taco torte Recipes

taco torte

I have forever seen recipes on TV and around the web for something called Mexican Lasagna, a giant layered casserole that contains pretty much everything we love and cannot get enough of — tortillas, beans, salsa, cheese and then some — but couldn’t bring myself to make one because I make bad decisions based on trivial things, such as the name, which made me cringe (must we blame the people of Naples or Mexico for the unholy ways we Frankenstein their cuisine?) and the fact that I hadn’t exactly run out of excuses to eat tortillas, beans, salsa and cheese yet and thus didn’t need to enlist another one. Don’t worry, Deb is going to see the error of her ways in the next paragraph.


prepped out
two-tone beans

Sometime in the hazy weeks after bringing this bunny home from the hospital, I spied a version of the dish in Katie Workman’s Mom 100 Cookbook that stopped me in my tracks for all the reasons any recipe ever does: I was so hungry, and it was so pretty. Regardless, I then looked for excuses not to make it, first arguing to no one in particular that there was no way was it nutritional enough to pass off as dinner, only to realize it contains nearly 4 cups of beans and 6 of vegetables. I then decided that there’s no way you could fit all that in one little cake and did that charming thing I do when I cook but I’m too tired to cook where I point out all the ways it couldn’t possibly work and was definitely going to flop and instead, what went into the oven was an exactly perfect-as-written and what came out looked exactly like the photo and tasted even better than I could have dreamed.

corn and spinach
a skillet of color
assembly
from the oven

It has taken a level of self-control I succeed in employing nowhere else in my life to not make this at least once a month since, and it’s only the fact that my next book is not going to solely focus on taco tortes (though I would need little convincing at this point) that I’ve somewhat varied our diets since. It’s honestly that good. Does the fact that it’s also pretty — prettier even when you make it because you’re going to remember to line the pan with foil or use a springform so it comes out neatly — really matter? No. And by no, I mean, seriously, I’m not fooling anyone.

the taco torte
the taco torte

One year ago: Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas
Two years ago: Garlicky Party Bread with Cheese and Herbs
Three years ago: Pasta and White Beans with Garlic-Rosemary Oil
Four years ago: Cheddar Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread
Five years ago: Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions
Six years ago: Mixed Citrus Salad with Feta and Mint and Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes
Seven years ago: Chicken Milanese + An Escarole Salad and Flaky Blood Orange Tart
Eight years ago: Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree and Candied Grapefruit Peels
Nine years ago: Icebox Cake

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber
1.5 Years Ago: Blueberry Crumb Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Charred Corn Crepes
3.5 Years Ago: Zucchini Tomato and Rice Gratin
4.5 Years Ago: Corn Buttermilk and Chive Popovers

Taco Torte
Adapted, just barely, from the Mom 100 Cookbook

The original recipe calls for making this with 4 tortillas, or 4 layers. I made mine with 5 both times, but think 6 would be even nicer, so there’s less heavy filling between each, and have recommended this below. While you can use a fitted 8-inch cake pan if you have one, I have found that whatever bits of filling and/or cheese spill into the margins of a 9-inch cake pan are the most delicious parts — don’t you dare leave them in there. A 5- or 6-high stack will go over the top of a standard cake pan, but if you’re nervous about spillover (a non-issue in a 9-inch pan), you can always bake it on a foil-lined tray. Finally, should you wish to lightly fry your tortillas to a light crisp before you layer them, I’d expect them to get less soft when baked.

Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer or light meal with a salad, 6 to 8 for dinner

Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive, vegetable, or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh chile pepper, chopped small (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (adjusted to taste)
1 can (14 ounces) or 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, drained, with 1/3 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black, red or kidney beans (or a mixture of any two), drained and rinsed
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from 1 to 2 ears), from 1 15-ounce can, drained, or frozen and thawed
3 cups (about 2 3/4 ounces) rough-chopped spinach leaves
6 medium-size (8-inch) flour tortillas (although corn should work too)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (I used a mix)
Chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream and/or salsa for serving (optional)

Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan or cast-iron skillet tightly with foil and spray it with a nonstick spray. Or, you can coat a 9-inch springform with nonstick spray and skip the foil, since it’s easier to remove from a springform.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, fresh chile pepper (if using), cumin, chili powder, and and cook until you can smell the spices and the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with the 1/3 cup of reserved juice and the tomato paste, then stir in the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the bean mixture simmer until everything is hot, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted and everything is well blended and hot, about 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper as necessary.

