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Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna) Recipe

The Mexican Taco Lasagna fuses the beloved flavors of Mexican cuisine and the comforting layers of a classic lasagna. This dish is a delightful twist on traditional lasagna, exchanging pasta sheets with corn tortillas and incorporating zesty seasonings like cumin, coriander, and chili powder. It's a hearty and delicious meal that's sure to impress with its blend of textures and spices.

Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna) Recipe
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Photos of Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna) Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are mostly standard pantry items, but there are a couple that you might need to look for. Anaheim chiles are relatively mild chiles that you can find fresh in the produce aisle or canned in the Mexican food section of most supermarkets. If you can't find them, you can substitute with green bell peppers for a milder flavor or serrano peppers for more heat. Also, note that corn tortillas are used, which are typically found in the refrigerated section.

Ingredients for Mexican Taco Lasagna

Olive oil: This is used for sautéing the vegetables and meat. It adds a rich flavor to the dish and helps to cook and brown the meat evenly.

Ground beef or turkey: This forms the protein base of the lasagna. You can choose between beef or turkey depending on your preference.

Salt: An essential seasoning to enhance the flavors of all the other ingredients.

Chili powder, Cayenne, Cumin, Coriander: These spices are used to add a Mexican flavor to the dish.

Beans: Adds a hearty texture and are a staple in Mexican cuisine.

Onions, Garlic, Bell pepper: These vegetables are sautéed to create a flavorful base for the lasagna.

Tomatoes: These will create a rich and tangy sauce for the lasagna.

Anaheim chiles: These chiles are mild and add a touch of heat to the dish.

Dried oregano: This herb gives depth to the flavor profile of the dish.

Corn tortillas: These replace traditional lasagna noodles, adding an authentic Mexican twist.

Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese: These cheeses are melted to create a deliciously gooey top layer.

Sour cream, Avocado, Cilantro, Iceberg lettuce: These are used as refreshing toppings that balance out the heat and richness of the dish.

One reader, Ivory Ferreira says:

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This Mexican taco lasagna recipe is a game-changer! The layers of flavors are incredible, and it's so easy to make. The combination of spices, beans, and cheese is simply delicious. It's a hit every time I make it for my family and friends. Highly recommend trying it out!

Ivory Ferreira

Techniques Required for Making Mexican Taco Lasagna

How to brown the ground beef: Heat 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, chile powder, cayenne, cumin, and coriander. Increase the heat to high and allow the meat to brown on one side before stirring.

How to sauté onions, bell peppers, and garlic: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers, cooking until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.

How to cook the tortillas: In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat until sizzling. Cook the tortillas one at a time for 5 seconds on each side to soften, but not get crisp.

How to assemble the casserole: Arrange the tortillas in a baking dish, overlapping slightly. Spread the bean and meat mixture, cheese, and sauce in layers, and top with remaining tortillas and cheese.

How to bake the casserole: Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the casserole on the middle rack for 35 minutes, until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling.

How to cool and serve: Let the casserole stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, chopped avocado, cilantro, and thinly sliced iceberg lettuce sprinkled with vinegar and salt.

How To Make Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna)

This is not your typical lasagna recipe. Mexican lasagna is made of meaty ground beef, flavorful spices, and tortillas layered in one casserole.

Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • lbsground beef,or ground turkey
  • 1tspsalt
  • 1tbspchili powder
  • 1tbspground cumin
  • 1tbspground coriander seeds
  • ¼tspcayenne
  • 14ozbeans,(1 can) refried pinto or you can make your own refried beans
  • 2medium onions,chopped, about 2 ½ cups
  • 1red bell pepper,stem and seeds removed, chopped about 1 cup
  • 3garlic cloves,peeled and minced
  • 28oztomatoes,(1 can) crushed or diced, preferably “Fire Roasted”
  • 7ozAnaheim chiles,(1 can) diced green
  • ½tspdried oregano
  • 12corn tortillas,6-inch, choose sturdy tortillas mad with yellow corn
  • 2cupsMonterey Jack cheese,coarsely grated about 8 oz
  • 2cupscheddar cheese,coarsely grated mild about 8 oz

To Serve:

  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • iceberg lettuce

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan to a bowl. Set aside.

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

  6. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers. Cook until onions have softened for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, green chiles, and oregano.

