Mexican Lasagna with Tortillas

This is one of those dishes that can miraculously be on the table in short order, made from things you hopefully have in your pantry and fridge.  If you don’t like, or you don’t have, one of the ingredients, skip it.  Or, you have something else that you think might be appealing all layered in (like slivered bell peppers to sauté with the onions, kale, chopped cooked broccoli, whatever the people in your home will eat, then fling it on in).  This is essentially a lasagna with tortillas standing in for noodles.  

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Make Ahead Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

You can make this a day ahead of time, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge overnight; just take it out and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 400 degrees.  Bake uncovered.

Non-Vegetarian Note:

If you wanted to add some shredded cooked chicken or beef, or chopped cooked shrimp to this, it’s delicious.  Another excellent add-in is leftover taco meat (whether turkey or beef).  Just reduce the amount of beans to one can and add two cups of the shredded or seasoned ground meat to the bean mixture.  Proceed as directed!

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Spinach in Mexican Lasagna

I’m a big fan of packaged baby spinach.  Prewashed baby spinach is a fantastic time saver, since bunched regular spinach can be extremely dirty, and washing bunches of spinach is right up there with scrubbing the shower grout in terms of joyless tasks.  With that said, if you get fresh spinach from a farmers’ market or a garden, clearly it’s worth the effort to clean.

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna: Tortillas are layered with a savory filling of beans, vegetables, and Mexican seasonings in an unusual twist on a lasagna.

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What Can the Kids Do?

They can layer up the tortillas, bean mixture, and cheese; encourage them to distribute the filling evenly across each tortilla, and portion everything evenly over all four layers.

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

How to Make Mexican Lasagna

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Spray a 9-inch round cake or baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin, chili powder, and garlic and sauté until you can smell the spices and the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes with the reserved juice, and the beans. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until everything is well blended and hot, about 3 minutes.  

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Add the corn and spinach and stir until spinach has wilted and everything is well blended and hot, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Place one tortilla in the prepared pan. Spread one fourth of the bean and vegetable mixture evenly over the tortilla, then sprinkle ½ cup of the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Repeat with three more layers, ending with the last quarter of the bean mixture, and then the last ½ cup shredded cheese.  

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Bake the tortilla casserole until the cheese is melted and top is lightly browned, 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges using a sharp knife and serve with a spatula or a pie server.   Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, and serve with salsa and sour cream on the side if you like.  Guacamole is also a great accompaniment!

What to Serve with Mexican Lasagna:

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Other Vegetarian Mexican Recipes:

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Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Tortillas are layered with a savory filling of beans, vegetables, and Mexican seasonings in an unusual twist on a lasagna.
Yield: 6 People
Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive , vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes , drained, with ⅓ cup juice reserved
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans white, black, or kidney beans (or a mixture of any two), drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can sweet corn kernels , drained
  • 3 cups roughly chopped spinach
  • 4 medium sized (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream to serve (optional)
  • Salsa to serve (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake or baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin, chili powder, and garlic and sauté until you can smell the spices and the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes with the reserved juice, and the beans. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until everything is well blended and hot, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and spinach and stir until spinach has wilted and everything is well blended and hot, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Place one tortilla in the prepared pan. Spread one fourth of the bean and vegetable mixture evenly over the tortilla, then sprinkle ½ cup of the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Repeat with three more layers, ending with the last quarter of the bean mixture, and then the last ½ cup shredded cheese.
  • Bake the tortilla casserole until hot throughout and the top is lightly browned and the cheese has melted, 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges using a sharp knife and serve with a spatula or better yet a pie server. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, and serve with salsa and sour cream on the side if you like.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 682mg | Potassium: 1344mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2125IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 486mg | Iron: 8mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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