Place 1 tortilla in the prepared cake pan. Spread one-sixth (just eyeball it) of the bean and vegetable mixture evenly over the tortilla, then sprinkle 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Repeat with 5 more layers, ending with the last of the bean mixture and shredded cheese.

Bake the tortilla stack until it is hot throughout and the top is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. You can run it under the broiler for extra color on top, if you wish. Let the it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, before removing it from the pan, either by carefully lifting the foil that lines the pan or by opening the sprinform sides. Cut it into wedges using a sharp knife and serve it with a spatula or better yet a pie server. Sprinkle the top with cilantro, if desired, and serve with sour cream and/or salsa on the side, if you like.

Do ahead: You can make this ahead of time, cover it in the fridge overnight then leave it at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before baking it. The torte also reheats well.

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123 comments on taco torte

  1. Mai

    Your daughter is gorgeous! I see a strong mother/daughter resemblance. :) This recipe looks like it would be a hit with my kids, I will definitely give it a try.

  2. Sara

    This looks great! Here in New Mexico we make a similar dish with corn tortillas and meat/calabacitas/cheese/beans in any combination, but we just call them stacked enchiladas, which makes the silly name of Taco Lasagna, which I always hated too, a nonissue.

  3. MichelleC.

    I was just thinking about dinner because afternoons with 3 kids are crazy! This looks delicious and healthy….Meatless Monday baby!!;-) Was there a bean or bean combo that you particularly enjoyed??

  4. Sierra

    I’ve been making what we call Enchilada Casseroles for a while now, just layering the ingredients instead of rolling them. I confessed it to a friend of mine whose family is from Mexico, expecting her to roll her eyes, and she just laughed and said that her mom does the same thing because it’s less work. So now I feel less guilty about the whole thing, plus it lets you be more precise about taking just as much as you want without trying to figure out where one enchilada ends and another begins. :)

    When I do combinations like this one, I like to throw some diced zucchini in the mix, too. I’m sure coarsely shredded would work, too. It’s a great flavor/texture addition.

  5. Aloise

    Oh LORD. I was going to make enchiladas tonight, but this looks so much prettier than those sloppy casseroles. I’m going to do this with corn tortillas — I’ll have to layer them in the pan but I think it’ll be OK. And I’m going to add shredded chicken and potentially some enchilada sauce just because yum (and it will help with the layered tortilla problem). It might not come out quite as pretty but I dare to dream.

  6. Nicole

    In the finished dish how is the texture of the tortilla layers? The problem I’ve had with mexican “lasagna” type dishes in the past is a textural one…I just really don’t like soggy tortillas apparently. They always end up kind of gummy and slimyish to me.

  7. It’s like there’s something in the foodblog water! I was just reading a piece at The Kitchn about Smörgåstårta / Sandwich Cakes. Layer all the savory things! (And there’s a good multilingual pun here with ‘torta’, aka the best sandwich ever that you’ll get from many a taco truck.)

  8. Kerry

    Hypothetically, I want to add ground meat (by hypothetical I mean definitely)
    Should I just add after onions and saute with ready of fixins?
    Looks splendid!

  9. Tiernan

    Would subbing half the beans with cooked, drained ground beef work? Or would it continue to release too much moisture in the oven?

  10. Camille

    This looks spectacular, I can’t wait to try it out! In the following sentence, I think we’re missing something, however… “Regardless, I then looked for excuses not to make it, first arguing to no one in particular that there was no way was it nutritional enough to pass off as dinner, only to realize it ** nearly 4 cups of beans and 6 of vegetables.”

