Mexican lasagna in white souffle dish next to avocado and cilantro with colorful lights

Easy Mexican Lasagna with Black Beans

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Have you ever tried Mexican lasagna? This has all of the goodness you love from lasagna with creamy layers of flavor, but a Mexican twist with corn tortillas, black beans, and salsa,

Instead of an Italian lasagna with noodles, you need to pre-boil (or those over-ready ones that tend to stay crunchy!) this one is really quick to assemble. The corn tortillas become soft in the oven when baked with the other delicious layers.

This is an easy and very satisfying meal with fresh flavors. It is vegan with mashed avocados used in place of cheese and black beans instead of cooked ground meat. Unlike traditional Italian lasagna, this version also has no eggs so it is cholesterol-free! The new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that dietary “cholesterol is as low as possible without compromising the nutritional adequacy of the diet”

Mexican lasagna in white souffle dish with one piece removed and avocado.

Ingredients Needed

  • Tortillas: I recommend corn tortillas for this recipe. These can be homemade or store-bought. Whole wheat tortillas are fine in this recipe also
  • Black beans: or another bean or plant-based protein
  • Salsa: any type you prefer
  • Bell pepper: yellow or any color
  • Avocados: these need to be ripe
  • Chili powder or fajita seasoning
  • Lime juice: ideally fresh: see note below about substitutes
  • Cilantro: fresh or substitute a half teaspoon of dried coriander instead
  • Salt
  • Non-stick spray – or just use a little oil instead

Nutrition in Mexican Lasagna

The avocados with lime juice add terrific flavor and essential nutrients like fiber, potassium, and folic acid. Just 1/3 of an avocado has 10% of the folic acid of the Daily Value and 3 grams of fiber! Out of the 8 grams of fat in 1/3 of an avocado, 5 grams are heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. You can learn more about the nutrition of avocados from the California Avocado site.

I made these in these small casserole dishes for single portions, but you could also cook it in a regular casserole pan. Then you have a nice large dish for a family get-together or to make extra for the next days’ meals.

Mexican lasagna will be popular for sure! I made this for an employee nutrition fair once and the table was full of people who enjoyed it, asked for seconds, and were surprised that vegan food tasted so good!

If you’re cooking for someone who would like the lasagna with cooked ground turkey, shredded chicken, or cheese, the individual dishes will help avoid spillover into the plant-based original versions.

And if you’re looking for a quick meal, just microwave each dish for about 2 and a half minutes instead of baking them!

How to Assemble the Layers

Spray the dishes with nonstick spray, and then add some salsa and spread it around so your tortillas don’t stick. Slice the tortillas into quarters. Spread 3 pieces of corn tortillas around the edges of a small (16-ounce) round casserole dish.

Mix the avocados with fresh lime juice, salt, and cilantro. Use ripe avocados that you can squeeze a little. The skin is nearly black when they are ripe. Now, this is for Hass avocados. (I don’t buy the larger green Florida avocados so I’m not sure about how to tell when they are ripe.) You could also use about 3 mini-avocados instead of 2 regular-sized ones.

If you don’t have fresh lime juice, use bottled lime juice or fresh/bottled lemon juice. It will still taste good.

Next, add the mashed black beans, and then the first layer of avocados.

Mashed avocado on top of beans and corn tortilla layers in white sdish
How to layer the Mexican lasagna

Then add more salsa. Next, add another layer of tortillas, beans, avocados, and chopped bell peppers.

What Else Could You Add?

These could go in the layers or on top of your Mexican Lasagna casserole dishes:

  • Toasted pepitas
  • Sliced jalapeno peppers: fresh or pickled
  • Chopped carrots
  • Corn kernels
  • Sliced black olives
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Sliced green onions or chopped white or yellow onions
  • Vegan cheese: I like the cashew-based type
  • Nutritional yeast (also provides a savory or cheesy taste)

I chose a medium salsa, but select mild or hot depending on your preference. A little chopped jalapeno in adobe sauce, sriracha sauce, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce will give you more spice too.

Mexican lasagna in white souffle dish with avocado. Text: Mexican lasagna vegan!

What if You Don’t Have Black Beans?

You can definitely use a different legume. Kidney, pinto, cranberry, or red beans would all be great in Mexican lasagna.

I suggest using dried beans that have been soaked and cooked, or cooked in a pressure cooker. I cooked black beans for 26 minutes on high in my new favorite kitchen gadget, a 6-quart Instant Pot. This was 1 cup of rinsed sorted beans and 2 cups of water with natural pressure release. The beans still had some texture but were easily smashed with a fork.

If using canned beans, choose low-sodium beans before adding to the Mexican lasagna layers. Vegetarian refried beans would be an easy substitution. Or try mashed edamame.

Crumbled tofu is another great choice for the main protein source in this meal. If you use tempeh, I suggest sauteing small pieces of it first in a pan with a little oil or non-stick spray. They will add to its’ nutty flavor. You could also use cooked lentils. A lot of people like the texture of cooked brown lentils as they have some similarities to ground meat with the small pieces. Another option is frozen soy crumbles.


You can assemble these ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for the day, then bake them. After they are baked, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing because the avocados will turn brown: fine to eat but not so nice to look at.

More Recipes You May Enjoy

Mexican lasagna in white souffle dish next to avocado and cilantro with colorful lights

Easy Mexican Lasagna with Black Beans

Melissa Altman-Traub
Learn how to make this satisfying vegan Mexican lasagna with black beans, avocados, corn tortillas, and salsa. Made with avocados instead of cheese!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 321 kcal


  • Oven or microwave
  • Small casserole dishes


  • nonstick spray
  • 1 cup black beans cooked
  • teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice fresh
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • ½ cup salsa medium
  • 6 corn tortillas 6 inch diameter
  • 1 yellow bell pepper large, chopped


  • Spray 4-16 oz round casserole dishes with nonstick spray.
  • Place the black beans in a bowl. Crush beans roughly with the tines of a fork or a potato masher and mix with chili powder.
  • Mash avocados in a separate bowl with a fork and combine with lime juice, salt, and cilantro.
  • Slice the tortillas into fourths.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • To assemble the casseroles, first spread 1 tablespoon of salsa in the bottom of each. Next, place 3 tortillas pieces evenly around the edges of the dish, with the points overlapping in the middle. Add 1/8 cup of black beans and about 2 tablespoons of the avocado mixture. Add 1 Tbsp. salsa. Then repeat the layers, starting with the tortillas. Distribute the rest of the black beans, avocado mixture, and top with the chopped peppers.
  •  Bake for 30 minutes.


Pinto or kidney beans may be used instead of black beans.
I suggest using dried beans that have been soaked and cooked, or cooked in a pressure cooker. I cooked black beans for 26 minutes on high in a 6 quart Instant Pot: 1 cup of rinsed sorted beans, and 2 cups of water with natural pressure release.
If using canned beans, choose low sodium beans.
You can also use:
  • Vegetarian refried beans
  • Frozen soy crumbles
  • Or cooked lentils
Instead of baking these, you can microwave each dish individually for about 2 1/2 minutes
The nutrition estimate is from Spoonacular, which is based on USDA data.


Calories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 9gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 313mgPotassium: 870mgFiber: 14gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 453IUVitamin C: 67mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 2mg
Keyword avocados, beans, Dairy-free, lasagna, Vegan, vegetarian
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Published 1/15/2020. Updated 1/08/2021.

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