Mexican Chicken Lasagna With Chorizo Beans Recipe

Cheesy, Latin-inspired lasagna, built from layered tortillas, chorizo-spiked beans and corn. Jennifer Olvera

Lasagna feeds the masses and looks impressive. If you make every layer and every sauce from scratch, it's an inspiring, if time-consuming, affair. In this take, flour tortillas make an admirable stand-in for pasta, and fillings are swapped for Latin-tinged flavors: roasty tomato sauce made with ground chicken, smashed, spreadable chorizo beans, corn, and a mix of cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.

It's a flexible recipe, though, so swap out ingredients in your fridge and freezer at will. For example, use ground beef in place of chicken, or opt for tomatillo salsa instead of the tomato-based version called for here. Add other veggies of your choosing, be it sautéed zucchini; seasoned, thinly sliced, par-boiled potatoes; or roasted poblano rajas. Or eliminate the meat entirely, if that's your preference.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups of homemade or store-bought red salsa, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • For the Beans:
  • 1/2-pound Mexican chorizo, casing removed
  • 2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 14.5-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5-ounce can refried beans
  • For Remaining Fillings and Garnishes:
  • 1 package 8” flour tortillas
  • 14.5-ounce can corn, drained
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • Sour cream
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. When oil is shimmering, cook chicken, breaking into bits until no longer pink and lightly browned, about 7 minutes total. Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salsa, cumin, onion and cocoa powders and Worcestershire sauce and brig to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Meanwhile, brown chorizo over medium-high heat in a medium-sized sauté pan, breaking into bits until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain grease from pan and discard. Add serrano peppers and sauté for 3 more minutes, until beginning to soften. Add pinto and refried beans. Stir to combine and gently mash bean mixture, leaving some texture. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spray cooking spray on the bottom and sides of a 13” x 9” baking dish. Spread a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, to coat. Top with a layer of flour tortillas, overlapping and cutting as needed to form a fully covered bottom layer. Spread 1/2 of bean mixture on top, followed by several spoonfuls of the tomato sauce. Top evenly with half of corn, followed by 1/3 of each of the cheeses. Repeat layer, starting with tortillas. After layer this is complete, top with another layer of tortillas. Spread this final tortilla layer with additional tomato sauce and the remaining 1/3 cheese. Scatter sliced jalapenos and red onion on top.

  5. Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving with sour cream and limes.

Special equipment

9” x 13” baking dish