Mexican Lasagna

In Healthy Dinner Recipes

Mexican Lasagna

We are so encouraged by your response to our upcoming trip to Cambodia – thank you so much for everyone who has voiced their support!  It means so much to us to know you are behind us in this effort.

Currently, we’re working on determining recipes that might be fun to cook with the girls at the Culinary Training Center. We’ve taken a look at the menu for their restaurant (set to open in early March), and there are a few Mexican and Italian items on the menu, so we know we’ll be in good company. (We’re looking forward to learning more about Cambodian food too – this week, we’ll learn a few things from a student from the Training Center who is here in Indy training!  Stay posted for more on that.)

But in the meantime, how about some more culinary fusion? Much like Greek quesadillas and Mexican pizza, we loved the idea of Mexican lasagna. Some good friends of ours served a version of it to us recently, which served as the inspiration for our own take.


Believe it or not, the process of creating this recipe was on par with the spicy kale lasagna, which we had to make so many pans of to perfect that I cringe at the thought of it to this day. However, somehow I thought the Mexican version might inspire “getting it right the first time”.

Lasagna is tricky business. It seems easy, but it’s hard to get it right. Here are some learnings from this time around:

-Yes, do cover with aluminum foil when you bake, especially if you are using “no boil” noodles (unless you want cardboard on the top).

-No, do not overstuff the layers!  While it seems fun, it makes for a mess when trying to devour it. Minimalism is best.

-Yes, do use crushed tomatoes (and not drained diced) if you want the right consistency.

-Yes, do add some seasonings (and just a bit of hot sauce!) – it does pay off, even if it adds a few extra minutes of prep time.

Luckily, we made those mistakes so that you don’t have to! What results is an incredibly delicious, easy entrée that would be perfect for serving to guests, and is especially easy to whip up in advance!


Mexican Lasagna

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4


  • 9 ounces “No Boil” whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 15-ounce can black beans (1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack and cheddar blend cheese (Mexican blend)
  • 6 green onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Chop 6 green onions into thin slices, using both the white and green portions. Finely 1/2 cup cilantro, reserving some for the garnish. Drain and rinse the beans.
  3. In a 9 x 9 square baking dish, do the following: Spread a thin layer of tomatoes on the bottom of the pan. Place one layer of noodles on top of the tomatoes. On top of the noodles, sprinkle on a handful each of black beans, green onions, corn, and cilantro, and spread over carefully with another layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle on a layer of cheese, then sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and a few pinches kosher salt. Drizzle with a bit of hot sauce.
  4. Repeat the layers with the remainder of the ingredients: Noodles / Filling / Noodles / Filling / Noodles. On the top layer of noodles, spread the last layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped cilantro and serve warm, with sour cream if desired.

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.


  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    February 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    This sounds so yummy! Love this!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    It makes me smile to hear of your repeated tries in order to get a recipe right. I’m sure that those who develop recipes often have to make a few attempts, but they usually don’t mention it. Your experiences somehow make the prospect of experimentation and invention seem a little more approachable! Thanks, guys!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Oh, I’m glad you said so! A few other people have mentioned they liked hearing about the process as well. We generally try to keep posts fairly short so as not to lose interest (I tend to be a chronic skimmer!), but I am glad to know people actually read the text too! Thanks for mentioning this :)

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    February 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Yum! This sound incredibly tasty! :) I love how you layer the flavours while assembling the lasagna. When I make italian lasagna, it takes so much time, as I make sauce from scratch, dice the veggies etc etc etc. Takes a lot of time! But this sounds so delicious yet so simple. Love it! Thank you for sharing :)

  • Reply
    February 20, 2012 at 5:27 am

    I love your fusion recipes! All the ideas are such fun and the flavors seem exciting. Though I’m not usually a great lover of Mexican food, this lasagna looks spectacular. I’ll definitely have to try it soon!
    And good job on testing many variations, it’s interesting to hear what a process it takes to create a good lasagna :)

  • Reply
    February 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Yum! I’ve been thinking about making something similar for awhile but seeing your delicious lasagna thinks I’ll be making something sooner rather than later!

    Good luck deciding on what to make with the girls! What a phenomenal experience!

  • Reply
    Nikki @Pennies on a Platter
    February 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Looks amazing! Glad you shared your tips, too, so the first time I make this it will be perfection! ;) I love the thinner layers…

  • Reply
    City Share
    February 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    This sounds great. We recently made some no-noodle lasagna (because we are avoiding grains), and I think this would work well with zuchinni “noodles” too. Thanks for a new way to spice up a classic.

  • Reply
    RJ (Kids and Cast Iron)
    February 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Lasagna can be so versatile. Many people are open to changing it up with pasta but for some reason tend to leave lasagna in the traditional form. Good job on changing it up. Totally agree… Minimal is best when filling the layers.

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    February 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I love this idea and it looks amazing! Thanks for writing out your tips! Very helpful, especially since I don’t make lasagna often and I know you must have done a ton of work to figure all of them out!

  • Reply
    Terri Sue
    February 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    i makw a mexican lasagne that is similar to yours only instead of noodles i use whole wheat tortillas. also instead of the tomatoes i use salsa, usually store bought unless i have some of my own home-canned on hand. i pep it up with a lot of cilantro like you do. i also use black beans and corn. goes together so fast.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    This looks delicious! I’m a lasagna-freak, so I know I’d love a mexican spin on it!

  • Reply
    Russell at Chasing Delicious
    February 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    What an awesome combination of flavors! It looks scrumptious! My kind of dinner.

  • Reply
    Peoria Peruser
    February 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I’d eat it, but then again I would most anything.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

    First off, I love your blog! I have recently started eating fewer animal products and rarely eating meat. I still love cheese and greek yogurt, so being a complete vegan is not in my future. Anyway, I’ve tried several of your recipes, and I love them every time. My first attempt at this one was a little, ugh, messy. Just a note for readers, when you say thin layer of tomotato sauce on the bottom, it means thin!! However, the flavors were wonderful together. With a little practice, I can actually serve this to guests! :)

    • Reply
      March 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you! We love cheese too :)

      Are there any other tips on the lasanga we could add to make it more helpful?

  • Reply
    March 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    We made this last weekend, following the directions exactly, and everyone loved it! Later this week we’re trying the baked sweet potates with black beans and salsa from your blog. Thanks for the pretty pictures and delicious recipes.

    • Reply
      March 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Wonderful – so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I just popped over from Annie’s Eats to thank you for creating this recipe and serving it to her and her family. I made it last night for dinner and it was amazing. Kudos to you for such a tasty recipe that not only tastes great, but also presents beautifully.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

      You’re welcome, and glad you enjoyed it! We can’t wait to make it again :)

  • Reply
    June 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    This was DELICIOUS!! I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 pan. It was so good! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Just made this tonight with onions and oregano from our garden. I’m topping it with lettuce from the garden too. Hurrah for spring and summer!!!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Wonderful – so fun! Yes, hurrah for the garden season!

  • Reply
    Sanda Jo Roberts
    October 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Oh, thank you so much for the work you put in perfecting the recipe so I don’t have to make the mistakes. I am so going to follow your site. I’m off to make this now.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    In Mexico, they make this with corn tortillas as one version of enchiladas. Corn tortillas are also gluten free, and, I can tell you, would make this dish really, really good.

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