  11. Katie C.

    This is very close to the mixture that we use to make quesadillas. I throw in some additional spices and cilantro. Meatless Monday meal!

  12. I love the way you write. You draw me in. I’m usually one to skim right down to the recipes, but I love reading your stories about the delectable food you so obviously enjoy making and eating. Thank you for continuing to drag me away from work to read your blog and be kitchen-inspired, even on Monday mornings! Cheers!

  13. Khendra

    Would love to try it, it sounds fantastic, but I already got everything from 78 to 710g of spinach, depending on the conversion program I use and if I convert cups or ounces to grams. Not much better with the other ingredients. Help! I usually do some guesswork in quantities if I am not sure, but the range here seems a bit astonishing. Anyone with any idea what I am doing wrong?

  14. Kate

    And here I was just going to make plain boring cheese quesadillas with a black bean riff on succotash on the side. The toddler will still get a quesadilla, but for the grownups, I think this is just the ticket!

  15. deb

    Nicole — I didn’t do this but suggested you could lightly fry you tortillas first to a crisp so they’re less likely to get soft.

    Weight of spinach — 2.75 ounces is 78 grams. I will add the rest of the weights shortly.

    Camille — Thanks and !!! (mostly because after the obsessive discussions last time about copyeditors, I made sure I gave this two extra reads)

    Tiernan — I definitely think it could work and it’s a common ingredient in these kinds of “lasagnas.”

  16. Gretchen

    In re: using corn tortillas, a few things based on my experience with the dreaded Taco Lasagna. First, they’re never 8″ around, more like 6″ max, so you’ll want to use a smaller pan and you’ll have filling left over. This is not a problem, because extra filling + extra corn tortillas = soft tacos! Or just make two tortes. Second, you will absolutely need to fry corn tortillas before layering, or you will have layers of yummy filling and corn mush. You don’t have to fry until crispy, just less than a minute per side in a shallow skillet of neutral oil, although you certainly could go full-crunchy if you wanted to. I wouldn’t count on a corn-tortilla version holding up to making ahead and reheating without turning to mush, regardless of frying.

  17. Liz

    My grandmother learned a version of this when living in Las Cruces after the war. As mentioned above they called them stacked enchiladas. They would fry the tortilla, dip it in enchilada sauce, then stack and bake as above. When I lived in Mexico I was told they call it in Spanish a Pastel Indio, or Indian Cake, sounds like calling it a torte is a variation of that. We filled ours with chopped onion and grated cheese with just cheese on the very top part. Over the years I have done them with Salsa Verde and every manner of leftover and vegetable inside. I stopped frying out of laziness and mess avoidance and just dip them in sauce, but now I will do it with no sauce at all as you have done.

    We can eat it with the easy salsa you posted on another date and I canned up out of my garden this summer. Now I just have to find decent tortillas. The real thing should be made with corn, lime and water, nothing else. The ones in most grocery stores must have a shelf life of 12 years with all the crud they add in.

  18. Randi

    This sounds like a much healthier cousin of my lazy layered enchilada casserole and it looks delish and easy! Can’t wait to try it!

  19. Terry Covington

    Noticed the reference to your next book. My daughter bought me your first book and it is so beautiful. I can’t wait for the next, and now you have me curious as to what will be in it! Always enjoy your recipes and your gorgeous children; reminds me of raising my three girls.

  20. Elise

    I’m a chronic blog “browser”, except when it comes to Smitten Kitchen. Thanks for inspiring me to read AND try new recipes!

  21. Nell

    I have an odd aversion to corn that is not on a cob in summer. So I was wondering if I could make this without the corn or if I left it out what would be a good replacement? Thanks so much!

  22. I’ll myself add to the ‘I’m from the Southwest and have been making stacked enchiladas forever’ crowd. My Dad had a co-worker’s Hispanic wife teach Mom how to do it soon after my parents married; to the end of his life it was one of Dad’s favorite meals.

