Mexican-inspired Lasagna (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)
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Mexican-inspired Lasagna - Gluten-free, dairy-free, with paleo option. Make as a casserole in the oven or in a skillet on the stove!

We love the delicious layers of this Mexican-inspired lasagna. It takes many Mexican ingredients you love and turns it into a casserole. Not a fan of casseroles? No worries, there are skillet directions as well!

My sister had a friend, Keyla Dikes, serve her a layered dish like this, and she and I both loved it. It was a favorite of my husband’s, too, and he insisted we create a gluten-free and dairy-free version. So, here it is!

Why You Will Love This Mexican-inspired Lasagna

First, it is gluten-free and dairy-free, nut-free, and egg-free, with Paleo options. A great cozy dish to fill the dietary needs of your family!

Second, it can be made in the oven as a lasagna style layered casserole, or on the stove with a skillet version. Two cooking options based on your preferences, access, and needs.

Third, it freezes fantastically. This makes it great for meal prep – cut it up and store in the freezer to pull out, heat, and go!

Mexican-inspired Lasagna - Gluten-free, dairy-free, with paleo option. Make as a casserole in the oven or in a skillet on the stove!

Ingredients

  • Ground beef – I usually buy 85/15 leanness ground beef. However, you can use whatever is accessible to you, as we will drain off the excess grease before layering the dish.
  • Onion – A white, yellow, or sweet onion all work well in this recipe.
  • Salt and pepper – Traditional table salt and ground black pepper is what I use to season the meat.
  • Rotel tomatoes – This is canned diced tomatoes with green chilies, like this one from Walmart. Or, you can use the store brand equivalent. I use Original variety, but you are welcome to increase or decrease the heat with the Mild or Hot varieties.
  • Chicken broth – Chicken broth or chicken bone broth work great in this dish. We use it with a starch, coconut milk, and some seasonings to create a faux condensed cream of chicken soup with whole ingredients.
  • Coconut milk – Canned, unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk. This milk is thicker and richer than other dairy-free milks. I recommend you use it! But, if you have a coconut allergy, any other dairy-free milk will work. Just add an extra tablespoon of starch to the mixture to help compensate for the thinner milk. 
  • Nutritional yeast – Nutritional Yeast is not the same as baker’s yeast. Though it’s derived from baker’s yeast, it’s been deactivated and cannot make things rise. Instead, it’s a commonly used for a cheesy dairy-free flavor. I get mine at Trader Joe’s (best flavor and cheapest), but you can also find it at Walmart

Mexican-inspired Lasagna - Gluten-free, dairy-free, with paleo option. Make as a casserole in the oven or in a skillet on the stove!

  • Potato or arrowroot starch – I recommend these two starches to thicken sauces. They behave much like cornstarch, but in a grain-free way. Tapioca starch will thicken the sauce but make it tacky, I don’t recommend it. Learn the difference between the different Paleo flours here
  • Garlic and onion powder – Granulated garlic and onion or garlic and onion powder both work equally well. I buy them in bulk from Sam’s Club or Winco. But, you can find them in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
  • Black beans – Canned, whole black beans, rinsed. You can omit these, if beans don’t work for your family. Instead, increase the ground beef to 1.5 pounds to keep the protein high enough for this dish.
  • Mexican cheese – I prefer Violife dairy-free cheese, which I find at my local Winco and natural food store. Or, the Daiya Cheddar Cheese that I can find at Walmart works as well. If you need a Paleo cheese option, the only one I’ve found so far is the Whole365 brand from Whole Foods. You can learn more about the best dairy-free cheeses here. 
  • Tortillas – You will need 8 7-inch tortillas or 6 10-inch tortillas for this recipe. A great Paleo option is the Siete brand of tortillas you can find here and here at Walmart. Or, use the Tortilla recipe in my cookbook on page 244. If you don’t need Paleo tortillas, any gluten-free tortilla like these will work. 

How to Make This Mexican-inspired Lasagna

Oven Instructions
  • Preheat to 350 degrees and set out a 9×13 casserole dish. (See below for Skillet Instructions)
  • On the stove in a large skillet on medium heat, add ground beef and onion. Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain any grease from pan.
  • While meat is cooking, whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a cold (not yet over heat) medium pot. Once combined, place over medium heat and stir regularly until sauce gets very thick, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Time to build the layers! In the 9×13 casserole dish build the following layers:
    • 1/2 the hamburger mixture
    • 1/3 (about 1 cup) of the chicken broth sauce – you will have to smear this on to spread it everywhere
    • 1 drained can of Rotel tomatoes
    • 1/2 of the tortilla pieces
    • 1/2 (1 cup) of the cheese
    • Black beans, if using
    • Other 1/2 of the hamburger mixture
    • 1/3 (about 1 cup) of the chicken broth sauce
    • Other drained can of Rotel tomatoes
    • Remaining 1/3 of the chicken broth sauce
    • Remaining 1/2 (1 cup) of the cheese
  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Mexican-inspired Lasagna - Gluten-free, dairy-free, with paleo option. Make as a casserole in the oven or in a skillet on the stove!

