Spicy Mexican Tortilla Lasagne

I love a crowd pleasing meal. I mean, really, what is nicer as a cook to put a meal on the table that everybody likes? Especially after a long week, when my nerves can be a little frayed anyway, it is always good to have a recipe up your sleeve that never fails. Cheesy, meaty, a little spicy and much lighter than a traditional lasagne, this Spicy Tortilla Lasagne has been my go to for years. Cheap, tasty and quick – perfect.

I first started cooking this when I was living in Soho, in a tiny studio apartment in London’s West End. I’d invite my friends around for dinner and with everybody perched on whichever stair, window ledge, pillow or floor space available, I’d grandly present my signature dish of the time ‘Mexican Lasagne’, washed down with bottles of cheap wine it was the perfect start to the evening before we headed off to the bars and bright lights of Old Compton Street.

I like to make this in a rectangular dish for ease of slicing, but if you happen to have a round, tortilla sized baking dish then use that by all means and save yourself the hassle of trimming off all the edges. I like to make sure it has a spicy kick, but dial the chilli up or down as it suits. It’s nice to throw in a few jalapeños too.

Definitely serve this with a fresh, crisp green salad, and maybe a little salsa. And maybe a Tequila, lime and lemonade (even THINKING of this drink combination is giving me flashbacks) if you’re planning on hitting the bars after!

A side note, as this is one of those funny words that has driftend out of Italian into English, there are different spellings on each side of the Atlantic. UK English follows the Italian in that ‘lasagne’ is the plural from of the ‘lasagna’ sheet of pasta. Over in the U.S ‘lasagna’ has evolved to mean the whole dish. Lasagne, lasagna, po-tay-to, po-tah-to, it’s all good!

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!

Spicy Mexican Tortilla Lasagne

Spicy Mexican Tortilla Lasagne

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cheesy, meaty, a little spicy and much lighter than a traditional lasagne, this Spicy Mexican Tortilla Lasagne has been my go-to recipe for years.


  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400 g tin kidney beans
  • 200 ml beef stock
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 6 medium tortillas
  • 1 tub sour cream
  • 250 g cheddar, grated
  • salt & pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and cook the onion for 5 minutes until softened, but not browned. Add the celery, carrot, and garlic to the pan with the oregano, cumin and chilli and continue cooking gently for another 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat up and add the beef mince to the pan, breaking up any chunks with a wooden spoon, and fry until browned.
  3. Pour the tomatoes, drained kidney beans, beef stock and red wine into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened and any watery liquid has evaporated. Taste, then season well with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Trim the edges of the tortillas so that they will lie flat in a 20 x 30cm ovenproof dish (reserving the edges). Place two of the tortillas as the bottom layer in the dish, put one third of the mince on top, and spread over a third of the sour cream and grated cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, mince, sour cream and cheese so you have three layers.
  5. Put the trimmed tortilla edges in the food processor or blender and pulse to make bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the lasagne, grate over a little more cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 986Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 965mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 11gSugar: 6gProtein: 64g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.


Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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