    We’ve played so many variations on the theme it’s ridiculous: ground beef was the original filling, with black olives, enchilada sauce and lots of cheese, but any ground or shredded meat will work, and I’ve made ’em vegetarian, vegan, heavy-veggies-light-meat, with beans black, pinto and kidney… Pretty much anything you like that goes with the spicing and will sit on the tortillas is good. We have always used corn tortillas, and never fried them, just dunked them in some of the sauce (Las Palmas brand Red Chile Sauce, with additions to taste).

    And they were always just ‘enchiladas’ to us. I have been told, however, that the proper nomenclature is Enchiladas Nortenas (‘enchiladas as the lady from the north of Mexico – eg, Dad’s friend’s wife – makes them’; there should be a tilda over that n) or Budin Azteca (‘Aztec Pudding’)

  23. J.B.

    I am old. I have been a nanny. I have run my own home-based daycare. I have worked at 2 preschools. I have many friends with many kids. I have 2 gorgeous young adult kids of my own. I’ve seen many, many babies in my many years on this planet. But your little girl is officially the cutest, most beautiful baby I have ever seen in my baby-filled life. Must. eat. her. up! Congratulations! (Oh, and Jacob is no slouch–such a handsome little boy!)

  24. Charlotte

    Dang! I just got back from the grocery store. (Literally, like 20 minutes ago.) I would have picked up ingredients for this – looks & sounds delicious!

  25. Mel

    I made this tonight. Yum! I had some uncooked Tortilla Land tortillas in the fridge, so I cooked them a bit longer than normal so they were really crispy. They held their shape really well.

  26. CJ

    We had this tonight (only three tortillas, that was plenty) and it was very tasty. I told my family we could call it enchilada pie or taco torte or Mexican lasagna or whatever and my daughter decided to call it Aragorn instead because it has many names.

  27. Hilary

    Deb – this looks awesome, and quite a bit like one of my old standby recipes, Moosewood’s Black Bean Chilaquile (from the Moosewood Low Fat cookbook). The main difference is that they use crushed tortilla chips instead of regular tortillas. That recipe calls for fat-free cheese, ugh, but I make it with whatever I have on hand (never low fat). It’s amazing and always delicious (and my favorite way to use up leftover tortilla chips so that I don’t eat them all myself), and I’m sure this is as well!

  28. lily

    Deb, any thoughts on how this would work with your charred corn crepes, in a crepe cake? I’m not a huge fan of flour tortillas, and wonder if corn would be likely to turn to mush in a torte, so I was thinking of the crepes…

  29. Jan

    This looks magnificent. I have friends who lived in the SW for years and make stacked enchiladas, too. Your recipe looks plenty spicy, but one way to up that a bit is to use pepper jack cheese. Yum.

  30. I’m jealous! Where can I see pics of you and your kids? The photography of your food is always well done, bit I miss seeing your “critics”. Can you do a littleMOMMY AND ME in your pics please.

  31. PippaS

    This looks like a version of a dish called chilaquiles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilaquiles) , of which Madhur Jaffrey has a vegetarian version in one of her books, which I’ve been making for years. It’s with nacho chips instead of tortillas, and my kids think it’s the best thing. The corn chips stay crispy mostly, though some soak up the salsa and are delish. Yours sounds and looks v good – veg too! I might just have to give it a go. (Oops, just noticed that @Hilary has already mentioned chilaquiles – looks like we’re onto something there)

  32. Rachel

    This looks so good! I’ll probably try subbing the beans for cooked ground beef… I’ve tried many times, but still struggle to get past the texture of beans!

  33. Ancient reader, newbie commenter here. Two things..

    1) please people, make your own beans! Try a bag from Rancho Gordo, easily ordered online, always fresh and extra nutritious/delicious. (I’m not involved with that company, just a grateful longtime customer).

    2) I re-read and don’t think I missed it… Did you state how many servings this makes? (realizing that depends on if you are eating in front of family or if there are other independent witnesses involved..)

  34. Sharyn

    this would be a big hit around here. I showed the photo to himself and he said yes! I make our nachos by making a sauce of onion, black beans and tomatoes and monterey jack cheese, then putting that on some nachos with guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Cut way down on the nachos and bumped up the veg. The next day we make sandwiches of the mix in the toaster oven.