Skillet Stove-top Instructions
  • On the stove in a large skillet on medium heat, add ground beef and onion. Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain any grease from pan.
  • While meat is cooking, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. 
  • Once meat is cooked and drained, add the combined sauce ingredients. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until sauce thickens. 
  • Add tomatoes and black beans (if using) and stir well to combine. Fold in tortilla pieces and sprinkle the top with cheese.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until cheese and tortilla pieces have softened (dairy-free cheese doesn’t really “melt” well). 
  • Remove from heat and serve.

For both methods, FREEZE leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

Love a Good Casserole? Here’s Some Others You Should Try!

 

Mexican-inspired Lasagna - Gluten-free, dairy-free, with paleo option. Make as a casserole in the oven or in a skillet on the stove!

Mexican-inspired Lasagna - Gluten-free, dairy-free, with paleo option. Make as a casserole in the oven or in a skillet on the stove!

Mexican-inspired Lasagna (Gluten-free + Dairy-free)

Autumn @wholefoodfor7
We love the delicious layers of this Mexican-inspired lasagna. It takes many Mexican ingredients you love and turns it into a casserole. Not a fan of casseroles? See the skillet directions instead!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people
Calories 470 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 10-oz cans Rotel tomatoes, juices drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed can omit, see notes
  • 8 7-inch gluten-free flour tortillas, or 6 10-inch tortillas* see notes if using skillet method
  • 2 cups dairy-free cheddar or Mexican cheese

Cream of Chicken Sauce

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned, unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk see notes
  • 1/3 cup potato or arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

Oven Instructions (Casserole-style)

  • Preheat to 350 degrees and set out a 9x13 casserole dish. (See below for Skillet Instructions)
  • On the stove in a large skillet on medium heat, add ground beef and onion. Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain any grease from pan.
  • While meat is cooking, whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a cold (not yet over heat) medium pot. Once combined, place over medium heat and stir regularly until sauce gets very thick, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Time to build the layers! In the 9x13 casserole dish build the following layers:
    1/2 the hamburger mixture, 1/3 (about 1 cup) of the chicken broth sauce (you will have to smear this on), 1 drained can of Rotel tomatoes, 1/2 of the tortilla pieces, 1/2 (1 cup) of the cheese, Black beans, if using, Other 1/2 of the hamburger mixture1/3 (about 1 cup) of the chicken broth sauce, Other drained can of Rotel tomatoes, Remaining 1/3 of the chicken broth sauce, and Remaining 1/2 (1 cup) of the cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Skillet Stove-top Instructions (30-min meal)

  • On the stove in a large skillet on medium heat, add ground beef and onion. Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain any grease from pan.
  • While meat is cooking, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. 
  • Once meat is cooked and drained, add the combined sauce ingredients to the meat in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until sauce thickens. 
  • Add tomatoes and black beans (if using) and stir well to combine. Fold in tortilla pieces (if using, see notes) and sprinkle the top with cheese.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until cheese and tortilla pieces have softened (dairy-free cheese doesn't really "melt" well). 
  • Remove from heat and serve. My boys love to "scoop" this with tostones or tortilla chips.

Notes

See the "Ingredients" section of the blog post above for possible substitutions for any ingredients and recommended brands. 
*If making the skillet method, instead of using tortillas, you can stir in tortilla chips or plantain chips at the end. This will give the dish a crunch my boys loved vs. the softened tortillas. Another skillet option is to omit adding tortillas or chips to the dish and use chips to scoop the sauce like a dip once it's done. Choose your adventure! 
For Paleo: You can omit the beans and instead use 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef instead. And, use Siete brand or other Paleo tortilas. 

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 22gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1582mgPotassium: 604mgFiber: 7gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 5mg
Keyword budget-friendly, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, kid-friendly, main dish, paleo
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Everyone raved about this. So good!

    Reply
    • YAY! I’m so glad it was a big hit. Thank you for the review!

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    As soon as people took their first bites, there was much praise! So good!

    Reply
    • “There was much praise” – lol, I love it! Glad it was a winner from first bite. Thank you!

      Reply

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