South of the Border Inspired Lasagna

Everyone knows lasagna is a tasty Italian dish, but that’s not to say there aren’t variations on the classic lasagna theme. Take the following south of the border inspired lasagna, for example. The beef, cheese and tomatoes are the only things this recipe has in common with classic lasagna, but it’s still a lasagna – just a different one!

This is an easy 3-ingredient recipe, so anyone will be able to make it with ease. The ingredients are of course the beef, cheese and tomatoes, and then you also have salsa, taco seasoning and corn tortillas. Yep, that’s all – just those 6 ingredients!

Choosing the Best Ingredients

 This Mexican style lasagna recipe is only going to be as good as the ingredients you use to make it. Let’s start with the beef. I like to use 90% lean beef or 85%, depending what’s available. If you use 75% lean you will have a lot of fan to drain off, while using 95% lean means it can dry out. The meat won’t dry out too much since it’s going to be smothered in sauce, but still – go for lean but not too lean!

As for the cheese, a Mexican blend works beautifully here but you can pick a different kind if you prefer. Pepper Jack is a little spicy so perhaps using half that and the other half maybe mozzarella or cheddar would be awesome too. Shredded cheese is the easiest but you can buy a block of cheese and shred your own if you want.

Moving on to the tomatoes in juice, either use the plain kind or another. I like Ro-tel’s spiced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro. It’s widely available from grocery stores as well as Amazon. These flavors are Mexican, of course, so it’s worth trying the Ro-tel kind. They are so nice!

The same applies to the salsa and there are certainly a lot of options. A mild, medium or even spicy salsa would work, or you might prefer to use a green tomatillo salsa but a different, but still delicious, flavor.

Taco seasoning adds those all-important south of the border flavors to this Mexican lasagna recipe. Different brands have difference ingredients of course.

How to Make Taco Seasoning

If you don’t have taco seasoning to hand or prefer to make your own, that’s fine. Combine a tablespoon of chili powder with ¼ teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano and crushed red pepper, ½ teaspoon paprika, 1½ teaspoons cumin, and a teaspoon each of salt and black pepper.

This makes an ounce of taco seasoning which is what you need to make Tex-Mex lasagna. If you prefer, double or triple the ingredients and use an ounce in the recipe and store the remainder in a labeled airtight container.

Corn vs Flour Tortillas

I like using corn tortillas in this Mexican lasagna recipe although flour tortillas are a worthy alternative. Corn tortillas are healthy, being rich in both magnesium and fiber.

Flour tortillas are higher in fat since they’re made with shortening, lard or similar. They do offer more iron though. I would say it boils down to personal preference. Either corn or flour tortillas hold up in the lasagna and won’t disintegrate, so just pick whichever you prefer.

Tex-Mex Lasagna: How to Make It

The first thing to do when making any kind of lasagna, not just Mexican lasagna, is to brown the beef.

If you’re using lean beef, add a splash of oil to the skillet before adding the meat. You don’t want it to stick. After draining off the excess grease (don’t forget!) you can add the seasoning and tomatoes to the beef and mix well.

Layer the tortillas, beef mixture, salsa, and cheese in a baking dish and then bake it in the oven. That’s all! Now you can serve up this delicious and easy lasagna.

Optional Toppings

Once the lasagna is cooked, it’s ready to serve. I usually give it 5 minutes in the dish so nobody burns their mouth! Optional toppings for Mexican lasagna include sour cream, chopped fresh tomatoes, sliced black olives, fresh cilantro, iceberg lettuce, and avocado slices. These add color as well as additional flavor.

What to Serve with Tex-Mex Lasagna

Since this recipe has south of the border flavors, why not consider Mexican side dishes? Mexican rice (also known as Spanish rice) would be good, along with refried beans or even corn on the cob. This easy Mexican lasagna recipe pairs exciting south of the border flavors for a wonderful dinnertime treat.

South of the Border Inspired Lasagna

South of the Border Inspired Lasagna

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 14 ounces canned chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup tomato or tomatillo salsa
  • 1-ounce package taco seasoning mix
  • 10 soft corn tortillas (6-inches across)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over a moderate to high heat.
  3. Add the ground beef and brown it, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon.
  4. Drain off any excess grease.
  5. Mix in the tomatoes and taco seasoning.
  6. Use half the tortillas to line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  7. Spoon the beef mixture on top.
  8. Add the rest of the tortillas on top of the beef.
  9. Now spread salsa on top then finish off with the cheese.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
  11. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 448Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 9gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1152mgCarbohydrates: 39g