  35. Diana

    Deb, all of the above re the recipe. On another note, the video of your son sledding and admonishing dad to let go! is great. I’ll bet you are starting to hear tha a lot now.

  36. deb

    Rebecca — I was thinking of a jalapeno or the like. However, my chile powder has plenty of kick, so I didn’t use one there; the kid doesn’t like heat and the husband will coat his wedge in Tapatio either way. :)

    Chilaquiles — I always thought these involved a deliberate softening of pieces of corn tortillas, usually in salsa or with eggs. I.e. insanely delicious but while these tortillas do get soft, it’s not the goal.

    TexasDeb — We make our own beans all the time and I’m a great fan of Rancho Gordo. But for this, with so much else going on, I liked that it was quick.

    Servings — My bad. So, we split this into 8 wedges, which I’d call a not-very-big dinner serving. (We make my lazy taco slaw on the side: shredded red cabbage, carrots, sliced scallions, parsley or cilantro, a lot of lime, salt and pepper and just enough mayo — a spoonful — to make it into more of a dressing. You could just use olive oil.) I think you could go up to 10 for a party and that some people might like a heartier 1/6 slice serving for dinner. Will add this information up top.

    lily — I would not because those are too soft and pancake-like. They can’t hold a whole lot.

  37. stephanie

    i have never made something as amazing looking as this, but when i make enchiladas i use what are called “soft corn tortillas.” i get them at whole foods, made by their house 365 brand. for me it’s the perfect middle ground – pliable with no frying or heating necessary, and they don’t turn to mush under sauce. regular corn tortillas are too thick and also gritty (imho anyway…i have come around on “real” corn for tacos, at least, but not for baked things), & just a thought for those iffy on flour. picture:

  38. rene

    I’ve been making this for years and call it Tortilla Pie. I use 10″ tortillas in a 10″ springform pan (put on cookie sheet when baking in case of leakage). I always add either 1 lb. ground beef, browned, or pulled pork because MEAT. I also put a handful of chopped cilantro in with the filling. The 10″ size is ideal for a group (ie: Superbowl) and for sure serve with guacamole. Yum.

  39. Anne

    I’ve seen these types of recipes around as well but usually they look so darn complicated. This looks perfect and delicious. I’m making it for the Super Bowl for sure. Love the pic of you and your “bunny”. I adore her curls!

  40. Shannon

    Yum- I got your post this morning in my inbox and this looked so good we tried it tonight for dinner-YUM it was a family hit. The tortillas weren’t soggy but I might try frying them beforehand just for the crispness. I also used about half the cheese and it still tasted great. We will definitely make this again

  41. Jenny

    I just finished dinner so I shouldn’t be hungry but I am *literally* drooling and it is so pretty I think I have tears in my eyes and what? it’s full of vegetables for those mostly-meatless homes like ours and why do I have to wait twenty hours before tomorrow night’s dinner?
    Thank you a million thank-yous.

  42. Sheila

    This recipe appeared in my inbox yesterday, and I forwarded it to my husband. He surprised me by making it last night. It was wonderful! I’m certain he made no changes and used a springform pan. It came out beautifully and looked & tasted fabulous. This recipe is definitely going into immediate rotation. Thank you Deb!!

  43. Years ago, my friend who had three little boys used to make something similar to this for her sons. She called it burrito pie. and made it when she only had 3 tortillas left in the package. Hers was good; however, it did not contain any of the extra veggies. It was only meat, beans, sauce, and cheese. The kids liked that simple version, but this one is definitely for grown ups. I’m making this as soon as I get some tortillas.

  44. KatieK

    Made this last night; it will become a regular for a meatless meal. None of my carnivores missed the meat, although I do see how ground beef could be added in addition to the beans or for part of them. My only cake pan is 8 inches and I wanted to follow Deb’s recommendation to use more than 4 tortillas. I used 6 and cooked the torte in a 12 inch skillet lined with foil so it was probably closer to 10. I also pan toasted the tortillas so they were slightly crisp. Four big eaters and one not so, and we had leftovers enough for two small helpings.
    Great combo of flavors; thanks Deb!

