Yucatecan Style Lasagna

Yucatecan Style Lasagna
Print Recipe
8 servings Lasaña Yucateca
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo casings removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought, divided
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups Edam cheese grated
To Prepare
  • Heat oil in a casserole over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and beef and cook for 6 to 7 minutes until it starts to brown. Make room in the middle, add onion, garlic and bell pepper, and cook for 9 to 10 minutes until vegetables have completely softened, juices have all been absorbed, and meat has browned further.
  • Meanwhile, in a blender, puree orange juice, lime juice, achiote paste, tomato paste, oregano, salt and a cup of the chicken broth, until completely smooth.
  • Pour beer into the casserole with the meat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts cooking off. Reduce heat to medium and pour in the achiote paste mixture. Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until sauce is very thick. Add crushed tomatoes and the rest of the chicken broth, mix very well, reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, uncover, raise heat to medium heat and cook for 10 more minutes, then turn off heat.
  • Place rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook 1 pound of lasagna noodles in salted water with a splash of olive oil until al dente. Drain.
  • Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with about one cup of meat sauce. Drape pasta sheets, covering bottom of the pan entirely. Cover with about 1/3 of the remaining sauce, then add 1/3 of the ricotta cheese in dollops all spread out. Cover with more draped pasta, repeat with 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the ricotta cheese. Repeat one more time and add the Edam cheese on top.
  • Lightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and leave in the oven for another 20 minutes, until cheese is completely melted, crisp and browned and lasagna is completely set.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo casings removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought, divided
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups Edam cheese grated
To Prepare
  • Heat oil in a casserole over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and beef and cook for 6 to 7 minutes until it starts to brown. Make room in the middle, add onion, garlic and bell pepper, and cook for 9 to 10 minutes until vegetables have completely softened, juices have all been absorbed, and meat has browned further.
  • Meanwhile, in a blender, puree orange juice, lime juice, achiote paste, tomato paste, oregano, salt and a cup of the chicken broth, until completely smooth.
  • Pour beer into the casserole with the meat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts cooking off. Reduce heat to medium and pour in the achiote paste mixture. Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until sauce is very thick. Add crushed tomatoes and the rest of the chicken broth, mix very well, reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, uncover, raise heat to medium heat and cook for 10 more minutes, then turn off heat.
  • Place rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook 1 pound of lasagna noodles in salted water with a splash of olive oil until al dente. Drain.
  • Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with about one cup of meat sauce. Drape pasta sheets, covering bottom of the pan entirely. Cover with about 1/3 of the remaining sauce, then add 1/3 of the ricotta cheese in dollops all spread out. Cover with more draped pasta, repeat with 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the ricotta cheese. Repeat one more time and add the Edam cheese on top.
  • Lightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and leave in the oven for another 20 minutes, until cheese is completely melted, crisp and browned and lasagna is completely set.

55 comments on “Yucatecan Style Lasagna

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  1. Pati, we have no achiote paste in our area so I looked up the ingredient on the website of a large discount department store located in most American cities.

    There were only three pastes on that website, but they all list ingredients that are written almost identically. The only variation is the word “spices” which could be anything.

    Is there any difference between brands or is it just the packaging that is different? Do you have a favorite brand?

    By the way, the photographer did a good job. I can almost smell and taste it from the photo 😉

    El Mexicano Spiced Seasoning Red Achiote Paste
    Annatto Seed, spices, Vinegar, Iodized Salt, Water, Granulated Garlic, Cornmeal, FD&C Red Color #40, Sodium Benzoate as a preservative.

    Chef Merito Achiote Seasoning Paste
    Annatto Seed, Spices, Vinegar, Iodized Salt, Water, Granulated Garlic, Corn Meal, FD&C Red Color 40, Sodium Benzoate as a Preservative.

    Milpas Pasta de Achiote
    Annatto Seed, Spices, Vinegar, Iodized Salt, Water, Granulated Garlic, Cornmeal, FD&C Red Color #40, Sodium Benzoate as a preservative.

  2. I haven’t made the Yucatecan Style Lasagna as of yet. I haven’t been able to find the endam cheese. I would like to make it on cinco de mayo. Can some one tell me where I can find it or what cheese I can use it it’s place. I am from El Paso, Texas and I was raised on Mexican and soul food. Please help me please find this cheese or tell me a substitute?

