Recipe: Mexican Skillet Lasagna

updated Jan 29, 2020
Mexican Skillet Lasagna
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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

What if I told you that you didn’t need to pick up a knife or turn on your oven to make a delicious lasagna? Yes, it’s true — this lasagna only has six ingredients and cooks all in one pan. Ready to learn more?

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

I usually only make traditional lasagna once a year because it just involves too many ingredients and too much of my time. For a busy weeknight, though, I want a lasagna that uses a lot of pantry ingredients and doesn’t need to be cooked both on the stove and in the oven. That’s a lot of parameters, but I still want something that’s satisfying and delicious. This one fits the bill perfectly.

The trick to this lasagna is to use lots of flavorful ingredients so you don’t need a long simmering time. Start with fresh Mexican chorizo as the base (although you can make this vegetarian and just skip the chorizo and use vegetable broth), then add beans, broth, and my secret ingredient: salsa. When you use salsa, you get onions, garlic, tomatoes, and chiles all without having to cut anything up. I prefer to use a blended salsa or a pico de gallo that has a lot of juice since the lasagna noodles need plenty of liquid to cook.

And speaking of lasagna noodles, this is the perfect recipe if you have a half-used box of lasagna noodles that are broken and a bit sad. Break them up into small pieces, toss them right into the simmering sauce, and watch magic happen in only 20 minutes. Since cheese is mandatory on lasagna, it’s sprinkled on at the end and left to melt on top — no need to throw it into the oven.

To make this a complete meal, serve with cilantro-jalapeño jicama slaw

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Mexican Skillet Lasagna

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 8 ounces

    fresh Mexican chorizo or soyrizo, casings removed

  • 2

    (12-ounce) containers salsa (3 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1

    (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 8 ounces

    (about 10) dry lasagna noodles

  • 1 1/2 cups

    shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese

  • Coarsely chopped cilantro, for garnishing (optional)


  1. Heat a large regular or cast iron skillet (at least 12 inches wide) over medium heat. Add in the chorizo and cook, breaking the meat up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

  2. Add the salsa, broth, and beans; stir to combine; and bring to a simmer. Using your hands, break the lasagna noodles into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces and add to the skillet. Stir to combine and spread into an even layer, making sure as many of the noodles are submerged in liquid as possible. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, 20 to 25 minutes (add water as needed if the noodles have absorbed all the liquid before they're cooked). Taste and season with salt as needed.

  3. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle with the cheese. Cover and let sit until the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

Recipe Notes

Salsa choice: Salsa is important here since it's the foundation of the sauce. Choose a blended salsa and stay away from very dry pico de gallos so that there's plenty of liquid to cook the lasagna noodles. Choose mild or hot salsa depending on your desired spice level.

Vegetarian option: This lasagna can be made vegetarian. Skip the chorizo and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Go easy on the salt: Since there are a lot of pre-seasoned ingredients in this recipe (chorizo, salsa, broth, and canned beans), I taste and season with salt at the very end.