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Jun 20, 2009 09:09 AM

Mexican Lasagna!??!

What is Mexican Lasagna? Is this some sort of Racheal Ray /Paula Dean concoction? I'm sort of a Lasagna purist so I'm intrigued and slightly disgusted at the same time. Obviously no restaurant serves this, so is it worth trying to make and if so, what goes in it?

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  1. I'm sure it's just a "comfortable" name someone has given the lazy man's version of enchiladas. (Around here it'd just be "tortilla casserole" and consist of corn tortillas, cooked/seasoned ground beef or chicken, and enchilada sauce & cheese.)

    I'd lay money down that Sandra Lee or whatever her name is would make some unholy concoction w/lasagne noodles, ground beef & taco seasoning, cottage cheese, ench. sauce, and cheese. In which case, no, doesn't sound worth it at all.

    My version? Delicious,. but only if you like enchiladas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shanagain

      Yeah, just call it enchilada casserole or you'll anger Mexican, Italians, AND chowhounds. Can you afford to go there? ;-)

    2. if i were making it, i'd use chorizo, fresh chilies of choice, queso blanco, réqueson, and asadero cheeses, tomato sauce with onions, mexican oregano, dried chilies powder and a touch of cumin.

      <edit: i forgot to mention roasted red peppers, too!>

      5 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        Which is exactly like mine, except I really, really dislike chorizo with anything other than eggs. (I know, go figure.) Actually, we don't get requeson here, either.

        1. re: shanagain

          so you use ground beef? what spices? which chilies?
          and while i don't camp with the rachael-bashers, she actually does have a recipe for mexican lasagne: -- and it looks like a huge hit with over 550 reviewers.

          and i'd eat this version, too, though it is a "concoction"**

          ** it is sad that the poor little word "concoction" has gotten a bad rap!

          1. re: alkapal

            I'm in west Texas, so I always have the following in my pantry: Mex. oregano, New Mexican chili powder, cumin, what I consider "plain old chili powder," (not chili blend, but misc. chili powder), garlic, onions, occasionally ground coriander - I tend to forget about it, then remember it and it's blah, so it's kind of a lather/rinse/repeat cycle of having fresh-ish coriander around.

            So my ground beef would be seasoned/cooked with chopped fresh jalapenos and/or serranos, garlic, onion, salt & pepper. From there, I may or may not add chilies to the meat. Then drain and make a quick and dirty "ench. sauce" with dried chilies, ground cumin, M. oregano, El Pato tom. sauce if I'm in the mood (and haven't used it all in impromptu salsa batches - that stuff makes a killer salsa addition) with the fat & "juice" from the ground beef - I was taught to buy the cheapest 70/30 gr. beef and use the fat & juices for ench. sauce.

            From there, layer softened corn tortillas (I'm a purist and believe softening them in hot oil is just what you do), meat, fresco & cheddar (again, Texan here), sauce.

            It isn't pretty, but it's good. If I've recently made pintos, I'll give them a crush in the food processor with some jalapenos & salt & broth and layer those as well.

            Chicken is another matter - those are just good old green enchiladas ingredients.

            I'm not afraid to bastardize my home-cooking - no one around here is going to critique my use of canned green chilies or the addition of a non-traditional Mexican cheese.

            (But the allrecipes recipe doesn't sound good to me as written - I don't like cooking with salsa most of the time.)

            1. re: alkapal

              Alton Brown also has a recipe for Mexican lasagna. also on the FN website. I've actually made it and it was a big hit.

          2. re: alkapal

            Yes alkapal, I have made it several years. I got bored with traditional lasagna although I love it. I have made veggie lasagna, the winter green lasagna on CHOW which was very good, Mexican, seafood, mushroom and other concoctions. Just for fun.

            Mine uses the basic meat sauce, cheese filling, extra cheese for topping and noodles. I just use Mexican flavors as alkapal mentioned. I use chorizo, chilies, queso blanco, and cheddar, red enchilada sauce and tomato sauce, ricotta, egg, cumin, garlic oregano, cilantro, roasted reds, even green chilies. Also black olives, onions and once I even added roasted corn which was a nice flavor and would do it again.

            Your basic meat sauce and if you don't like chorizo, use turkey but I used chorizo which I loved, lots of veggies, enchilada sauce mixed with tomato sauce to lighten it up a bit, then the cheese layer was ricotta mixed with some queso blanco and cheddar and an egg, then topped with a little more cheese then the noddles, etc. Just like classic. Topped with the sauce, extra cheddar and queso blanco and baked.

            For peppers I used a mix in my meat mix of cubanella, jalapeno, not many dried. But you can really have fun and play with the flavors depending on how hot you want it. I had tons of flavor in the meat sauce.

            I served it with a fresh avacado salad with romaine, onion, red onion and a lime vinaigrette. A simple side dish to the spicy lasagna.

          3. I worked at a Cali-Mex place that served this more than 15 years ago. It's really just a casserole version of enchiladas. I've made it layering corn tortillas, cheese, sauce, beans, peppers, and whatever else I felt like. Pretty good and very easy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mojoeater

              Mexican lasagna could mean lasagna noodles etc with Mexican style seasonings. Or it could be a more typical Mexican dish with tortillas, cooked in a form the resembles lasagna.

              Enchiladas, baked flat, rather than rolled might qualify. In other words, same filling, sauce, and tortillas, but built up in layers,

              Some forms of chilaquilas have also been likened to lasagna. These are fried tortilla pieces that are softened (often partially) in a sauce. Sometimes these are done stove top, but they can also be combined and baked.

            2. I have a Mexican Lasagna recipe that is not like an enchillada casserole at all! You use tomato sauce with jalapenos, flour tortilla, sliced avocade and a shredded chicken/cheese mixture. It's delicious.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mollygirl

                If you wouldn't mind, I'd like the recipe.

                1. re: ReggieL.

                  Hi - We'd love it if mollygirl wants to share her recipe, but we ask that she do so if she chooses to on the Home Cooking board.


                  1. re: ReggieL.

                    Hi Reggie, I will post it on the Home Cooking board for you.

                2. I've made this type of dish lots of times, usually as a way to use up leftover beef or chicken. Since I always have flour tortillas, beans and cheese on hand, it's as easy as layering in and baking up. The best was when I used (home made) smoked turkey.