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!
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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
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: