Mexican White Chicken Tortilla Lasagna has all your favorite flavors of white chicken chili assembled in a cheesy layer of large floured tortillas. This spicy dinner dish is perfect for Taco Tuesday or any game day potluck you’re having. Big bites and even bigger flavor make this dish a winner!
Tortilla Lasagna with chicken
Chicken breasts are baked in the dutch oven while absorbing rich, spicy flavors of chili, cumin, smoked paprika, and salsa verde. Cooked until fall-apart-tender and minimal assembly required; this is an easy dinner to start in the oven earlier in the day and assemble just before dinner for final baking.
How to make Mexican lasagna with tortillas
Much like its Italian counterpart, the secret to Mexican lasagna is in the cheese and “noodles.” Only here, we are not using noodles, but a few extra flour burrito tortillas we had from last week’s enchiladas.
Step 1: Bake the salsa verde chicken filling. Add your spices, salsa verde and chicken breasts to a dutch oven and bake until chicken breasts are fall-apart tender. This will take about 20 minutes. If you’re in a hurry, you can also use an Instant Pot with an additional half-cup of water on high for 10 minutes. Do a quick release and shred.
Step 2: Shred the chicken and assemble the lasagna. Shred your chicken with forks and place back in the dutch oven with the liquid and stir. The chicken will absorb the liquid and flavor in the pot. Start assembling the lasagna in your skillet. Assemble in this order: 1 tortilla, 1/3 cup Crème fraîche, 1/2 of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup Queso Fresco. Repeat one more time. Top with the remaining tortilla, Crème fraîche and Queso Fresco.
Step 3: Bake and serve. The final step is to bake in the skillet in the oven for about 10 minutes. This gives the cream and cheese products time to melt and acts as a binder within the lasagna as well as form a nice browning on top. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and lime juice. Cut into pie slices and serve.
Ingredients and Variations for this Mexican Chicken Lasagna
What is salsa verde?
Salsa verde is a green salsa made from tomatillos, jalapenos, onions, and cilantro. It’s used in enchiladas, soups, and even as a dip for chips. If you are out and have to get dinner on the table, substituting traditional salsa will work. Next time you’re at the grocery store be sure to pick up a couple jars of salsa verde to keep in the pantry. You won’t regret it.
Can I substitute corn tortillas for flour in Mexican lasagna?
The trick here is being sure to get tortillas large enough to fill your skillet to contain the filling. Whether they are corn or flour doesn’t matter. Use what you have. If you only have smaller-sized tortillas on hand, be sure to layer them and fit together in a jig-saw fashion with a bit of overlap.
Can I substitute sour cream for Crème fraîche?
You can. While Crème fraîche has a taste and texture of its own, it can be hard to find in the grocery store at times. If you cannot find it, you can use sour cream with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice mixed in to bring out the tang.
Quick Tips for the best Mexican lasagna
- Make large batches of the chicken filling in your dutch oven or in an Instant Pot. Being able to have this filling on hand will make chicken enchiladas, this Mexican lasagna, and green chicken chili much quicker to whip up on a long weeknight.
- Be sure to get tortillas that fit your skillet. Burrito-sized tortillas are about 10-12 inches in diameter and work well with a 12-inch skillet. If you only have 8-inch tortillas, consider making this in your 10-inch skillet or directly into a dutch oven lined with parchment paper for easy removal and cutting.
- Allow the lasagna to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting. This will help it cut more easily and not fall apart on you.
Leftover and Storage of Tortilla lasagna
Can you make tortilla lasagna ahead of time?
Yes, you can do this in two ways. You can make the chicken filling and save in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an air-tight container until you’re ready to assemble and finish cooking the dish. Or you can assemble the lasagna completely, without doing the final bake. Wrap it in tinfoil and set in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove from the tinfoil and place back into your skillet. Bake as directed with an additional 10 minutes to ensure it is warm all the way through. You can cover the lasagna with the tinfoil to keep the cheese from over-browning.
How to store leftovers
As said above, you can wrap in tinfoil or store in an air-tight container. Best enjoyed within 3 days. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap, then a layer of tinfoil and enjoy within 2 months.
Other dutch oven dishes you’ll love
Mexican White Chicken Tortilla Lasagna
- 5 quart dutch oven
- 12-inch skillet
- Cutting board
- measuring spoons
- Measuring Cups
- 1-1/2 pounds chicken breast
- 1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic 1-2 teaspoons minced
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 cup salsa verde
- 1 cup Crème fraîche
- 1 lime juice
- 3 flour tortillas burrito size
- 3/4 cup Queso Fresco
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
- Pre-heat the oven to 375F. To a 5 quart dutch oven add the chicken, spices, and salsa verde. Stir and cover. *Note that you can cut the chicken into smaller pieces for a quicker cooking time, I just didn't.
- Bake for 20 minutes covered. Chicken should be an internal temperature of 165F and be easily shred with two forks.
- Shred the chicken and add it back to the dutch oven with the salsa and juices. Stir and set aside while assembling the lasagna.
- In a 12-inch skillet start layering in this order: 1 tortilla, 1/3 cup Crème fraîche spread evenly, 1/2 of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of Queso Fresco. Repeat once more.
- Top with the last tortilla, the remaining Crème fraîche and Queso Fresco. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has started to brown. Top with fresh cilantro and lime juice. Cut as you would a pie and serve.