Put a twist on lasagna night with this easy Southwestern Lasagna. It has layers of corn tortillas, cheese, seasoned beef and green chiles -basically all the best taco ingredients but served up as a casserole instead.
I have been making this recipe for over 20 years and EVERYONE always loves it when I bring it to party. It’s a hearty, comforting dinner that’s great for family dinners or potlucks.
I got this recipe from the wife of a teacher colleague when I first started teaching, back in 2000. She brought it to a party and I immediately HAD to have the recipe. I’ve been making it ever since, and it’s my go-to meal to take to a friend in need.
It’s layered just like a traditional lasagna but instead of pasta you use corn tortillas like you would for enchiladas. Add some other favorite southwestern ingredients like seasoned ground beef, cheese, and green chiles and you end up with family-friendly dinner that’s easy to make.
It’s so much easier than making enchiladas or lasagna, too. No boiling pasta required and instead filling and rolling the tortillas you just layer everything in your baking dish. You still get all the great flavors but without all the work.
Table of Contents
Start with the Seasoned Ground Beef
This Mexican Casserole uses one my favorite beef taco fillings – here’s what you need to make it:
- Ground beef (or you can use ground turkey, too!)
- Taco seasoning
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Diced green chile
Cook the beef in a large skillet until its browned and then drain the excess fat. Add the taco seasoning, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and green chiles.
Stir and bring it to a boil and then lower the heat. Simmer the filling for about five minutes.
Once you’ve made the filling all you have to do is layer it with the other ingredients.
How to Assemble a Southwestern Casserole
Before you get started, gather up your ingredients for the casserole:
- In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese with the eggs.
- Cut your corn tortillas in half.
- Have your shredded Monterey jack cheese ready.
- Drain a can of sliced olives.
- Have the beef filling within reach.
Spread half of the beef mixture in the bottom of a 9×13” baking dish. Place half of the tortillas in an even layer on top. Spread half of the ricotta over the top and the sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the top.
Repeat the layers again starting with the beef and then top the casserole with the rest of the shredded cheese and olives.
Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.
We love this taco casserole just as it is hot from the oven, but sometimes we add some toppings like you would for enchiladas. Here are some ideas if you want to add some garnishes:
- Spoon your favorite salsa over the top.
- Add some sour cream.
- Sliced avocado, olives and green onions are great.
- Add a spoonful of guacamole.
- A sprinkling of chopped cilantro or parsley adds a nice pop of color.
Can I Make it Ahead?
Yes, you can make it ahead – it’s one of the things I love about this recipe. You can make the filling and assemble the casserole and then keep it in the refrigerator for up to a day in advance.
When you take it out of the fridge it will be cold so you will need to add five to ten minutes to the cooking time.
How Long Do the Leftovers Keep?
The leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to three days. I like to portion them out in single-serving containers so it’s easy to heat up for lunches.
You can also freeze the leftovers for up to a month and reheat in the microwave.
I’ve made this southwestern lasagna for weeknight dinners but it’s great when you have guests or need a dish for potluck. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Other Casseroles we LOVE:
Have you made this recipe?
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Southwestern Lasagna Casserole Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 1 15 ounces can diced tomatoes
- 2 8 ounce each cans tomato sauce
- 1 4 ounce can diced green chilis
- 10 corn tortillas cut in half
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2-3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 2.25 ounce can sliced olives, drained
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large skillet, brown the beef; drain fat. Add the taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and green chilis. Mix well and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook uncovered 5 minutes.
- Combine ricotta cheese and eggs in a small bowl.
- Spread half the meat mixture in the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Top with half the tortillas and carefully spread half the ricotta mixture over the tortillas, then sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat the layers, top with remaining cheese and olives.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and everything is heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
This Southwestern Lasagna is a Mexican inspired casserole recipe that’s the perfect potluck dish or dinner! It’s a casserole made with taco meat and tortillas and it’s an easy recipe that we make all the time!
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: May 4, 2020