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Refried beans, melted cheese and a chili-laden tomato meat sauce are the foundation for this delicious lasagna casserole.

For more of Rach's favorite Mexican-style lasagnas, check out her Mexican Chili Lasagna and her Enchilada Lasagna.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or neutral oil
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef or beef and pork combined
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red finger chili or fresno chili, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans Ro-Tel or diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cans spicy or traditional vegetarian (no lard) refried beans
  • One 15-ounce bottle Mexican crema, or 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 lime
  • 8 ounces cotija or queso fresco, finely crumbled
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend in pouch (12 ounces) or grated Pepper Jack cheese (1 block)
  • Non-aerosol cooking spray
  • 12 flat sheets no-boil lasagna
For the toppings:
  • Matchsticks of radish
  • Pickled jalapeño pepper rings, mild or hot
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Chopped scallions
  • Toasted pepitas or toasted chopped pistachios


Serves: 6


Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil and when it ripples, add meat or meats, then brown and crumble. Add fresh chilies and onion, stir and season with salt, pepper and spices, stir 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, stir, add 1 cup water and let it absorb, add tomatoes and reduce heat to simmer.

Place beans in small pan or saucepot, heat and add a little water to thin.   

In a bowl, combine crema and the juice of 1 lime, add cheeses and stir.

Assemble: spray pan, add a little sauce to coat, add pasta, 4 sheets, top with half the beans and half the meat sauce, top with pasta, add half the cheese sauce, cover with pasta, remaining beans, top with remaining meat sauce and another layer of pasta, finish with remaining cheese mixture.  

Bake lasagna covered 30 minutes, then uncovered 20-30 minutes more to deep golden. Let stand 15 minutes to settle.  

Top with toppings of choice, cut and serve.