By Aine Carlin | September 12, 2011

Photo: Aine Carlin

I might just go out on a limb and exclaim that Mexican is the greatest cuisine of all time. Personally, I’d be happy to live on a diet on of beans and tortillas. Add a spritz of lime and a decent sprinkling of cilantro to bring things alive and you have total perfection on a plate.

Even if you think I’m exaggerating and vehemently disagree, I’m sure you’ll concede that a Mexican Lasagna sounds insanely delicious. A Mexican version of a classic Italian dish, minus the pasta and, of course, minus the meat and cheese. Maybe you could call it a slightly deconstructed, vegan version, that has all the elements of becoming a classic in its own right.

Photo: Aine Carlin

The great thing about this Mexican Lasagna is the ease with which it can be made. It’s a no hassle dish that works equally well as an everyday family meal, as well as a no fuss dinner party main that is sure to have everybody asking for seconds.

Substantial and delicious, there are few people who could say no when this is on the menu and it just happens to cover all bases on the nutrition front. The beans ensure the protein angle is secured and the sweet potatoes just happen to offer wonderful complex carbohydrates, that are also a great source of fiber and vitamin C.

Even if you’re not interested in the nutritional benefits that come with this dish, you’ll surely be glad to know the taste and textures in this Mexican inspired lasagna are supremely good. That alone will be the reason it will become a firm staple on your weekly menu – guaranteed.

Photo: Aine Carlin

Aine Carlin is a vegan blogger who specializes in vegan recipes. She also has a keen interest in vegan fashion and is currently training to be a stylist where she hopes to promote cruelty free clothing and beauty. You can find more of her vegan recipes and vegan friendly fashion over at www.peasoupeats.com

  • 1 onion
  • 2/3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups organic sweet corn
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 can cooked borlotti/pinto beans
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 scotch bonnet
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin
  • paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree/paste or even organic ketchup
  • few sprigs thyme
  • 2/3 bay leaves
  • large handful chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 sliced tofutti mozzarella slices(or any vegan cheese of your choice)


Refried Beans

1. Finely chop the onion and mince two garlic cloves. Heat a little oil in a saucepan and add the onion, season and allow it to soften gently for several minutes. Add the garlic along with the cumin and 1 tsp paprika. Cook for several more minutes.
2. Drain and rinse the borlotti beans. Add to the pan. Remove the thyme leaves and roughly chop before adding to the pan. Season, cover with water, add the bay leaves and simmer for 30-40minutes topping up with water if necessary.
3. Remove the bay leaves and mash using the back of a fork or a masher. Season. It shouldn't be too dry but if you think it is add a little water. Keep warm on a very low heat, stirring frequently.

Tomato Sauce

1. Empty the tomatoes into a frying pan. Mince the remaining two cloves of garlic and finely chop the chilli. Add to the tomatoes along with the tomato puree/ketchup, sugar and seasoning.
2. Stir and allow to gently simmer for 30mins.
3. Towards the end of the cooking time add the chopped parsley.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees/300 fahrenheit.
2. Wash the sweet potatoes, dry and chop into large chunks. Place on a baking sheet and coat in paprika, seasoning and bake in oven for 30-40mins.

Assembling the Lasagna

1. Coat the bottom layer of a baking dish with a small amount of tomato sauce - just enough so the tortilla doesn't stick to the bottom. Halve all the tortillas and layer one plus another half onto the  bottom of the dish. You can fill in the gaps by halving the tortillas again.
2. Spread the refried beans onto the tortillas, spoon over half the sweet corn and black beans and top with half the roasted sweet potato and a little tomato sauce.
3. Repeat and top with the remaining tomato sauce. Break the mozzarella slices into pieces and place on top if using.
4. Bake in oven (same temp as you baked the sweet potatoes) for 30 minutes.

Serve with freshly chopped parsley.

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