      1. Thank you so much concerning the cheese. I didn’t get to make the lasagna for cinco de mayo but I will be leaving my house in a few minutes to go and get that cheese and make it tomorrow for pot luck.

  3. Hola, Pati. I made this recipe exactly as written last week and it was fabulous. The leftovers were even better the next day. I added a little chicken broth for moisture and tightly covered it with aluminum foil to reheat in the oven. The recipe prompts an off-topic question about Edam cheese. A couple of months ago we were in Merida, Yucatan where I was served what appeared to be a slice from a round ball of mostly melted Edam filled with some kind of sausage mixture. The ball was sliced into appetizer serving portions with the cheese on the outside and sausage mixture on the inside, and we loved it. Do you have a recipe for something like that? How would you cook it to keep the round shape of the Edam cheese ball and to make sure the sausage is fully cooked? Thank you and viva Pati!

    1. Hola Meg, This is Queso Relleno, an iconic dish from the Yucatán. I don’t have a recipe for it yet on my site, but will try to have one soon…

    1. Randy, thank you for spotting that. It is 2 cups of ricotta cheese in total and then added in layers as the lasagna is built, 1/3 of a cup at a time.

  4. When making this and the sauce has too much liquid, does the extra simmering time to reduce the sauce do anything to lessen the flavors?

  5. Made this lasagna tonight. It turned out really tasty! Like another commenter, I had way too much liquid and had to simmer it for an extra 1/2 hour+ to thicken, and that was after leaving out 1 cup of the chicken broth. Probably will make the sauce ahead of time the next time, that ate up more time than I expected.

  6. Hello Pati! I am planning to make this for my in laws on Valentine’s day, I am wondering what simple side dishes would go good with this? 🙂

    1. Hola Claudia, Once you have cooked the chorizo, beef, and vegetables in the casserole over medium-high heat, you pour the beer into the casserole with the meat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts cooking off. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the achiote paste mixture.

  7. We made this today and it was amazing. In our particular case there was way too much liquid. I left it uncovered on the stove for an hour and a half but still had to use a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat mixture. When I make this again I’ll probably use had the amount of broth called for and possibly a second tablespoon of tomato paste. This is a keeper for sure.

    1. Oh thanks Don! Maybe the meat sauce needed to thicken a bit more before layering the lasagna… or maybe the ricotta wasn’t as thick . It is th best thing t o adapt the recipes to your liking, stovetop/stove, and ingredients 🙂

  8. Pati, this is an amazing recipe! Many lasagnas are good but taste flat — this was multi-dimensional. It was my first time using achiote paste, which I love (and, in fact, the color is so rich that I’m thinking of painting an accent wall in my house that shade!). This has inspired me to do some other “fusion” lasagnas — thinking Peruvian-style next, with aji panca instead of achiote and perhaps pisco instead of beer? Thank you for your continued AWESOMENESS! Elissa

    1. Oh Elissa, a Peruvian lasagna sounds amazing!! I love what you say about the color of the achiote paste… it is my favorite color, in fact, that is the color of most walls in my house!

      1. Pati, I finally made a Peruvian lasagna and it was amazing! And I picked the wall color, too — putting it up this weekend. I’m not bold enough for a full room — starting with an accent wall. But I’m also designing the backsplash for my new kitchen, and it will also include “achiote.” -Elissa
        (PS — Thanks for supporting Monarch Week at Jose Andres’ Oyamel. I work at WWF and have been helping with the initiative — and going there for dinner tonight. We really appreciate your support of the initiative and our work to protect monarchs.)

  9. I am a sucker for Yucatan inspired dishes and this one will not disappoint. I added two bay leaves to the sauce and two Coronas and half a cinnamon stick. I had to spend twice the time to reduce it but muy rico!

  10. FIVE MINUTES AFTER WATCHING PATI!!!,…I SHARED WITH MY SON, WHO ALSO LOVES TO COOK AUTHENTIC MEXICAN DISHES?
    GRACIAS, PATI

  11. Reading the recipe, I wanted to check about the chorizo. I am used to mexican chorizo being raw, so one would not be able to chop it till cooked, but the instructions have you cooking it. I could see breaking up the chorizo, but not chopping it.

    1. John you want Méxican chorizo not Spanish chorizo. Spanish chorizo is a hard sausage where as Méxican chorizo (sometimes it will be in a casing) but Méxican chorizo has more of the texture of raw hamburger meat and needs to be cooked. Spanish chorizo is more like a hard salami and is already cooked. I hope that helps.