  7. Bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes while you prepare the tortillas.

To cook the tortillas:

  1. While the sauce is simmering, soften the tortillas by frying them in a little oil. In a 9-inch skillet, heat ½ cup of olive oil on medium-high heat until it is sizzling hot, but not smoking.

  2. Cook the tortillas one at a time for 5 seconds on each side. Remove the tortillas with a metal spatula or tongs and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

To assemble the casserole:

  1. In a baking dish, arrange 4 tortillas in one layer, overlapping slightly.

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

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

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

  5. Cool and serve. Let the casserole stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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

Nutrition

  • Calories: 1039.68kcal
  • Fat: 77.24g
  • Saturated Fat: 38.41g
  • Trans Fat: 2.39g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 25.55g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.08g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.92g
  • Fiber: 6.53g
  • Sugar: 7.71g
  • Protein: 57.11g
  • Cholesterol: 214.33mg
  • Sodium: 1155.03mg
  • Calcium: 1238.27mg
  • Potassium: 917.43mg
  • Iron: 4.30mg
  • Vitamin A: 518.90µg
  • Vitamin C: 59.21mg

Helpful Technique for Assembling Mexican Taco Lasagna

When softening the tortillas in oil, it's crucial to monitor the heat closely. If the oil is too hot, the tortillas can become crispy and difficult to work with. On the other hand, if the oil isn't hot enough, the tortillas may absorb too much oil and become soggy. The ideal is a pliable tortilla that's easy to layer in the lasagna. Also, using tongs or a metal spatula can help you flip the tortillas quickly and safely.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Mexican Taco Lasagna

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and brown the meat the day before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use canned beans: Opt for canned beans instead of dried ones to skip the soaking and cooking time.

Substitute Ingredients For Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna) Recipe

  • extra virgin olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar flavor profile and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for extra virgin olive oil in this recipe.

  • ground beef or ground turkey - Substitute with ground chicken: Ground chicken can be used as a leaner alternative to ground beef or turkey, providing a lighter option while still delivering great flavor.

  • chili powder - Substitute with paprika and cayenne mix: A combination of paprika and cayenne can replicate the flavor and heat of chili powder in the recipe.

  • ground cumin - Substitute with ground coriander: Ground coriander can be used as a substitute for cumin, providing a similar earthy and citrusy flavor profile.

  • ground coriander seeds - Substitute with ground cumin: Ground cumin can replace ground coriander seeds, offering a warm and aromatic flavor to the dish.

  • cayenne - Substitute with paprika: Paprika can be used as a milder substitute for cayenne, adding color and a subtle heat to the dish.

  • beans - Substitute with lentils: Lentils can be used as a protein-rich alternative to beans, adding a hearty texture and nutritional value to the dish.

  • onions - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a milder and sweeter alternative to onions, adding a delicate flavor to the dish.

  • red bell pepper - Substitute with yellow bell pepper: Yellow bell peppers can be used as a substitute for red bell peppers, providing a slightly sweeter flavor and vibrant color.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a convenient substitute for fresh garlic, providing a similar flavor without the need for mincing.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can be used as a convenient substitute for fresh tomatoes, providing a consistent texture and flavor.

  • anaheim chiles - Substitute with poblano chiles: Poblano chiles can be used as a substitute for Anaheim chiles, offering a mild heat and rich flavor to the dish.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried marjoram: Dried marjoram can be used as a substitute for oregano, providing a similar earthy and floral flavor to the dish.

  • corn tortillas - Substitute with flour tortillas: Flour tortillas can be used as a substitute for corn tortillas, offering a softer texture and milder flavor.

  • monterey jack cheese - Substitute with pepper jack cheese: Pepper jack cheese can be used as a substitute for Monterey jack, adding a spicy kick to the dish.

  • cheddar cheese - Substitute with colby jack cheese: Colby jack cheese can be used as a substitute for cheddar, providing a mild and creamy flavor to the dish.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to sour cream, offering a similar tangy flavor and creamy texture.

  • avocado - Substitute with guacamole: Guacamole can be used as a flavorful alternative to sliced avocado, adding a zesty and creamy element to the dish.

  • cilantro - Substitute with flat-leaf parsley: Flat-leaf parsley can be used as a substitute for cilantro, providing a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the dish.

  • iceberg lettuce - Substitute with romaine lettuce: Romaine lettuce can be used as a substitute for iceberg lettuce, offering a crisp and slightly sweeter flavor to the dish.

