I think the thing I love the most about Mexican Lasagna is its versatility. There are probably almost as many recipes for Mexican Lasagna as there are food blogs! And honestly, I’ve probably made nearly every variation. For the most part, every different way I prepare it seems to be a hit with the family too. I guess that’s just what happens when you combine food and flavors everyone already likes.
When I first began my foray into cooking as a young bride of 20, a Mexican Lasagna variation was my go to meal. I actually thought it was my own creation. (I’ve since learned it is truly very rare for any meal to be an entirely new creation. But I was young and naive and proud of myself for making something that wasn’t served when I was growing up.) I would stack all the ingredients in a round casserole dish and call it a tortilla pie.
Since then, I’ve changed certain ingredients or methods, but at the core, I still use that same recipe I’ve been using for 13 (seriously? how is that even possible?) years now. The recipe I’m sharing with you is for the Mexican Lasagna I make most often. I’ll include some of our favorite variations at the end.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 T. chili powder
- 1 t. cumin
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. salt
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 16 oz. container Ricotta or cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 can black beans (roughly 1 1/2 c. cooked beans, if using dry)
- 1 jar salsa
- 6 – 8 flour tortillas, cut in half
- 1 1/2 c. shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
1. Combine the ground beef and onion in a skillet and cook until browned. Drain. Stir in seasonings and 1/4 c. water. Bring water to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Cool.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta or cottage cheese with the egg.
3. Pour some salsa in a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Layer some of the tortillas on top. Spread on a thin layer of the ricotta or cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle some of the meat on top, then some of the beans followed by another thin layer of salsa. Repeat layering until done, ending with the salsa. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is fully melted.
Please excuse the cut up orange plastic plate. The kids get upset if I don’t use pictures from their servings every so often.
Now for some variations we love:
- Omit the ricotta/cottage cheese and egg. Swap out the black beans for refried beans. Spread on tortillas when you would the ricotta mixture.
- Use corn tortillas or even tortilla chips in place of the flour tortillas.
- Omit the ricotta/cottage cheese and egg. Sprinkle each layer with additional shredded cheese.
- Use taco sauce in place of the salsa.
- Add a layer of corn.
- Substitute the meat, beans and salsa with a batch of Mexican Chicken & Black Bean Filling.
Is Mexican Lasagna a standard in your house too?