Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna is a delightful fusion of Italian and Mexican cuisines, combining the layered concept of traditional lasagna with bold Mexican flavors. This dish starts with a base layer of soft flour tortillas, chosen for their pliability and ability to absorb flavors. These tortillas replace the typical lasagna noodles and are a nod to the Mexican culinary tradition.

The next layer is a rich and savory meat sauce, often made with ground beef or turkey, sautéed with onions and garlic. This meat is seasoned with a blend of spices typical to Mexican cuisine, like cumin, chili powder, and paprika, creating a warm and aromatic mixture. Sometimes, diced green chilies or jalapeños are added for an extra kick of heat. This spicy meat mixture is then combined with a tomato-based sauce, adding a tangy and slightly sweet dimension.

In between the meat layers, there’s usually a generous spread of refried beans, adding a creamy and earthy element to the dish. These beans also provide a good source of protein and make the lasagna more filling.

Cheese is an integral component of Mexican Lasagna. A mix of cheeses, such as shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack, is often used. These cheeses are known for their excellent melting qualities and slightly sharp flavor, complementing the spicy and savory elements of the dish. Layers of cheese are interspersed between the meat, beans, and tortillas, ensuring a gooey and cheesy experience in every bite.

Another layer that is sometimes included is a mixture of corn and black beans, offering a sweet pop and a contrasting texture to the creamy beans and meat. This addition not only enhances the flavor profile but also adds beautiful color to the dish.

The lasagna is typically topped with a final layer of cheese and then baked until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. The heat of the oven melds the flavors together, softening the tortillas and allowing them to absorb the savory juices from the meat and beans.

Once out of the oven, Mexican Lasagna is often garnished with fresh toppings. These can include diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and dollops of sour cream. These fresh elements add a burst of freshness and help to balance the richness of the baked layers.

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In essence, Mexican Lasagna is a hearty, comforting dish that’s perfect for family dinners or gatherings. It’s a versatile recipe that can be adapted to different spice levels and ingredient preferences, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy the fusion of different culinary traditions.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
  • 1 (4 oz) can fire roasted diced green chiles
  • 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (or our homemade enchilada sauce)
  • 12 8” large flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Pepperjack cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 oz can sliced olives, drained
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into a large skillet, over medium high heat. Add beef, onion, paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to skillet. Brown beef for about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans and corn. Stir to combine. Allow to cook while you begin preparing the baking pan.
  3. Smooth about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Lay tortillas on the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping until pan is covered (about 4 tortillas).
  4. Spoon half of the beef mixture over top of the tortillas, spread evenly. Layer tortillas on top of beef mixture. Smooth about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/2 of each of the cheeses on top. Scatter the green chiles over the cheese. Add the remaining beef mixture. Spread evenly. Layer tortillas on top of beef mixture. Spoon remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of tortillas. Garnish top with olives and scallions.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and lasagna is warmed through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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