Mexican Lasagna: A Freezer Meal You Can Make Ahead

I love freezer meals. One of our favorites is Mexican Lasagna. It is so easy to make.

I usually make a big batch of cooked, spicy ground beef, and refried beans and then layer them into aluminum trays that we can take out anytime I'm too tired to cook.

The trick for making this easy freezer meal is to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.

Here are the ingredients for one meal. Serves 4 and fits in a 9 inch round pan.

• 1 1/2 pounds cooked, spicy ground beef: adjust the spiciness to your comfort level

To the ground beef add:
• Sauteed chopped onions
• 1 can of Rotel, (cubed tomatoes and peppers). If it seems too dry, add a little salsa or more Rotel.

Other ingredients:
• 1 can refried beans. I add a little mild salsa to make it easier to spread.

• Corn tortillas

• Shredded cheese


Once you have all your ingredients prepped, it's easy to layer them.

Start by lightly frying each corn tortilla. You don't have to cook it. You only want to soften the tortilla. A tiny bit of oil improves the flavor of the tortillas.

Depending on your baking dish, you'll have to layer at least 2-3 tortillas at the bottom. If it doesn't fit exactly, cut the tortilla in half and fit it so the bottom is covered.

Spread a nice bed of refried beans over the entire tortilla base. Layer the ground beef mixture over the beans. Now add a sprinkling of shredded cheese.

Start the process all over again. Tortillas, beans, beef, and cheese.

Depending on the size of your baking dish, you'll probably end up with two layers. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Keep covered with foil for 20 minutes. Remove foil for last 10 minutes.

The recipe in the menu above uses a round 9 inch baking tin. I use the foil baking dishes because I generally quadruple this recipe and make a big enough batch to freeze for later. 

I LOVE these foil trays. I use them for all my freezer meals so I buy these in bulk.


I usually serve the Mexican Lasagna with a little side salad dressed with vinaigrette and slices of avocado. I hope you'll try it. It's super easy and great as a freezer meal when you're too busy to cook. Just pop it out in the morning and cook it in the evening.

Tip. Cover the top with aluminum foil to keep the cheese from crisping brown.

Here's my favorite Vinaigrette Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons brown sugar


Stacy McKitrick said…
I think my days of cooking anything spicy are over. Not that I cook all that much. :)
Gwen Gardner said…
Oh that sounds delicious! And such a good idea to have it handy for taking out of the freezer when you need something easy.
R Mac Wheeler said…
Maybe I'm blind...recommended baking time?

I've got some ground turkey waiting for this dish.
Maria Zannini said…
Mac: D'oh! Sorry. Since the ground meat is already cooked, you mostly have to heat the beans and melt the cheese. I generally cook it for 30 minutes with foil over the top. I might remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes so the cheese has a little crust, but doesn't turn brown.
Maria Zannini said…
Gwen: I'm telling you, you will love yourself for making a big batch and freezing them in smaller tins. A full meal with no muss.
Maria Zannini said…
Stacy: I have to force myself not to cook spicy. Greg likes a break now and then. :)
Mike Keyton said…
Hard to comment when you're salivating. :)
[…] Friday Breakfast: Sausage kolaches Early Dinner: Mexican lasagna  (recipe) […]
[…] Friday Breakfast: Veggie omelette Early Dinner: Mexican lasagna (recipe) […]
Tori said…
Is the time for it to cook for when it’s fresh or frozen?
Maria Zannini said…
Tori: The time is for fresh. When it's frozen I let it defrost in the fridge first.
Tori said…
Wow! Thanks for the super fast response!
Anonymous said…
Do you freeze it before backing? How does it hold up after being frozen? Are the tortillas still ok tasting (not too soggy)?
Maria Zannini said…
Anon: I've done it both ways and it's never soggy. Do whatever's convenient. Just make sure you've baked it for 30 minutes.
Gina said…
Oh, I need to add this recipe to my files! Looks like something I could totally handle after a long day and when my daughter comes over for dinner!
Maria Zannini said…
Gina: It's been a lifesaver for me when I'm in a time crunch. Hope you like it!