Weeknight Mexican Lasagna Recipe

There's nothing like having a reliable and nutritious recipe to whip up for dinner without too much fuss. A quick bowl of pasta or stir-fry are good options, but this weeknight Mexican lasagna recipe might just win you over. Recipe developer Melissa Olivieri, also known under the alias The Olive Blogger, created this tasty meal. She describes it as "a nice easy, family friendly recipe," so if you're feeding picky children take note. 

Clearly, she's taken some creative liberties with this rendition, and remarks, "I love the twist on the traditional lasagna — the spices, the ground chicken, and the black beans really make for a delicious dish." While you'll recognize the cheesy saucy nature of the classic Italian meal, this Mexican version incorporates various ingredients that amp up the flavor. From the moment you get cooking to the time you'll be sitting in front of a piping hot plate of the stuff, you're looking at a mere 30 minutes. Grab an apron and embrace this original take on our favorite layered dish.

Gather the ingredients for this weeknight Mexican lasagna recipe

You'll need 1 pound of ground chicken and seasonings, which consist of garlic powder, kosher salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika. To sauce it up, you'll need strained tomatoes, water, a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies, and sour cream. 

Olivieri notes, "Any diced tomatoes will do," but explains, "I do really like the Rotel ones as they are seasoned and ready to go." However, she points out that if you can't get your hand on a brand that combines diced tomatoes with chilies, "you can add them yourself."

Next, you'll need a 12-pack of either corn or flour tortillas (these will replace the pasta sheets). A can of black beans, frozen corn kernels, and green onions add some bulk to the dish. Finally, you'll need plenty of shredded cheese. Olivieri shares, "I love to use a TexMex cheese blend."

Olivieri is all for experimentation and encourages home cooks to do the same: "Sometimes I add in bell pepper if I have it on hand, [and] you can also add in cilantro when assembling for an extra hit of Mexican flavor." If chicken isn't your thing, she notes that ground beef or turkey work too. 

Prepare the ground chicken mixture

Start by preheating the oven to 375 F. Next, place a skillet over the stovetop with a splash of vegetable oil and heat it on medium-high. Add the ground chicken and the various spices (garlic powder, kosher salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika). Cook the meat until it is nicely browned, using a fork to crumble it apart. 

As the meat is cooking, slice up the green onions into thin rings and set them to the side. Then, dump the strained tomatoes and water into the pan with the meat, and give everything a good stir. Add the can of diced tomatoes with chilies, stir, and cook the mixture for another 3 minutes. Finally, add in the sour cream for extra consistency and to subdue the acidity from the tomatoes. After a quick stir, remove the pan from the stovetop. 

Be sure to follow these steps in a quick sequence, as Olivieri warns that "the worst thing you can do is overcook the meat." That being said, she points out, "even that is salvageable with the added tomatoes and cheese!"

Assemble the lasagna layers

Now that the main component is cooked, it's time to assemble the lasagna. Set out a 9x13-inch casserole dish then start layering tortillas on the bottom. Olivieri notes that you may have to cut them so that the entire surface is covered along the edges. Use a slotted spoon to add the meat mixture to the baking dish. This prevents too much liquid from soaking into the tortilla base.

Add black beans, corn, and sliced green onions, and spoon on some of the sauce from the meat. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top and then start over with the tortillas. Continue the layering process, finishing off with the cheese.

Bake the lasagna then serve

Once your oven is preheated, transfer the baking dish onto a rack and bake the lasagna for 15 minutes. You'll know it's ready to remove when the cheese is melted and bubbly. To avoid scalding your mouth, let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before slicing it to serve.

Olivieri stores leftovers properly sealed in a container in the fridge for maximum freshness. She shares, "We've kept it for 3 days and enjoyed it," adding, "I wouldn't suggest any longer than that."

Weeknight Mexican Lasagna Recipe
5 from 40 ratings
Switch things up from classic Italian lasagna and enjoy this easy weeknight Mexican lasagna instead.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
6
servings
baked Mexican lasagna in pan
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 cup strained tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 12 tortillas (corn or flour)
  • 1 (19-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • splash of vegetable oil, for cooking the meat
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and optionally add in a splash of vegetable oil.
  3. Add the ground chicken and spices and cook until browned, using a fork to break the meat apart.
  4. While the meat cooks, thinly slice the green onions and set them aside.
  5. Add the strained tomatoes and water to the chicken, stirring to combine.
  6. Add the can of diced tomatoes and chilies and stir, cooking for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the sour cream to the meat mixture, stir to combine, then remove from heat.
  8. Set out a 9x13-inch casserole dish to assemble the lasagna.
  9. Layer the bottom with tortillas. Top them with the meat mixture, using a slotted spoon to reserve the liquid. Add black beans, corn, sliced green onions, and the leftover sauce from the pan. Sprinkle the surface with cheese.
  10. Top with more tortillas and continue to layer the ingredients, finishing with a top layer of cheese.
  11. Bake the lasagna in the prepared oven for 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and fully melted.
  12. Remove and let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 578
Total Fat 28.8 g
Saturated Fat 13.8 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 123.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 49.7 g
Dietary Fiber 11.9 g
Total Sugars 5.8 g
Sodium 903.9 mg
Protein 33.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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