausage making class? How interesting! Daisy insists I should enroll in it too 🙂
Now, I’ve never had a Mexican lasagna, but I immediately assumed you used tortillas. Cool idea indeed! Besides, the combination of beef chorizo, beans, and cheese is simply perfect!
Haha – you should learn how to make sausage, Ben! It’s surprisingly easy. Now if you want to put it in casings, then it’s a bit trickier, but it wasn’t too bad. The loose version (like I used here) was a piece of cake!
This looks good David! such a great idea, nice recipe. This will make tacos easy and less messy to eat
You make a good point about how easy this is to eat, Raymund! It’s all of the favorite flavors from tacos…just served up fork + knife style. It’s tasty!
Hubby makes a similar sort of dish but with chicken. It’s so delicious! Yours looks tasty. Anything with sour cream and avocado 🥑 has to be great!
I hear ya on the sour cream + avocado, Sherry – such a good combination! This truly is comfort food at its best right here. 🙂
This is such a fantastic idea, David – you had me at beef chorizo! We love lasagna at our house so trying a new variation will be both exciting and little familiar, which is a good thing when you have young kids (as I am sure you would appreciate). Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you’ve been well.
Oh yes, I can totally appreciate the appeal of having a familiar yet slightly different meal when kids are around. If something looks too different, good luck! I can say that this Mexican lasagna is comfort food at its best – and making that beef chorizo was a lot of fun. I could see that being used in so many different ways!
I love fusion dishes like this one, David! The funny thing is I’m making a traditional lasagna today and now you have me craving this one bursting with all of the Mexican food flavors I love!
Hah – we must have been channeling the lasagna vibes, Marissa! I love a good classic lasagna, but I have to say that it’s fun mixing it up with the Mexican flavors here. Mmm…now I’m craving lasagna!
Oooh this Mexican lasagna has all the flavours I love! Now I’m wishing I had some corn tortillas on hand.
You could certainly use flour tortillas in this lasagna, Michelle. Normally I prefer flour tortillas when making tacos, but in this lasagna, I prefer corn for the added flavor. Either way, get creative and play around with the flavors! 🙂
Wow! I am so loving this spin on lasagna! So much flavor and texture here! I’m not much of a beef eater these days but there are so many different ground meatless subs out there that this could be whipped up with. Such a fantastic recipe!
That’s the best part about this lasagna (or any lasagna) – you can easily sub out or add other ingredients to change the flavor profile. This version turned out quite well, and it made for some tasty dinners!