Presentation Ideas for a Delicious Mexican Taco Lasagna

  1. Layer the flavors: Start by layering the flavors of the seasoned ground meat, beans, and the rich tomato and chile sauce to create a harmonious blend of savory and spicy notes.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the top of the lasagna to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh herbal aroma.
  3. Create a stunning cheese crust: Allow the cheese to form a golden-brown crust on top of the lasagna, adding a visually appealing and irresistible cheesy texture.
  4. Present with a dollop of sour cream: Add a dollop of creamy sour cream on top of the lasagna to provide a cooling contrast to the bold and spicy flavors.
  5. Accompany with avocado slices: Arrange slices of ripe avocado on the side to offer a creamy and buttery element that complements the layers of the lasagna.
  6. Garnish with shredded lettuce: Sprinkle shredded iceberg lettuce on top of the lasagna for a refreshing and crunchy texture, adding a touch of brightness to the dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Taco Lasagna

  • Large sauté pan or cast iron frying pan: A large sauté pan or cast iron frying pan is used for browning the ground meat and sautéing the onions, bell peppers, and garlic.

  • Slotted spoon: A slotted spoon is used to remove the browned meat from the pan and transfer it to a bowl.

  • 9-inch skillet: A 9-inch skillet is used for softening the tortillas by frying them in a little oil.

  • Metal spatula or tongs: A metal spatula or tongs are used to remove the softened tortillas from the skillet and place them on a plate lined with paper towels.

  • 9x13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish: A 9x13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish is used to assemble and bake the taco lasagna casserole.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Mexican Taco Lasagna

  • Let the mexican taco lasagna cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the dish soggy.

  • To store in the refrigerator, cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The lasagna will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

  • For longer storage, freeze the mexican taco lasagna. Cut the cooled lasagna into individual portions and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Place the wrapped portions in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, labeling it with the date and contents.

  • Alternatively, you can freeze the entire lasagna. Wrap the cooled baking dish securely with a double layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Label the dish with the date and contents.

  • Frozen mexican taco lasagna will maintain its best quality for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the lasagna overnight in the refrigerator and bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven until heated through, about 30-40 minutes. If reheating individual portions, they may only require about 15-20 minutes in the oven.

  • If you need to reheat the lasagna directly from the freezer, bake it covered with foil in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 1 hour, or until heated through. Remove the foil during the last 15 minutes of baking to allow the top to brown and crisp up.

How To Reheat Leftover Mexican Taco Lasagna

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover mexican taco lasagna in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the lasagna is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. This method helps to retain the moisture and prevent the lasagna from drying out.

  • If you prefer a crispier top layer, remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking. This will allow the cheese to brown and create a delightful crust on top of your reheated lasagna.

  • For a quicker reheating option, you can use the microwave. Place a single serving of the leftover lasagna on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 1-2 minutes, or until it's heated through. Be sure to check the lasagna every 30 seconds to avoid overheating and drying it out.

  • If you find that your reheated lasagna is a bit dry, you can add a splash of tomato sauce or salsa on top before reheating. This will help to moisten the lasagna and enhance its flavor.

  • For a crispy bottom layer, you can reheat the lasagna in a skillet on the stovetop. Place a slice of lasagna in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until it's heated through and the bottom is crispy and golden brown.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat your leftover lasagna. Place a slice of lasagna in the air fryer basket and cook at 350°F (175°C) for 3-5 minutes, or until it's heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. This method will give you a crispy exterior while keeping the interior moist and delicious.

Interesting Trivia About Mexican Taco Lasagna

The Mexican Taco Lasagna recipe is a fusion of traditional Mexican flavors and Italian lasagna. It combines the elements of a classic taco with the layering and baking of lasagna. This dish is a perfect example of how different cuisines can come together to create a delicious and unique meal.

Is Making Mexican Taco Lasagna at Home Cost-Effective?

The Mexican Taco Lasagna recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The combination of ground beef, beans, and vegetables makes it a budget-friendly option. The use of affordable ingredients like corn tortillas and canned tomatoes keeps the cost down. The dish offers a satisfying and flavorful meal for a family of four at an approximate cost of $20. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delicious outcome.

Is Mexican Taco Lasagna Healthy or Unhealthy?

