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Mexican Lasagne

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

This is a shorthand for Mexican-inspired ingredients piled up in lasagne-like fashion. In place of pasta layers, there are soft tortillas and in between them a riotous assembly of tomato, red pepper, onion, chilli, corn and cheese. You can see from the picture how snug the "lasagne" is in its dish. If you can totter towards the oven without spilling it, you're halfway there; but I advise you to put a baking sheet or swiss roll tin in the oven as you preheat to catch any drips that might fall later. And talking of later, one of the joys of this is that it reheats, by the slice, so wonderfully on the days that follow. So do think about cooking this even when you don't have so many to feed first time around.

This is a shorthand for Mexican-inspired ingredients piled up in lasagne-like fashion. In place of pasta layers, there are soft tortillas and in between them a riotous assembly of tomato, red pepper, onion, chilli, corn and cheese. You can see from the picture how snug the "lasagne" is in its dish. If you can totter towards the oven without spilling it, you're halfway there; but I advise you to put a baking sheet or swiss roll tin in the oven as you preheat to catch any drips that might fall later. And talking of later, one of the joys of this is that it reheats, by the slice, so wonderfully on the days that follow. So do think about cooking this even when you don't have so many to feed first time around.

Mexican Lasagne
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 8

Metric Cups

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (deseeded and chopped)
  • 2 green bird's eye chillies (chopped with seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander stalks (finely chopped)
  • 800 grams chopped tomatoes (2 cans)
  • 400 millilitres water (swilled in empty cans)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

For the Filling

  • 800 grams black beans (2 cans) drained and rinsed
  • 500 grams canned sweetcorn kernels (2 cans) drained
  • 250 grams grated mature goat's cheddar (or cheese of your choice)
  • 8 soft flour tortilla wraps

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (deseeded and chopped)
  • 2 green chiles (chopped with seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro stalks (finely chopped)
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes (2 cans)
  • 1⅔ cups water (swilled in empty cans)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

For the Filling

  • 30 ounces black beans (2 cans) drained and rinsed
  • 3¼ cups canned sweetcorn kernels (2 cans) drained
  • 2½ cups grated mature goat's cheddar (or cheese of your choice)
  • 8 soft flour tortilla wraps

Method

You will need a round ovenproof dish, approx. 26cm diameter x 6cm deep / 10 inches diameter x 2¼ inches deep.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF, slipping in a baking tray at the same time.
  2. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan on the stove and fry the onion, pepper and chilli. add the salt and cook gently for 15 minutes and, once soft, add the chopped coriander stalks.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, then swill the cans out with water and add this too. Spoon in the ketchup and let things come to a simmer, leaving the sauce (or salsa, in keeping with the Mexican mojo) to cook while you get on with preparing the filling – about 10 minutes.
  4. To make the filling, mix the drained beans and sweetcorn in a bowl. Add most of the grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on the top at the end, and mix together.
  5. Start to assemble the lasagne by spooning about a third of the salsa into the bottom of your ovenproof dish and smearing it about, then layer on 2 tortillas so that they cover the sauce overlapping slightly, like a Venn diagram.
  6. Add a third of the beans and cheese mixture, covering the tortillas, and then about a quarter of the remaining salsa and another 2 tortillas.
  7. Repeat with another third of beans and cheese, and some more salsa before layering on another 2 tortillas.
  8. Finally, add the last layer of beans and cheese, nearly all of the remaining salsa and cover with the last 2 tortillas. Spread the very last bit of salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, and let it rest for a good 10–15 minutes before slicing like a pizza.

