Good ‘n Healthy Mexican Lasagna

Mexican lasagna

This recipe was created by Dr. Joseph McPhee, a bariatric surgeon at the Healthy Weight Management Center at Lancaster General Health.

Many of my patients tell me this recipe has become one of their family’s favorites because it is so easy and fast to make, refrigerates well, and satisfies everyone no matter their age.

The idea for this recipe was adapted from food celebrity Rachael Ray, whose show I happened upon one day. Coincidentally I was also searching for ways to encourage people to incorporate more beans into their diets.

This recipe has the basic combination of healthy proteins in the ground turkey, beans, and cheese, providing about 26 grams per serving. Using a medium size whole wheat tortilla adds fiber and has about 22 grams in carbohydrates.

When developing my recipes, I frequently use ground turkey because it helps patients eat healthier following bariatric surgery. It’s not that ground beef, especially lean ground beef, is necessarily unhealthy for you, it’s that red meat tends to be heavier and patients who have just undergone surgery already have an increased sensation of fullness.

Therefore, use lean ground beef, or even venison, if you choose. The fun of this recipe is deciding which variety of salsa to use, from mild to hot, to spring vegetable or a sweeter version. Or consider making your own, which you can freeze in individual servings for easy use later, and has far less sodium.


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. 93 % lean ground turkey
  • 1 package taco seasoning, 40 % less sodium
  • 1, 15.5 ounce can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups low sodium medium spiced salsa
  • 1 cup yellow corn
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cups shredded low fat Mexican cheese
  • 2 green onions (scallions), diced
  • 6 medium size whole wheat tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Add olive oil to large skillet and sauté ground turkey on medium high heat for about five minutes.
  3. Drain turkey of any fat then return to the skillet.
  4. Check the instructions on the taco seasoning to find out how much water to add. Usually about ⅔ cup.
  5. Add the taco seasoning with the water to the turkey, along with the pinto beans, salsa, corn and chili powder.
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. To assemble the lasagna, place two tortillas on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish (they will overlap slightly.)
  8. Spread half the meat and bean mixture over the tortillas and sprinkle with ⅔ cup of Mexican cheese. Repeat with another layer of two tortillas, remainder of the meat and bean mixture, and ⅔ cup of cheese.
  9. Place the last two tortillas on top of the casserole and bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle lasagna with remaining ⅔ cup of cheese and green onions and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Makes 8 servings.

What is the difference between a tortilla and a fajita? Tortilla is flat bread. A fajita is a flat bread (tortilla) stuffed with meat and vegetables, or a dish made with tortillas.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 372 calories; 16.6g total fat (6.5g saturated; 0.5g polyunsaturated, 2.7g monounsaturated); 854.4mg sodium; 55mg cholesterol; 37.2g carbohydrate; 8.3g fiber; 3.8g sugars; 26.3g protein; 106.2mg potassium.

author name

Joseph R. McPhee, MD

Joseph R. McPhee, MD, is a physician specializing in bariatric surgery with Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery.

Education: A graduate of New York University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. McPhee completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School and his residency at North Shore University Hospital.

Call: 717-544-2935

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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