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Side view of a slice of taco cake topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Taco Cake!

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: casserole
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Taco Cake! Layers upon layers of crispy tortillas, seasoned meat, black beans, corn, spinach, and cheese! Like Mexican Lasagna but better.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying tortillas
  • 6 8-inch flour tortillas*
  • 1 pound ground beef**
  • 1 medium onion (any color), finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced, seeds removed for less heat
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 can (14 ounces) chopped tomatoes, or about 1 1/2 cups fresh
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from about 1 to 2 ears) or frozen (defrosted)
  • 3 cups spinach leaves (about 3 ounces), roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (I used pepper jack for additional heat)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro and/or scallions for garnish (optional)
  • sour cream and/or salsa and/or guacamole for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. If you don’t have a springform pan, line a regular 9-inch cake pan or sheet pan with foil and spray.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas, one at a time, until crisped and browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and set aside to cool.
  3. Drain all but a teaspoon or so of oil from the pan, add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan and add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cook, while stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about one minute more. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste, then add the beans and reserved ground beef. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until much of the liquid has evaporated. Add the corn and spinach and toss around until the spinach wilts and the corn is heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  4. To assemble, place one tortilla in the prepared cake pan and spread about 1/6th (just eyeball it) of the filling evenly over top. Sprinkle with about 1/6th of the cheese, top with another tortilla. Repeat with the additional filling, cheese and tortillas, finishing with a layer of filling and a sprinkling of cheese on top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and heated through. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Sprinkle with cilantro, scallions or both, or none. It’s optional.
  6. Use a sharp knife to cut the cake into wedges and use a spatula or pie server to carefully remove them to plates. Serve hot with sour cream and/or salsa and/or guacamole on the side, if you wish.


  • * Corn tortillas may be substituted for the flour, just be sure they’re as close to 8-inches wide as possible. If they’re not, make two cakes with smaller tortillas using 4 in each (8 total).
  • **This recipe can be made totally vegetarian by omitting the ground beef and adding in one additional can of beans instead.
  • *** Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through. Leftovers reheat beautifully and are great for breakfast with a fried egg and plenty of hot sauce.

Keywords: mexican lasagna, taco cake, tortilla lasagna, taco tuesday