  45. Sara

    Would this travel well? I’m guessing it’s better hot, but would it reheat or microwave ok? I’d probably fry the tortillas for crispness, but am wondering if they just wouldn’t hold up. Thanks.

  46. Nancy

    I made this last night – fantastic! Both of us loved it. I made it as written (because when I read it, I had all the ingredients!). I always love a good non-meat dinner and this was perfect, though I admit to using shameful amount of cheese.
    I am particularly fond of dinners that a.) re-heat well as we are only 2 and b.) would make a great next day breakfast scramble.
    This fits both bills. For my breakfast scramble I usually have grilled vegetables or left over pasta (heat a little butter in a pan, throw in some left overs and let them heat up a bit, then pour in a beaten egg or 2). For this I used an 1/8 slice and used a spatula to slice it up a bit in the pan – it’s one of the best left-over breakfasts I’ve ever had.
    This is a keeper.

  47. Tanya

    I made this last night and it was delicious! My whole family loves including my 13 month old. Super excited to see what you will be posting today!

  48. Jodie

    Delicious recipe (as always)! As a carnivore trying to do more meatless and healthy, this will be a new favorite.
    For the folks asking about your kids’ photos, Deb always has a word in her posts that a hyperlink to a delightful photo or video! I love looking for them. In this post its in the first sentence under the 3rd photo….the word “bunny”. And an adorable bunny she is!

  49. Gretchen

    OMG Deb! I want this now! But, alas, I am on a carb-less diet for the foreseeable future. Definitely saving the recipe for my birthday. I always do a Mexican theme dinner for it. :)

  50. I’ve made a variation of this for years, but yours is so much prettier.

    We call it “Nacho’sagna” because my husband always snitches bits of whatever I’m prepping. We call regular lasagna “‘sagna” when we’re lazy…

    So I was making this and smacked his hand when he picked at the cheese and told him, “Boy, that is Not’cho ‘sagna. Back off.” That was it. It became a family joke. =)

  51. Little bit of work to make this one but it looks like it’s worth it. I suppose if I wanted to make it a meat dish I could just add some chicken or pork to it. I’ll try it vegetarian first.

  52. Meghan

    I made this for a head start on tomorrow night’s dinner, but I couldn’t resist saving a little of the filling to mix in with leftover rice as a little supper for myself. Oh Deb. Well done.

    One question, does three cups of spinach really come out to just under three ounces? I had a 6 oz bag of baby spinach and it looked like just enough so I threw in the whole thing. I can never quite tell with greens, they wilt down to so little. But my torte looks (I think) almost identical to yours and it didn’t taste too green.

    1. deb

      Meghan — I agree, greens are a hard thing to measure by cup. The weight I gave was of rough-chopped baby spinach, but not packed in or anything.

  53. Rebecca

    Made this for a Super Bowl party last night (along with the potato chip cookies) and people were really excited about it. I brought it in part so I’d know there was something kind of dinner-like (and veg-friendly) so I wouldn’t eat NOTHING but chips and dip for dinner (just MOSTLY.) Fast, easy, and excellent!

  54. Mary

    Oh. My. God. So. Good. I made this tonight, and it was fast, easy and delicious. Even the picky child, who initially made the “yucky” face, admitted that this was pretty good (high praise from her). This will be going on heavy rotation at our house, thanks Deb!

  55. Janae

    I had some leftover Mexican style shredded chicken that I had made in the crockpot; I used it as the filling for this and it was sooooo good! The crispy bits that fall around the edges of the pan are the most delicious part, but the actual torte itself was so good, the tortillas get so soft and practically melt into the cheese and filling. I will definitely make again, thanks!

  56. Kriste

    My nine year old made this tonight for dinner with very little help from me. He loves to cook and I love recipes that are simple enough for kids to use. It turned out fabulous! Everyone is already asking when we can have it again! Thanks!

