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Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Mexican Tortilla Casserole is a quick and easy dinner that your family is sure to love!

Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Way back in 2012 I had a weekly series called ground beef Thursday. The name was not very catchy, but it worked. It was exactly what it said it was.

Every Thursday I would share a new recipe that used ground beef. It was a popular series that readers loved. 

Today I am bringing back a recipe from that series. I first shared this recipe for Mexican Tortilla Casserole way back in 2012.

I kind of forgot about this recipe. It was buried in the archives of the site. That is until my daughter made it recently and I remembered why it was a family favorite when my kids were little.

I took some quick pictures before we ate it for dinner and thought it was time to give the recipe some attention again. 

This recipe is a very inexpensive and family friendly meal. It uses basic ingredients and can easily be made gluten free. 

Over the years I have made quite a few layered tortilla casseroles or Mexican lasagna type meals, but this recipe today is one of my favorites.

Mexican-Tortilla -Casserole-

Layered tortilla casseroles are a classic 1980’s and 1990’s recipe. There were so popular back when I was growing up and first married. 

You would see them on menu plans often. They were served to family and to company. They often made an appearance at church dinners and potlucks. 

Why were they so popular? The main reason is that they used basic ingredients, tasted great, and served a crowd. 

There are all kinds of ways to make layered tortilla casseroles. You don’t have to have a recipe to make one, but I find that they turn out better when I follow one. 

Mexican Tortilla Casserole Recipe

What can I use in place of ground beef in the recipe?

If you do not have ground beef or want to use leaner meat you can substitute ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground venison in place of the ground beef. You can replace it all or you can use half ground beef and then use another ground meat for the rest. 

Is tortilla casserole gluten free? 

If you read labels and make sure that your ingredients are gluten free this is an easy gluten free dinner. 

Can I freeze a layered tortilla casserole?

Tortilla casseroles freeze well. Make it as directed, but do not bake it in the oven. Freeze it, defrost it, and bake. 

Mexican-Tortilla Casserole


Yield: 10

Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Mexican tortilla casserole is a quick and easy dinner that your family is sure to love.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2 cans (14 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups of shredded cheese, I like to use Colby jack or a combo of cheddar and Monterey jack cheese.
  • 12 corn tortillas


  1. In a skillet cook onion and ground beef until onion is tender and beef is browned. Drain off any fat.
  2. Add tomatoes, beans, and spices and cook over low heat for 10 -15 minutes. This will help combine the flavors.
  3. In a 9×13 pan or similar casserole dish place one layer of corn tortillas. You may need to cut/tear some of the tortillas to make them fit.
  4. Cover with 1/3 of the meat sauce and 1/3 of the cheese.
  5. Place a layer of tortillas on top of meat and cheese.
  6. Cover with half of the remaining sauce and cheese. (This will be 1/3 of the total sauce and cheese.)
  7. Cover with one more layer of tortillas and the remaining meat and cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 529Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 648mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 39g
Recipe originally posted in January 2012. Updated September 2020. 

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  1. I think this will have to go the menu plan next week!

  2. I am wondering what the 1/1 teaspoon garlic powder means in the ingredient list — should this be 1/4 or 1/2??

    Look forward to your clarification.

  3. I was wondering what to cook tonight . . . now I know. I’m going to try this. Thanks.

  4. Colleen M. says

    This looks great – can’t wait to try it!

  5. Colleen M. says

    Sorry didn’t mean to post twice – Does this freeze well?

    • I have not tried freezing it, but I am sure it would. The texture might be a little different, but besides that I think it would work.

  6. Thank you for sharing this! I just made it today and YUM was it good!!! It’ll be repeated here again soon!!

    Mrs. U

  7. Looks yummy! I am going to put this on the menu for next week!

  8. could you skip the beans?

  9. I came across this looking for freezer meals. It looks delicious, and definitely something my family would enjoy! I think I am going to make the meat mixture and freeze it. Then I would imagine I could thaw it in the fridge over night and then just have the tortillas and cheese on standby. I am just wondering do I need to reheat it in the skillet first, or will the baking time be ok with a cold meat mixture? Thanks!!

    • I think as long as it is thawed it should be fine and will heat up in the oven. You could always add a few minutes to the oven time just to be sure it is heated through if you wanted to.

  10. Well tonight I am having stew but tomorrw night this is
    on the menu. think you could put corn in it also. Thanks
    as always.

  11. Shelly Sawyer says

    Looks yummy, can’t wait to try this.

  12. Norine Stauske says

    Love this recipe! So good, never woold know gluten free. My husband loved it too!

  13. I added this comment on the oven tacos but figured I should add it here too. 🙂 My family doesn’t like beans so we substitute rice for the beans and salsa for the tomatoes and it is excellent!! When we went on a vacation to Winthrop WA a couple years ago, we got a little cottage with a full kitchen and I assembled this at home and froze it and we took it with us and had a great day of exploring and then a wonderful home cooked meal! Very versatile and yummy!!

  14. Enjoying this tonight with the family. Thank you for the recipe.

  15. I am having a group for dinner tomorrow night. What do you serve with it?

  16. Looks yummy. Can flour tortillas be used?


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