Recipe :: Mexican Tortilla Lasagna

Sep 24, 2011 by

Last week, Miles and I were in Abingdon, VA on a little mountain getaway, and I happened to stumble upon something magnificent at a coffee shop.  Here is my own delectable recreation.
The most utterly delightful thing about this “lasagna” is that it’s fairly easy to make, but it’s one of those stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals that doesn’t really need a side dish or any other courses alongside it.  The idea is that you use tortillas instead of noodles to create the layers, and then stuff the thing with beans and cheese and peppers and whatever else floats your boat.  There is a lot of room to invent with this one.  For instance, I have discovered that if every time a recipe calls for cumin, I throw in a dash of cinnamon, the results are incredible.  So you’ll find cinnamon here.  Next time I might use some mushrooms or spinach as well.

Last night Andy came over to watch Toddlers and Tiaras and we just kept eating this stuff and murmuring about how on earth anything so simple could be so delicious.  And the atrocious behavior of the toddlers and their parents.  

I have to thank Zazzy’Z coffeeshop for the inspiration, though my version has a little more going on.  But next time I’m in Abingdon, you better bet I’m making a beeline for that counter.

Mexican Tortilla Lasagna
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
 or beef substitute (I use Boca Burgers Ground Crumbles)
  • ½ onion, finely chopped

  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (or you can use 2, if you like the heat)
  • ½ bellpepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • dash sea salt

  • dash black Pepper

  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15oz)  ounces fresh corn

  • 1 can (15oz) black beans
  • 1 can (15oz)  refried pinto beans
  • 4 ounces mild enchilada sauce

  • 4-5 8″ flour tortillas

  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or spray olive oil (virgin or extra-virgin)


  • Heat oven to 400˚ F.  Lightly coat a 8×12″ (or similar) pan with olive oil.  Don’t use nonstick “cooking spray”–seriously, do you know what’s in that?  Just don’t.
  • Brown beef in a large nonstick skilled over medium heat with a little more olive oil.  Stir in onions, jalapenos, and bell pepper and cook until tender (onions are clear).

  • Stir in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Stir in tomatoes and enchilada sauce; bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  • Drain cans of black beans and corn.  In a medium-sized bowl, stir together corn and black beans.
  • Tear up tortillas and line bottom of pan.  Spread refried beans on tortilla strips and top with corn and black bean mixture and cheese.  Layer on more tortilla strips and top with beef/veggie mixture and cheese.  Alternate layers until you run out of ingredients or reach the top of the dish.  Make sure there is ample cheese on top of the final layer.  Nom nom.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve hot and keep the leftovers covered in the refrigerator.  
Watch crap TV with your friends while eating.  
Reheats like a dream.





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