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Mexican Lasagna With Chicken

Ready in under an hour, this easy Mexican Lasagna With Chicken is one of my most-requested recipes. It’s layers of chicken, cheese, black beans, and corn in a delicious taco-flavored tomato sauce – and it uses tortillas instead of noodles!

Okay. I know lasagna is totally not a Mexican thing at all, but when I think of layers of meat and sauce and cheesy goodness, I think lasagna.

And that’s exactly what this dish is – layers of meat and sauce and cheesy goodness – so I’m calling it lasagna even though there’s no pasta in sight.

I’ve been making this Mexican Lasagna for a really long time. It’s one of the first things I learned how to make when I started cooking on my own, and it was so good it has been on my recipe rotation ever since!

Back then, I watched the Food Network all the time. I was kind of obsessed. That was way back in the early days when they had a ton of really great learn-how-to-cook shows.

This recipe is adapted from one that Rachael Ray made on 30-Minute Meals. I made a few minor changes to the recipe over the years, finally settling on this version.

Now, let’s talk taco sauce. Yes, you can use bottled taco sauce in this recipe, and it will be delicious. That’s the way I made it for years.

But if you really want to make it something special, I highly recommend making Homemade Taco Sauce. It only takes about 20 minutes, mostly hands-off time, and you can make it while you are working on the other stuff.

For the chicken, you could use leftover roasted chicken or the meat from a rotisserie chicken – or, if you’re like me, you might have a stash of precooked shredded chicken breast in the freezer at the ready to use in recipes like this one.

baking dish of mexican lasagna after it came out of the oven, cut into squares, with an orange napkin and wooden spatula next to the dish and a stack of dishes with forks in the background

Ingredients You Need to Make Mexican Lasagna With Chicken:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Cooked chicken
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Taco sauce
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Flour tortillas
  • Mexican blend cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Scallions (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)

Here’s a Quick Look at How to Make Mexican Lasagna With Chicken

three photos showing steps to make mexican lasagna with text that says preheat oven to 425°F, saute onions in olive oil until softened, add chicken, tomatoes, taco sauce, black beans and corn, stir
three photos showing steps to make mexican lasagna with the text add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, stir, cook until heated through, place two tortillas in greased baking dish
three photos with steps to make mexican lasagna with the text top with half of the chicken mixture, add 1 cup of the cheese, top with two more tortillas
three photos showing the steps to make mexican lasagna with the text top with remaining chicken mixture, top with two more tortillas, top with remaining cheese
three photos showing the steps to make mexican lasagna with the text bake until bubbly and cheese is melted, remove from oven and rest for 15 minutes, slice, serve, and enjoy

Now, you could go ahead and eat this as is, and it will be very good. Here’s a piece all naked without any toppings:

close up of a plain piece of mexican lasagna on a white plate on an orange napkin with a fork

BUT, trust me on this one, it is sooo much better – beyond good – when you drizzle on some extra taco sauce, spoon on a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkle with chopped green onions and fresh cilantro, like this:

close up of a piece of mexican lasagna garnished with taco sauce, sour cream, chopped green onions, and cilantro

It’s a feast for the eyes and the taste buds! Please give it a try!

COMMON QUESTIONS:

  • I don’t have any cooked chicken, but I’d like to make this recipe tonight. Any suggestions? You bet! Cut up 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders into bite-sized pieces, season with salt and pepper, and cook in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until just cooked through, then proceed with the recipe. Cooking the chicken in an Instant Pot is another great option if you happen to have one.
  • Can I use dark meat chicken? Sure!
  • Can I use ground beef, turkey, or chicken? Yes! Use 2 pounds of ground meat. Brown it first until it’s cooked through, then proceed with the recipe.
  • My tortillas don’t fit right in my dish. What should I do? No worries! It just so happens that the tortillas I use are 8-inch (fajita size) tortillas, and they fit very nicely in my 4-quart baking dish, which is about the size of a 9×13-inch baking dish. If your tortillas are smaller or larger and they don’t quite fit right in your dish, just use more or less tortillas, overlap them and/or cut them to fit the dish as needed so that you get a nice layer. You got this!

This recipe will make enough to feed a small crowd – you get 8 generous pieces. If you don’t have a crowd to feed, it reheats very well as leftovers. I have frozen the leftovers with success as well.

Sometimes, though, when it’s just me and David and we’re really hungry, we both eat two pieces each. And then we do it again the next day!

I hope you try this recipe for Mexican Lasagna With Chicken and love it as much as I do. Thank for visiting today!

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a piece of Mexican lasagna garnished with taco sauce, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro on a white plate with a fork

Mexican Lasagna With Chicken

Ready in under an hour, this easy Mexican Lasagna With Chicken is one of my most-requested recipes. It's layers of chicken, cheese, black beans, and corn in a delicious taco-flavored tomato sauce – and it uses tortillas instead of noodles!
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Estimated Calories: 533

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 (15.5-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup taco sauce, homemade or bottled
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray, for greasing the baking dish
  • 6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • additional taco sauce, for garnish, optional
  • sour cream, for garnish, optional
  • chopped green onions, for garnish, optional
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onions in the olive oil until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the cooked chicken breast, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and taco sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine. 
  • Cook the chicken mixture over medium heat until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place two tortillas in the dish. They will overlap.
  • Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
  • Top with 2 more tortillas, then spoon the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas.
  • Top with 2 more tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • If desired, drizzle each serving with additional taco sauce, spoon on a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkle with chopped green onions and fresh cilantro.

Notes

  • If you need to cook some chicken to make this recipe, cut 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, season with salt and pepper, and cook in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until just cooked through, and continue with the recipe. 
  • If you would prefer to use ground beef, turkey, or chicken, use 2 pounds of meat. Brown the meat until it is cooked through, drain off any excess fat, and continue with the recipe.
  • If your tortillas are a different size and don’t quite fit right in your baking dish, you may need to use more or less tortillas and/or cut them to fit the dish so you get nice layers. 
  • Estimated calories shown do not include any additional taco sauce, sour cream, green onions, or cilantro used for garnish.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray.

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