This easy Tex-Mex casserole recipe is travel friendly and perfect for potlucks!
Table of Contents
❤️ Why you'll love it
- Cheesy, meaty, and packed with flavor!
- Uses everyone's favorite Mexican ingredients.
- Easy to assemble, and even easier to batch/make in advance!
Mexican lasagna is prepared kind of like a traditional Italian lasagna recipe, but with a major TexMex twist! Sometimes called Taco Lasagna, this family favorite is hearty, satisfying, and—some might say—becoming a classic itself.
If you like Tex-Mex casseroles try this baked burrito casserole next.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- In a large skillet, brown meat and add seasoning and diced tomatoes.
- Blend together the cream cheese and cup of salsa.
- Layer all of the ingredients in a casserole dish.
- Top Mexican lasagna with more cheese, bake, and enjoy!
How to layer Mexican lasagna
To save and store baked casserole leftovers, be sure to cover the dish with plastic wrap or seal it in an airtight container. You can get away with using aluminum foil if you're only refrigerating it.
This Mexican lasagna recipe will last for five days in the refrigerator, or for about three months in the freezer!
To reheat, pop it back into the oven and bake until warmed through. The bake time will be longer from frozen, but it'll taste just as good. (You can always pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge for a day to expedite the process.)
For smaller portions, just microwave it!
To assemble ahead of time
Cheesy Mexican lasagna is a super easy recipe to batch, too. Make it ahead of time for busy nights, emergency meals, freezer meals for family/friends, potlucks, and more.
It's so good you'll be thankful to have one ready to go at a moment's notice!
After preparing the casserole, but before baking, you can store it the same way mentioned above.
If it's only refrigerated, you can bake it as indicated on the recipe card.
If it's frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed OR bake it for 1-½ hours straight from frozen! Easy, cheesy!
- Instead of beef, use another ground meat (like ground turkey, chicken, or pork.)
- To add some more texture, and make your meal "stretch" even more, add some corn kernels or chopped red bell peppers to the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle the beef mixture with extra chili powder and cayenne pepper while cooking if your family craves a lot of spice. Or, instead of the regular taco seasoning, purchase a spicy version.
- If you like them better, you can use soft flour tortillas in this recipe. However, I think corn tortillas give it a nicer texture! You can also use leftover tortilla chips in place of the layers of tortillas.
- Use salsa verde, more green chilies, taco sauce, or a bit of extra enchilada sauce instead of salsa.
- Try a smoked Cheddar, Gouda, Pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack cheese instead of the Mexican cheese blend called for in the recipe.
- Have some leftover bean dip? Use it in place of the refried beans. You can also lightly mash some black beans or pinto beans and use that if you're in a pinch!
- Don't forget to garnish with some sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce, and green onions before serving.
Tex-Mex is my favorite comfort food. Sour cream chicken enchilada casserole is another one of my favorites for busy weeks.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Let the Mexican lasagna cool for 10-15 minutes before serving it to cut neat slices. If you cut into it while too hot, the slices won't hold together as well.
- Warm refried beans spread much more easily than cold. So, if you're having some trouble spreading them easily, pop the beans in the microwave for a minute or two.
- Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated with a bit of an anti-caking agent, so it doesn't end up melting together as well. For the meltiest cheese string pulls worthy of Instagram, shred the cheese yourself.
- Corn tortillas work best in this recipe.
This could simply be called the ultimate Mexican casserole, but the recipe method is based on the layering techniques of lasagna. So, it paints a nice visual image of what you're making/eating. We simply swap all the Italian ingredients for comparable Mexican versions.
You can, but you could also put BBQ sauce on ice cream—in other words, I wouldn't recommend it. It's not bad, by any means, but it's not as good as tortillas.
Yep! This is a great recipe for a reason. It's very forgiving. Substitute your favorite non-dairy cheeses if you must. It might not look as melty after baking, but dairy free is still delicious!
📚 Related recipes
- Cheesy and delicious, Easy Mexican Beef Casserole comes together in just 30 minutes and leaves the whole family wanting second helpings!
- Taco Stuffed Shells are another great Italian-inspired-dish-turned-Mexican for anyone who is a fan of beefy, cheesy Mexican food.
- Everyone needs a good, traditional Italian lasagna recipe—and this one receives rave reviews. Every. Single. Time.
- Hearty. Beefy. Delicious! John Wayne casserole.
🍽️ Serve with...
📞 The last word
Just like you, I need great recipes that I can toss on the table in minutes.
My commute may be down a staircase (which can honestly get pretty crowded with the 4 dogs) and yours may be crawling along a clogged highway but we are alike in that getting dinner on the table might be the most frustrating moments of our evening.
One thing I like to do is to double or triple the ingredients so I have a casserole or two in the freezer for emergencies- just let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed OR bake it for 1-½ hours straight from frozen!
If you're a fan of Mexican food you'll want to try this easy casserole.
Next time try King Ranch Chicken. It's SO easy to make - and you can assemble it ahead of time.
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Cheesy Mexican LasagnaPrint Pin Recipe Save Recipe
- 1-½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 ounce taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 20 ounces tomatoes with chiles, I used Ro*Tel
- 2 cups refried beans
- 2 cups Mexican blend cheese, shredded - divided use
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded - divided use
- ¾ cup cilantro, chopped
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1-½ cups salsa, divided use
- ½ cup black olives, sliced
I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying purchases.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray a 13x9-inch pan with non-stick spray.
- Cook the ground beef, stirring to crumble.
- Add the taco seasoning, tomatoes and chiles plus their liquid, and ¼ cup of water.
- Simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated. Stir in cumin and set aside.
- Whip the cream cheese and 1 cup of the salsa together until smooth. Set aside.
- Mix the two shredded cheeses together. Set aside.
- Pour ½ cup of salsa in the bottom of the pan.
- Cut 8 tortillas in half.
- Arrange 2 halves with the straight side toward the long side of the pan. Repeat on the other side.
- Arrange 1 half with the straight side toward the short side of the pan. Repeat at the other end with the other half.
- Place two whole corn tortillas down the center.
- Sprinkle with ¼ cup black olives
- Sprinkle with ¼ cups chopped cilantro.
- Spread with half the refried beans, half the ground beef, half the cream cheese, and ⅓ of the shredded cheese.
- Top with corn tortillas as before.
- Repeat layers of toppings as before., ending with corn tortillas.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- Substitute flour tortillas for the corn tortillas
- Use cooked ground pork, chicken or turkey instead of ground beef
- Add some corn kernels in with the meat
- Use salsa verde instead of salsa
- Try a smoked Cheddar or Gouda cheese instead of the cheese called for in the recipe
- Top with some sour cream before serving
- Use leftover tortilla chips for the tortilla layers
- Leftover bean dip? Use it in place of the refried beans
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
First published October 9, 2017. Last updated June 30, 2022 for better images and readability.