  57. Sarah

    Loved this recipe! I assembled 48 hours before baking… Not intentional, but life got in the way. It turned out beautifully! I am not a big corn fan, so I substituted diced, roasted red potatoes, because potato tacos are basically my favorite thing ever. Also added some soy ground beef. Would have been good with beef beef or tofu, etc. The recipe stands up really well to customization. Thanks for posting!

  58. Deborah

    I am new to this site. I made this dish Sunday. I thought it would make great lunches for work. My husband who claims he hates “beans and greens” has already gone through more than half. So much for my week of lunches. It was delicious.

  59. SAM

    This was an excellent recipe! Everything works perfectly and a real crowd pleaser! Keeper for the family…..keeper for taking to a party, keeper for entertaining-seriously delicious!

  60. Markus

    Surprised no one has mentioned this yet, so I’ll say it: YES, this is delicious with whole wheat tortillas. Made it this week, my wife and I both loved it, and it held up perfectly for leftovers; I feared the nutty taste of the whole wheat would be unwelcome, but honestly you barely notice it, and the tortillas didn’t get gritty or melt away. (And I’m no whole wheat partisan — for example I hate whole wheat pasta, which is an abomination unto the pasta gods — so you can trust me on that.)

  61. Sasha

    I am making this right now! I realized in the middle of cooking that I am essentially making a bean enchilada filling, so I used some of my tricks for that, namely mix in a couple of teaspoons of chipotle canning sauce (I squeeze a chipotle with garlic press right after the garlic) and some crumbled queso fresco I had in the fridge into the cooked filling. I kept the recommended shredded cheese as well, but I like small bits of melted queso right in the filling and I doubt it will turn out to be too cheesy. I also used frozen chopped spinach rather than fresh. This substitution makes this something you can make from pantry ingredients at the end of the week. Making an avocado crema to go with this as well! Can you do a cooking beans from scratch tutorial, please? I consider myself a good cook, but suck at cooking beans. Mine either end up mushy or crumbly.

  62. Sue Iseman

    Made this the other night for dinner – used butternut squash with the black beans, peppers, etc. The possibilities are endless. I can see this will be a regular meal in our vegetarian kitchen. Thanks a bunch – it was fabulous!

  63. Where has this been all of my life? I’ve been looking a good and filling vegetarian recipe for my twin sister. I’ve been through many recipe books and all I seem to find are soups or something super complicated that requires expensive ingredients. I really am excited to try this recipe, thanks!

  64. Amy

    I made this last week for the first time. It was so good, my bf called his sister to come pick-up a couple slices from us! I’m making it again tonight! We are addicted, and it’s so easy. I sub one can of beans for a cup and 1/2 of Beyond Beef crumbles, but that’s the only deviation. :)

  65. Eric S

    I made this for dinner tonight and loved it! My wife and adult son also loved it. Found diced tomatoes with spicy red pepper at the grocery and used that, along with the cumin and chipotle pepper it gave a very nice heat. I tossed the tortillas into the preheated oven for a few minutes to toast them a bit and they seemed to hold up pretty well. I will be making this again! Thanks!

  66. Kathleen

    This was quick and yummy! I made it gluten-free and individual-sized using some 6″ corn tortillas that have been hanging out in the fridge. Mistakenly put an extra tortilla on top but next time I would leave the toppings open-faced, since it got a bit tough to cut through. Made a whole recipe for two of us and used the extra in the twice-baked potatoes recipe another night… so good! :)

  67. MMC

    I know why it took you so long to make this, Deb–it is greater than the sum of its parts. I made it the other night because I had all of the ingredients and it is quick, and it was a hit with the family, which includes a 3- and 5-year-old. Thanks for posting it–I’d seen it in The Mom 100 but was a bit skeptical that it would be worth the trouble, but after you posted it I knew it was worth a try.

  68. Stacey

    So this is my new go-to Mexican weeknight dinner. My whole fam loves it. Thank you Deb for saving dinner for this working mom.

