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Mexican Lasagna with Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion

Sara Kayser
An innovative way of turning tortillas into a veggie-filled Mexican-style lasagna
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 8


  • 1 yellow onion
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 220 g raw mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 170 g raw spinach
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic paste
  • 1 l green enchilada sauce from a bottle
  • 850 g refried pinto beans or mashed kidney beans
  • 16-20, 10- cm corn or flour tortillas wheat wraps
  • 340 g freshly grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Dried parsley optional
  • 3-4 scallions optional
  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes optional
  • Sour cream optional


  • Peel and thinly slice the onion.
  • Add a few tablespoons of oil to large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onion. Saute on low to medium for about one hour. Stir every 5 minutes or so. After 10 minutes, add the sugar and salt to help draw out the water and help caramelization. Add a little more oil gradually during the process, if necessary. After the onions have caramelized, remove them with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  • Clean the mushrooms with a dry paper towel. Use the towel to gently scrub off any dirt. Slice thinly.
  • If necessary, add a little more oil to the pot. Let the oil heat up for another minute or 2, add the sliced mushrooms, and sauté until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  • Add a little more oil if necessary and add the spinach and granulated garlic. Sauté the spinach, stirring frequently for about 2-4 minutes.
  • Add the enchilada sauce to the pot. Add the onion and mushroom back to the pot.
  • Bring the sauce up to a boil on medium high heat, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Turn to low, and cook the sauce for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.
  • To assemble the lasagna, add about ½ cup of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 9x13-inch glass pan. (For this bottom layer, I use only sauce, because it makes a flatter layer.)
  • To create lasagna sheets from the enchiladas, cut each one in half.
  • Cover the sauce layer with a layer of corn tortillas (each layer uses 4-5 small tortillas). You can overlap a little if you need to, but make sure the sauce layer is covered with the layer of tortillas.
  • After the tortilla layer, spread a layer of refried beans. If the beans are hard to spread, heat them up in the microwave at 30 second intervals until soft.
  • Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cheese on top.
  • Repeat the layers in the same order until you run out of beans. You should have 2-3 layers of each.
  • Follow up with one last layer of tortillas, then enchilada sauce, followed by cheese.
  • Sprinkle with a little dried parsley. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 175 degrees C for 35 minutes.
  • Turn the oven up to 200 degrees C, and uncover the lasagna.
  • Bake for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the top is brown and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the lasagna to settle for 20-30 minutes before serving.
  • Meanwhile, thinly slice the scallions. Remove the seeds from the Roma tomatoes, and cut the tomato into a small dice.
  • Garnish the lasagna with the sliced scallions, Roma tomatoes, and sour cream. Serve hot.