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Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna

All of your favorite south-of-the-border flavors in one easy layered “lasagna” that you can make ahead of time and freeze for easy dinner! Or use for meal prep or freezer lunches!!

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Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna dished onto a white plate and garnished with sour cream and fresh cilantro

Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna

This easy Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna is a great south-of-the-border take on the traditional lasagna.  It is easy to put together, and contains layer upon layer of bright, fresh flavors.  It’s like all of your favorite Mexican food all layered into one great casserole recipe!  

Now, before we get any further, I want to acknowledge right up front that this lasagna really doesn’t actually have anything to do with Mexico or authentic Mexican food. 

It’s a totally American-made copy of the original Italian favorite remade with “Mexican” flavors. 

But for whatever reason, the name has stuck, and it is now widely known as “Mexican Lasagna”.

No matter the name, it’s still one heck of a tasty dish!  And I love that it can be made ahead of time as a freezer meal!!

Collage of pictures showing a dish with the various layers of this Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna

Assembling the Mexican Lasagna

This Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna goes together pretty much just like your regular Italian-style lasagna, so no real surprises here.

  1. Start by spraying a 9×13 baking dish or aluminum pan with non-stick cooking spray and then spreading half the can of tomato sauce along the bottom of the pan.  (I like to use half-size steam table pans when making this for the freezer or to take to neighbors.  You can also use aluminum cake pans that you can find at your local grocery store .)  
  2. Then layer two of your flour tortillas on top of the tomato sauce.
  3. Next goes the meat and bean and corn filling – use half of your filling here as there are only two meat layers.
  4. Top the meat layer with about 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  5. Repeat layers 2 – 4 one more time, then top with two more tortillas, spread the remaining tomato sauce over the tortillas, and top with the remaining cheese.
  6. After that, all you need to do is cover and label your dish and stick it in the freezer!

Overhead shot of Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagan in a baking dish and garnished with chopped cilantro

Freezing and Reheating

This Mexican Lasagna casserole will keep in the freezer for up to six months if properly stored.  

I prefer to cook from thawed, so I try to remember to pull the lasagna out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  But, should you forget to do so, you can bake it straight from frozen (just plan on about double the normal cook time).

You can also skip the freezing and bake the Mexican Lasagna from fresh, and then cut it into individual portions once it has cooled and freeze those!  This is a great option for meal prep and freezer lunches!!

I also highly recommend using homemade taco seasoning in this recipe for extra flavor (and less chemicals and preservatives and fillers)!

Give it a try, and let me know what you think!!


If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know what you think!  Or snap a pic and tag me on Facebook or Instagram! 

And as always, be sure to pin this recipe to your Pinterest boards so you’ll know where to find it!!


Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna

Make-Ahead Mexican Lasagna

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

All your favorite south-of-the-border flavors in one easy layered lasagna that you can make ahead and freeze!!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 oz) can refried beans
  • 1 (16 oz) jar salsa
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 6 flour tortillas (8 inch soft taco size)
  • 4 cups Fiesta blend shredded cheese (or Colby Jack or Cheddar Jack)


  1. In medium skillet, brown ground beef together with salt and dry minced onions over medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink.
  2. Drain fat. Sprinkle taco seasoning over meat and add 1/2 cup water. Simmer until sauce thickens.
  3. Turn off heat. Add in black beans, corn, refried beans and salsa, and mix to combine. Set aside.
  4. Prepare a 9x13 aluminum pan or baking dish (or half size steam table tray, aluminum cake pan or roasting dish, etc.) by spraying liberally with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Pour in half of the tomato sauce and spread it over the bottom of the pan.
  6. Layer two tortillas on top of the sauce, covering as much of the pan as you can.
  7. Add half of your meat mixture and gently spread over the tortilla layer.
  8. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over the meat layer.
  9. Repeat one more layer of tortillas, meat mixture and shredded cheese (1 cup).
  10. Place your remaining two tortillas and then pour in the remaining tomato sauce and carefully spread it over the tortillas.
  11. Top with the last 2 cups of shredded cheese.

To freeze:

Cover dish, label and date, and then place into freezer to freeze. Will keep up to six months.

To heat:

Remove frozen Mexican Lasagna from freezer and place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Bake COVERED at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, then UNCOVERED for 15 more minutes. If your cheese has not melted enough, you can broil for 2-3 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

For meal prep or freezer lunches:

Skip the freezing step and go right to baking the Mexican Lasagna. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place into refrigerator for several hours (this will make it easier to cut and portion). Once chilled, cut into individual portions and place them into containers for meal prep or for freezing. Cover, label, date and freeze until needed. To reheat, microwave for 1-2 minutes from thawed, or from frozen, microwave 2 minutes on 50% power and 2 minutes full power.


My family is not keen on spicy or hot foods, so I make this with tomato sauce. However, if you'd like to take it to the next level, replace the tomato sauce with enchilada sauce!

You can also sub out your favorite cheese blend if you can't find a Fiesta or Mexican-style blend at your local store.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 487Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 1281mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate only. The actual values will vary based on your specific ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?

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Monday 25th of July 2022

Does this have to be baked covered? I'm out of aluminum foil :-(


Friday 29th of July 2022

No, but you'll need to watch it and adjust the cook time and possibly temperature as well.


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

I just found your page and I am so grateful!!! I am looking for exclusively freezer ready recipes and it's so nice to have this as a resource for inspiration. We don't do animal ingredients or wheat so it will be fun to veganize/degluten your recipes. For this one, I plan to use corn tostadas (crunchy) to give it some texture and hopefully have it hold up better to long term storage. Thanks!


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

I hope you will like them! I do have a few that are gluten-free but I want to work on adding some vegan options as well! Definitely share what you come up with!!


Wednesday 5th of January 2022

I used green enchilada sauce in place of the tomato sauce. This is delicious!! Thanks so much for sharing!


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

What a great option for a substitution - thanks for sharing that!!


Thursday 21st of October 2021

Can you make this in the crockpot? Thank you!


Friday 22nd of October 2021

Yes, this should work in a crock pot (although I've never personally tried it). However, the tortillas may get a bit soggy...


Sunday 21st of March 2021

How would you baked this straight from the freezer? Thank you.


Monday 22nd of March 2021

I would double the cook time - bake at 350F covered for 90 minutes, then check center to make sure it is warm (you may a few more minutes), then bake uncovered for about 15-20 minutes. Just watch to make sure the cheese doesn't start to burn on top.

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