    I also wanted to tell you about a modification I made tonight that you might like. It was accidental, because after cutting an onion I realized I was out of chili powder. Instead, I used about 3 teaspoons of the sauce from a can of adobo peppers. Highly recommend! Added the most perfect flavor.

  69. Anna

    Our kids are 8, 6 and 2 – it’s a hit with the whole family and on weekly rotation! We don’t use the tomato paste, bc so often I’m out, but often use fire roasted tomatoes and sometimes up the spices and play around with adding a little oregano, adobo sauce, Etc whatever is on hand. This is an easy dish to keep the basic formula but add in whatever you need to use up from the veg drawer, too! Leftovers are even better – and it also freezes well – so sometimes I make two! Such a simple idea but I’ve never made it quite like this or thought I’d find something like this my two meat eaters would find so flavorful they wouldn’t even miss the meat. Genius! I’d love to see the cookbook with all kinds of torte recipes

  70. Erika

    Wow, this was so good! Much greater than the sum of its parts, as someone else said. I used a little less cheese (5-6 oz), only 1/2 cup corn because it was all I had, no spinach (husband doesn’t like greens, what’s wrong with him), added a puréed chipotle en adobo, and used fire roasted tomatoes. Using four tortillas, I’d say it served four people. Loving these weeknight dinners you’re posting lately!

  71. Kailee

    This was delicious! I tweaked it a bit to the ingredients I had on hand, and I can’t wait to make it again! Filling but not too rich, an impressive weeknight dinner. Thanks!

  72. Beenz

    While this was delicious I cannot see how you got 4 cups of beans from 2 15oz cans. I barely got two. Also the 1 1/2 cups of corn would be considered a starch not a vegetable. And under 3 ounces of spinach? No matter what the volume measure this is barely one serving. Like I said delicious, but definitely nutritionally lacking. I will make this again, a salad on the side will be forthcoming.

  73. deb

    Beenz — 15 ounce cans of beans have, by definition (and serving size on the back) 1.5 to 2 cups in each. I’m sorry if it wasn’t to your liking; I cannot imagine 2 cans of beans being a single serving. That said, this isn’t “health” food — it’s more like something I’d expected to be very unhealthy that turned out to have a surprising amount of vegetables and beans in it.

  74. Ali

    I made this with 6 layers of corn tortillas. The edges were delicious and crispy, but in the centre the tortillas were mushy and unpleasing in texture. I may try again with flour tortillas hoping that they will go soft but not mushy or precrisp the corn tortillas

  75. Barbara

    This is simply delicious! we made it for the first time yesterday (flour tortillas) and made it again today with sprouted corn tortillas and frozen spinach did not ruin ist – it was even better with more moisture. Children 6, 10 an 18 all loved it and husband insisted on having it again today:) thanks so much for inspiring us to cook our dinners instead of ordering in….

  76. alison

    this is so good! the first time we made it as written (yum!) but today it was too hot to cook the torte in the oven so I ate it loaded nacho-style (with some ATK Mexican rice mixed in) and the husband did his burrito-style. both delicious. very versitile filling!!

  77. laurakolker

    Favorite recent addition to menu. Sometimes I add chicken, or we simplify with just cheese. And if I blitz the sauce with some extra tomato paste, I can feed it to the baby.

    Also also! Love the new mobile look and feel. So great!

  78. Sherra

    I’ve made this loads of times, and it’s a great recipe – it’s in regular rotation at ours. Finding decent flour tortillas in Ireland is impossible, so I make my own, which makes this even nicer. Otherwise, I make it as written and let the compliments roll in. Gorgeous, and it reheats beautifully so the leftovers are just as good the next day. Love love love this site.

  79. Isabel L

    Made this last night with fresh zucchini and tomato from the garden (healthy!), and subbing refried beans and ground beef for the beans (less healthy…). Also added enchilada sauce between each layer and poured over the top, which was just delicious. This is one of those amazing and endlessly flexible recipes that is going straight to our regulars list.