Mexican food. I could eat it just about every night and not get tired of it. We have a local Mexican restaurant that has a $1 Taco Tuesday night. We can feed our whole family of 5 for under $20. We’ve spent several of our recent Tuesday nights there. You just can’t beat it!
But sometimes I like to plan something for Mexican night at home. And because we eat our share of tacos out, it’s fun to change things up with a cheesy Mexican casserole…like this homemade Mexican lasagna recipe.
What is Mexican lasagna made of?
Mexican lasagna is a layered casserole with all of your favorite Mexican flavors (instead of Italian flavors). Think taco seasoning, black beans, refried beans, salsa, cheese, and sour cream. It’s so fun to take a classic, well-known dish and give it a little twist.
How to Make Mexican Lasagna
Prepare. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
Boil. Heat a pan of water to boiling and add the lasagna noodles. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the noodles are softened, but still al dente. They will continue to cook in the casserole.
Brown. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Stir in beans, chiles, taco seasoning and ⅔ cup of the salsa.
Assemble. Cover the bottom of the greased baking pan with a layer of lasagna noodles. Cover with ⅓ of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layers twice (noodles, meat, cheese, noodles, meat, cheese). Combine the remaining salsa and water. Pour over the top of the casserole.
Bake. Cover and bake 1 hour or until heated through. Baking time can vary based on the type of pan you use or how warm the ingredients are.
Top. Top with sour cream, remaining 1 cup of cheese, olives, onions, tomatoes if desired. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Can you make Mexican lasagna the night before?
Lasagna can be time consuming to make and create lots of dishes. If you’re making this recipe for company, it is nice to get the mess out of the way the day before. Put the lasagna together, but don’t bake it. Just cover it and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Then bake as directed in the recipe.
Yes! We recommend freezing this casserole before baking. Make the lasagna, then cover it with plastic wrap and a covering of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
When you are ready to bake it, remove from the freezer and defrost it overnight in the fridge. Take the casserole dish out from the refrigerator one hour before baking to help it come to room temperature. Then bake as directed in the recipe.
In the picture below, we didn’t add the black olives, green onions and diced tomatoes. You can add whatever toppings you’d like!
Use whatever type of cheese you’d like. Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese is great in this.
Try adding other veggies such as drained corn kernels, diced bell peppers or red onion.
Use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of the lean ground beef.
What to Serve with Mexican Lasagna
Here are a few of our favorite side dishes to serve with this Mexican casserole recipe:
Combine the remaining salsa and water. Pour over the top of the casserole.
Cover and bake 1 hour or until heated through.
Top with sour cream, remaining 1 cup of cheese, olives, onions, tomatoes if desired.
Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving for clean slices.
Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
We find this doesn’t need additional salt and pepper because of all the canned ingredients, but feel free to add as needed.
If you don’t have taco seasoning, you could use a tablespoon of chili powder, a teaspoon of cumin and 2 minced garlic cloves. You can also make our homemade taco seasoning.
The calories shown are based on the recipe being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being piece of lasagna. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**
You can, but for this recipe we do prefer noodles. We have a taco lasagna that you might like that uses flour corn tortillas. See the recipe for taco lasagna.
I don’t like refried beans. Do I have to use them in this recipe?
You can skip the refried beans if you’d like, but I don’t care for them and don’t notice them in this recipe. You can leave them out if you’d like, or use black beans instead.
Can I use chicken instead of beef?
Yes! You can use any ground meat that you’d like. You can also use pre-shredded cooked chicken, roast beef or pork. Any meat works great in this recipe.
Can I use picante sauce instead of salsa?
Yes. You can use either in this recipe.
I don’t like sour cream. What else can I use?
Sour cream really adds a cool, calm flavor to this Mexican lasagna. There isn’t a great substitute for the sour cream that we’ve found. Some may try unflavored Greek yogurt or even a queso sauce if they’d like, but we prefer sour cream.
About Julie Clark
I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.