Going the Tex Mex route on this Hearty Mexican Lasagna, I kept with traditional lasagna noodles and went south of the border for spices. Layered with refried beans, corn, three cheeses with a salsa, beef and pork meat sauce, this is a homemade crowd pleaser.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word lasagna, I want to see those curly, long noodles, so substituting them with tortillas was out of the question when I went about making this Hearty Mexican Lasagna.
I wanted the tender al dente lasagna noodle all sauced with a double meat combination sauce of ground beef and pork. I call it my Mexican bolognese, seasoned with garlic, cumin and chili powder.
All those layers of delicious lasagna noodles, refried beans, corn, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses meld together to create one amazing dinner.
This makes enough for about ten people, so it’s a good one to feed a crowd, or make it in two 9×9″ pans and freeze for later mid-week dinners when time is tight.
I brown the ground beef and pork and then add my favorite salsa. I like it to be a smooth sauce so after it cooks awhile I pulse it a few times in my food processor, but that’s my preference and you don’t have to for your version.
Next comes the refried beans spread over the lasagna noodles that simply are soaked in hot water as you’re making the meat sauce. No big pot of boiling, salted water, draining and laying out of the noodles. Nope. Not in this one. You can place the noodles in the 13×9″ baking pan and pour the hot water over them. Keep it simple.
I sprinkle corn on top of the refried beans, add more lasagna noodles and the next layer consists of shredded cheddar cheese and pepper jack slices. Repeat one more time with meat sauce, noodles, beans, corn. Another final layer of noodles and cheeses and you’re ready to freeze, or in the oven to bake away!
I love to sprinkle crumbled cotija cheese on top of the baked lasagna. This cheese is available in the cheese section of your local market and is usually in a round shape that crumbles when gently pressed and is similar in look, texture and flavor to feta. The salty flavor is wonderful with the baked cheeses already on top.
Like the traditional lasagna, this is just as good or better the next day, too. I really love the twist of this dish and the textures. The sweet pop from the corn, the refried beans and cheese keep things creamy and the flavors are just wonderful.
Hearty Mexican Lasagna
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground beef (See Note 1)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 38 oz salsa (See Note 2)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano (See Note 3)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 pound lasagna noodles
- 30 oz refried beans (Two 15 oz cans)
- 15 oz can corn
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 lb pepper jack deli slices
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese
- In a large pot over medium heat, add ground pork and beef. Break up the meat with a spoon and cook until meat is well browned, Stir in beef broth, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of pan. Add the salsa, tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly and lower heat to simmer. Cook for 1 hour adding more beef broth if it gets too thick.
- Meanwhile, place lasagna noodles into the bottom of your baking pan. Pour hot water over the noodles, making sure the lasagna noodles are completely covered with water. Let soak for 30 minutes, then drain and discard water.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a deep 9x13" baking pan.
- Layer 1: Spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Place 4-6 noodles on top (enough to cover meat sauce). Spread with half of the refried beans. Top with half of corn.
- Layer 2: Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over corn. Place 4-6 noodles on top (enough to cover meat sauce), then sprinkle with half cheddar and pepper jack cheese.
- Repeat Layer 1 and 2. To finish, place a final layer of lasagna noodles, topped with another 1 cup of meat sauce to cover the pasta. Top with remaining cheese.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake additional 20 minutes for cheese to brown.
- Remove from oven, allow to rest 5 minutes and crumble cotija cheese and chopped cilantro on top (optional). Serve hot.
- I use 80/20 ground beef, but you can go leaner if you prefer.
- I use Pace Picante Salsa (Medium).
- Crumble Mexican oregano with hands over top or use regular oregano.