Trash-Mex Cuisine: “Tortilla Lasagna”

18 Mar

I just finished a four day fast. I like to do this type of thing a few times a year and it just seemed right to start it on Monday. Sometimes, I go longer than four days, but this time I didn’t. Every now and then, I like to let food know that it I’m not its bitch. To commemorate my foray back into eating again, I would like to share the most excellent concoction I’ve made in the last month. The nice thing is, if you want to make this totally meatless on a Friday (heya fellow Catholics), then bake away.

And with the help of an amalgam of about 100 recipes, I bring to you:

Allison’s Trash-Mex Tortilla Casserole

(Oh, I’ve got a WHOLE repertoire of self-proclaimed Trash-Mex recipes. And they all rock.)

First off, I want you to think of this like a lasagna: it’s got (repeated) layers of  “starch,” “sauce,” and cheese.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Optional meat layer

Cooked chicken (about 4 chicken breasts, diced)

Starch layer

One package of soft tortillas

Cheese layer

3-4 cups of any cheese you like (we used a Monterrey jack blend)

Sauce layer


2 T oil

1 onion

2 peppers (I used a red and a yellow)


One jar of salsa

One can of mexi-corn (or any corn with a jar of green chiles)

One can of crushed tomatoes


Spoon some of the mexi-sauce layer in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan

On top of the mexi-sauce, layer some soft tortillas like so (I’ve also ALWAYS wanted to say “like so”)
Layer each subsequent tortilla layer with the mexi-sauce, cheese, and (optionally) some cooked chicken and repeat until you can’t anymore.

Cover with aluminum foil to cook.


350 for about 45 minutes. Take off the foil to make the top cheese all melty the last 10 minutes.

Additional notes:

  • You will want to let this cool a WHILE before you eat it. If not, it will 1. be hot as magma 2. not stay together very well, and therefore 3. not look very visually pleasing on your plate. I’d say at least 1/2 hour, an hour if you can keep your mitts off of it.
  • I have found this dish to be exceptionally good (or better) the next day. I even like it cold, but I’m weird that way.
  • You can add anything else you want to your sauce. Like jalapenos? Throw ’em in that sauce. Honestly, I think this rocks with whatever *you* like in your “Trash-Mex” cooking.
  • ENJOY. I’ve always wanted to add that word to a direction/recipe. I like when that is the last step of anything. It’s a nice touch.
  • If you don’t like it, the next time I see you, I will hug you. That’s a promise, not a threat.

2 Responses to “Trash-Mex Cuisine: “Tortilla Lasagna””

  1. Amy Baker March 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    I got my Sunday dinner lined up!Though a flour tortilla screams “tex-mex”, I can’t help but wonder what additional goodness corn tortillas might bring. Have you tried it with them?

    • motherallie March 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

      Hmm, I have not tried this with corn tortillas…I imagine it would be great, it just wouldn’t have the same consistency (the flour tortillas turn kind of noodly-like.) I have *another* trash-mex recipe using tortillas, though! I bread my chicken breasts in crushed up corn tortillas and fry them (like you would use bread crumbs)…then I lay the chicken pieces on top of some chili beans and salsa in a casserole dish. On each piece of chicken, I put salsa and some of that nacho cheese dip (out of a jar) on each piece. Then I bake it. It’s Fabrizio’s favorite meal!

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