Sunday Dinner Series: Mexican lasagna

recipe + photo by Jennifer Johnson

Mexican lasagna

When craving enchiladas, but not the assembly they require, reach for this recipe. Flavors of green chiles and cilantro are woven throughout layers of beef, rice, and cheese. The ground beef can also be swapped for shredded chicken or refried beans if desired.

  • 1 cup white rice

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste

  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 6-8 6-inch corn tortillas (depending on width of pan)

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (or cheddar) cheese

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil over medium-high heat. Add white rice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked and water is absorbed, 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. In a large oven-safe pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add beef and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, green chiles, cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and continue cooking until beef is thoroughly cooked, 8-10 minutes. Carefully remove excess grease. Remove from heat, set pan aside.

  4. In bowl of a food processor, add cream cheese, scallions, and cilantro. Process until smooth, scraping down sides with spatula, as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Assemble lasagna. Make sure beef is an even layer in pan. Place 3-4 tortillas over beef layer, overlapping if necessary. Spoon dollops of cream cheese mixture over tortillas. Use a butter knife to evenly spread out mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Place 3-4 tortillas over cream cheese layer.

  6. Add sour cream to rice and stir to combine. Spread even layer of rice mixture on top of tortillas. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned on top.

Serves 4-6.

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