Mexican Torte

Mexican Torte Overhead

You know the drill: beef. beans. cheese. tomatoes. Maybe add some sour cream, maybe add some guac. As delicious as tacos are, sometimes during the week they just loose their spunk. Fear not. We know how to get your taco spunk back! Using the same ingredients, you can make your taco night more of an fun experience in a few simple steps. My family has been making this Mexican torte since I was a kid. 10+ layers are quite the stunning site, and it keeps really well in the fridge throughout the workweek.

Cook your beef and onion together, then drain the extra fat.

Beef and Onions

Return pan to medium-high heat and use the remaining fat in the pan to cook the beans and tomato mixture.

Fat in pan

I like to smash down some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon. It adds a little more interesting texture and keeps your black beans from rolling all around once the dish is served.

Beans and Tomatoes

Shred your cheese, and you’re ready to start building. Spray an oven safe casserole dish or dutch oven that is slightly wider than your tortillas and you’re ready to go. Place one tortilla in the dish and cover it with a sprinkling of cheese. Don’t mind my awkward hand.

Tortilla #1

Then add a bit of the meat/onion mixture and the bean/tomato mixture.

Layer 1

Add another tortilla on top of this later, and continue this process until all ingredients are used. Make sure the top layer does not sit higher than the dish. Finish the final layer of the torte with just a tortilla and cheese.

Unbaked Mexican Torte

Cover and make sure the top layer of cheese is not touching the covering (we used the lid to this casserole dish, but you could also cover with foil). Some pressing down of the whole torte may be required at this point. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 until cheese is melted and just turning golden brown.

Baked Mexican Torte

Allow to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and any other items you normally enjoy with tacos.

Mexican Torte

Look at those layers! This torte used 9 of the 10 tortillas in the package. It just depends on how big your baking dish is and how high you pile each of the layers. It’s pretty straightforward, easy dish that will hopefully make your taco night a little more interesting!

Mexican Torte

Prep. Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 45 min. Rest Time: 15 min.


2 blocks cheese, shredded (cheddar, mozzarella or monterey jack will do)

1 lb ground beef

1 red onion, diced

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained

1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 pinch of cayenne pepper

10 flour tortilla shells (we used Mission’s medium “taco” size)

Optional toppings: Cilantro, avocado, hot sauce, sour cream, limes


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a casserole dish that is slightly wider than the tortilla shells with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Brown beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook until onion is soft, then transfer to a fine mesh strainer to drain extra fat. Return pan to medium high heat.

Add the beans and tomatoes with the green chilis to the pan and cook about 8 minutes, smashing down some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon as you go. Turn off heat and set aside.

Assemble the torte. Place a tortilla on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with cheese. Add some of the meat and bean mixtures and place another tortilla on top. Continue this process until most ingredients are used. Make sure the torte is not taller than the top of the dish. Finish the last layer with just a tortilla and cheese layer. Press torte down gently. Cover with the casserole dish lid or foil, making sure the top layer of cheese is not touching the lid or foil.

Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove cover and continue to bake for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted just starting to turn golden brown. Allow dish to sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with optional toppings.

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