You will need a round ovenproof dish, approx. 26cm diameter x 6cm deep / 10 inches diameter x 2¼ inches deep.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF, slipping in a baking tray at the same time.
  2. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan on the stove and fry the onion, pepper and chilli. add the salt and cook gently for 15 minutes and, once soft, add the chopped coriander stalks.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, then swill the cans out with water and add this too. Spoon in the ketchup and let things come to a simmer, leaving the sauce (or salsa, in keeping with the Mexican mojo) to cook while you get on with preparing the filling – about 10 minutes.
  4. To make the filling, mix the drained beans and sweetcorn in a bowl. Add most of the grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on the top at the end, and mix together.
  5. Start to assemble the lasagne by spooning about a third of the salsa into the bottom of your ovenproof dish and smearing it about, then layer on 2 tortillas so that they cover the sauce overlapping slightly, like a Venn diagram.
  6. Add a third of the beans and cheese mixture, covering the tortillas, and then about a quarter of the remaining salsa and another 2 tortillas.
  7. Repeat with another third of beans and cheese, and some more salsa before layering on another 2 tortillas.
  8. Finally, add the last layer of beans and cheese, nearly all of the remaining salsa and cover with the last 2 tortillas. Spread the very last bit of salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, and let it rest for a good 10–15 minutes before slicing like a pizza.

Additional Information

For gluten free use gluten free soft corn tortillas instead of tortillas made with wheat flour. For vegetarians make sure the cheese is made with vegetarian rennet.

For gluten free use gluten free soft corn tortillas instead of tortillas made with wheat flour. For vegetarians make sure the cheese is made with vegetarian rennet.

Tell us what you think

What 15 Others have said

  • I made this for a small dinner party and it was so delicious. Its even better the next day. Will definitely make it again..

    Posted by sugared almonds on 14th June 2015
  • This was easy to make, the ingredients were readily available and most importantly, it was tear-inducingly delicious. Thanks as always, Nigella

    Posted by Mamaitse on 9th June 2014
  • Delicious, It went down very well in the family. I used Kidney beans instead of black. I also used mature cathedral city cheese. Will make again!

    Posted by Sapphire2014 on 11th January 2014
  • Delicious! And very simple to make, yummy salsa! If very pressed for time I imagine one could get away with ready-made salsa out of a jar, then the only job left would be the assembly of the ingredients? Will be eating this dish time and time again, thanks Nigella! :)

    Posted by SolveigB on 6th November 2013
  • My California MIL has made this for years. She uses corn tortillae and adds chopped cooked chicken or sauted ground beef. She lets it sit for an hour before baking. Nom Nom.

    Posted by MmeMouse on 7th June 2013
  • I make this as Nigella suggests and it a great meat free meal. Most people don't even realize they are eating a vegetarian dish!

    Posted by fifijames on 3rd March 2013
  • I love this recipe... the tortilla layers make it a much lighter dish than a traditional pasta lasagne... so second helpings aren't too naughty... I also used veggie mince in the tomatoe sauce and fried some sliced garlic mushrooms separately to add an extra dimension when layering. Yum!

    Posted by Seetal on 20th December 2012
  • This is one of my favourite vegetarian recipes. I make it at least once a month and all my vegetarian friends love it too. And the avocado salsa is just AMAZING. Yum all around. :)

    Posted by modtang on 2nd October 2012
  • This is really easy to make and re heats brilliantly for a great lunch dish. Needs nothing more than a green salad for me!!

    Posted by T.K. on 2nd August 2012
  • I don't know what all these people are doing adding meat to this? It is perfect and surprisingly filling for a vegetarian meal. My carnivore housemates love it too, without added meat of course!

    Posted by jonathan.baker87 on 6th August 2012
  • I'm another meat adder, although I usually add turkey mince rather than beef to mine, and serve it with a massive salad with avocado, baby plum tomatoes and leaves with a chilli-lime dressing. Leftover wedges are amazing for lunch to take to work as well!

    Posted by nicola_b85 on 5th January 2012
  • We love this! It makes a lot, so I usually end of freezing half of it for another time (freezes great, BTW). The only change I make is leaving out cilantro/coriander leaf. Seems I was born with the gene that makes me go "ick" whenever it's in a recipe, so I don't bother. Seriously good stuff, though!

    Posted by littleredyarn on 1st November 2011
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