This Mexican taco lasagna recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy due to several factors:

  • The recipe relies heavily on high-fat ingredients such as ground beef, cheese, and sour cream, which can contribute to excessive saturated fat intake.
  • The use of corn tortillas and beans provides some fiber, but the overall vegetable content is limited, with only onions, bell peppers, and a small amount of lettuce as a garnish.
  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of salt and oil, which can lead to high sodium and calorie intake.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for lean ground turkey instead of beef to reduce the saturated fat content
  • Increase the amount of vegetables by adding diced zucchini, carrots, or mushrooms to the meat mixture
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used, or choose a low-fat variety
  • Use whole wheat tortillas instead of corn tortillas for added fiber
  • Replace some of the cheese with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor with less fat
  • Serve the lasagna with a side salad or roasted vegetables to increase the overall nutrient density of the meal
  • Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a protein-rich, lower-fat alternative

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy the flavors of this Mexican-inspired dish while significantly improving its nutritional value.

Editor's Opinion on the Mexican Taco Lasagna Recipe

As a culinary expert, I find this Mexican taco lasagna recipe to be a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The combination of seasoned ground meat, beans, and a medley of spices creates a rich and savory filling, while the layers of softened tortillas and melted cheese provide a comforting and satisfying element. The addition of fresh toppings like sour cream, avocado, and cilantro adds a refreshing contrast to the hearty casserole. Overall, this recipe offers a unique twist on traditional lasagna, infusing it with the vibrant and bold flavors of Mexican cuisine. It's a surefire crowd-pleaser for any gathering or family meal.

Enhance Your Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna) Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty and creamy guacamole with ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, and a hint of lime juice for a refreshing side dish.
Cornbread: Bake a batch of golden, buttery cornbread to accompany the spicy flavors of the Mexican taco lasagna.
Fruit Salad: Prepare a colorful and refreshing fruit salad with a variety of fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes for a sweet and tangy side dish.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Mexican Taco Lasagna

Spicy Beef Enchiladas: These enchiladas are filled with spicy beef, cheese, and smothered in a flavorful red sauce. They are the perfect dish for a cozy night in.
Mango Salsa Chicken: This dish features tender chicken breasts topped with a refreshing mango salsa. It's a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors that will impress your dinner guests.
Guacamole Stuffed Peppers: These bell peppers are filled with a zesty guacamole mixture and baked to perfection. They make for a delicious and healthy appetizer or side dish for any meal.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Mexican Taco Lasagna

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Indulge in this creamy and cheesy spinach and artichoke dip, served with crispy tortilla chips or toasted baguette slices. A crowd-pleasing appetizer that will leave everyone coming back for more.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth and decadent texture will satisfy any chocolate lover's cravings.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Delight in a creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake, featuring a buttery graham cracker crust and a vibrant strawberry topping. Each bite is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

Why trust this Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna) Recipe:

This recipe is a fusion of traditional Mexican flavors and classic lasagna, ensuring a unique and delicious dining experience. The use of fresh ingredients such as ground beef, chili powder, and cumin guarantees authentic and robust flavors. The incorporation of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese adds a rich and creamy texture, enhancing the overall taste. The step-by-step instructions and attention to detail showcase the expertise and passion behind this recipe, earning the trust of users seeking a delightful Mexican-Italian fusion dish.

Want to share your experience making this Mexican Lasagna (Taco Lasagna) or discuss variations on the recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing forum and join the conversation!
FAQ:
Can I use ground chicken instead of ground beef or turkey?
Yes, you can absolutely use ground chicken as a substitute for ground beef or turkey in this recipe. It will still provide a delicious and flavorful base for the taco lasagna.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?
Absolutely! This recipe can be made ahead of time and reheated later. Simply assemble the lasagna, cover it tightly with foil, and refrigerate. When you're ready to enjoy it, reheat it in the oven at 350°F until it's heated through.
Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?
While corn tortillas are traditionally used in Mexican cuisine, you can certainly use flour tortillas if that's what you have on hand. Just keep in mind that the flavor and texture may be slightly different.
Can I freeze the taco lasagna?
Yes, you can freeze the taco lasagna. Once assembled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. When you're ready to enjoy it, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake as directed.
Can I adjust the level of spiciness in this recipe?
Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the level of spiciness to your preference by adding more or less chili powder, cayenne, or other spicy ingredients. You can also customize the heat by choosing mild or hot varieties of ingredients like chiles and salsa.

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