Mexican Lasagna: Cheesy, Spicy Comfort Food
Is there a meal that excites people more than a cheesy, comforting lasagna? Well, move over Italy because Mexico wants a piece of that glory! Read on for a cheesy, decadent fiesta of flavors- Mexican Lasagna, comfort food extraordinaire. (This post does not contain affiliate links, nor is it a sponsored post.)
Comfort Food with a Kick
In our house we eat soooo much Mexican food. Maybe because it’s hot-weather friendly (the South is the humidity capital of the country, after all), or maybe because I always have peppers and cilantro in the house. Either way, when I was contemplating what to make for dinner one night, I was feeling comfort food vibes and lasagna popped into my head. But dang it, we didn’t have lasagna noodles. Enter: corn tortillas… and all of the sudden a vision of the complete Mexican lasagna floated into my consciousness.
It really isn’t rocket science, though. Italian lasagna has red sauce just like most Mexican dishes. Remove the rosemary and basil, add in cumin and a kick of chili pepper, and the Mexican version is equally simple. Instead of the Italian ricotta cheese layer, we’ll employ cotija mixed with cream cheese and Greek yogurt (for a sour cream-like tang). And instead of mozzarella sprinkled on top, we go cheddar and pepper jack. Easy!
Keep it Fresh
For the cherry on top, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of bright green cilantro round out our lasagna makeover. And that’s maybe my favorite thing about this dish, something Italian Lasagna doesn’t have- the freshness! Go overboard with the herbs and zesty citrus and you have a comfort food for all seasons, not just the depths of winter!
Ok you guys, do yourself a favor and make a Mexican lasagna for dinner this weekend, or for your next game-day party! You just found your next comfort food go-to!
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- 15-20 4-inch Corn Tortillas, cut in half
Mexican Red Sauce
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 large Onion, diced
- 4 Jalapeños, minced
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 28 oz can Enchilada Sauce
- 28 oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 2 Tbsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Lime
- Salt to Taste
- 16 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 8 oz Greek Yogurt
- 2 cups Cotija Cheese, divided
- 16 oz Cheddar, grated
- 16 oz Pepper Jack, grated
- 1 large Egg
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- Limes, quartered
- Avocado Slices
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, brown ground beef. Drain. Add onion and jalapenos to pot and cook until softened, about seven minutes. Add minced garlic and cook one minute more. then pour in enchilada sauce and diced tomatoes. Juice the lime into the pot, add taco seasoning and all other seasonings. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high until sauce boils, then reduce to low and simmer for two hours (or more, if you have the time).
- Put cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat on medium speed with hand mixer until loosened. Add Greek yogurt, 1 cup of cotija cheese, salt, garlic powder, and cilantro and beat until combined. Add egg and beat until incorporated. (The remaining cheeses will be sprinkled on top of the cream cheese mixture for the cheese layer.)
Assembly + Baking
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan spread a ladle or two of red sauce. Arrange a layer of tortilla halves to completely cover the sauce. Spread half of cream cheese mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle grated cheddar, pepper jack, and cotija cheese over cream cheese mixture then ladle red sauce over cheese. Repeat. Add one more layer of tortillas and red sauce on top, then sprinkle with cheddar, pepper jack, and cotija.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for twenty minutes. Remove foil and bake another 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is slightly browned and melty. Remove from oven and let cool at least ten minutes, preferably longer. Serve generous portions topped with avocado slices, freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Keep refrigerated for up to four days. Also freezes well!
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