Yucatecan Style Lasagna

Yucatecan Style Lasagna

Lasaña Yucateca
8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, beer, Chorizo, edam cheese, ground beef, Lasagna, orange juice, pasta, pati's mexican table, ricotta, Yucatán Peninsula
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Yucatecan Style Lasagna recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 7 “Izamal: Gold & God”


  • 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.

105 comments on “Yucatecan Style Lasagna

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  1. I made this for my family and they absolutely loved it. I’m Italian, so I usually make a typical lasagna, but this was such a nice, delicious change. Love your show and recipes!

  2. I love you, Pati. I watch you every morning and have tried several of your recipes and they’re always a great hit. I just downloaded your Yucatan Style Lasagna. Can’t wait to make it. Thanks for your creativity and delicious meals.

  3. Patti, both my husband I LOVE your show! I just made this recipe (just watched the show on PBS where it was featured) and it’s now in the oven baking. Big concern… 1 pound of lasagne noodles is a LOT of noodles, and with all of the other ingredients only half that fits in my 9×13 pan (that I always use to make lasagne). I used three layers of noddles, but only single layers so now I have half a pound of noodles unused. What I don’t understand is if you put two or three noodles on top of each other to make a single layer in order to use the whole 1 lb. of noddles. I’m afraid this isn’t going to turn out since I only used 1/2 lb. of noodles.
    Thank you for keeping us hungry for more of your recipes and stories. Love watching you with your boys and your family and friends.

    1. Yes, it depends on the size and depth of your baking dish, Mia. So you can eyeball it. I do layer the noodles slightly. In any case, you need 2 to 3 layers of noodles and with the delicious filling it will turn out fantastic!

  4. Hola Pati. My husband can not eat hot spices or hot peppers. I will make him a separate dish from the rest of my family as we enjoy spicy hot dishes. Is the chorizo hot spicy and if so what would be a good substitute that is flavourful but not hot?
    Thank you

  5. Hi Pati! My father is from Yucatan. I am hosting a meal for my siblings this weekend, My challenge is I am now vegetarian. Do you think I would be able to make this recipe using Soy chorizo and meatless ground?

  6. OMG Patty! Watched the show where you made this and I had to have it. Finally made it today and it was fantastic! Thank you! Watch you on Create every weekend…keep up the great work, linda!

  7. Making this for the second Christmas in a row. This is one of my favorite recipes. The beer, lime and orange juice give this dish depth and a robust flavor. You are my family’s absolute favorite chef and your recipes always bring us together. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  8. What noodles do you use for this lasagna? They are so large. I saw you cook them so I didn’t think they were the oven ready kind. Thank you Pati, I love your show.

  9. Pati, Your boys are incredibly blessed, and incredibly lucky that they have a mother that can cook like you. I hope they appreciate it; this is not how most families are configured!

  10. Made this tonight. It was great! The aroma in the kitchen was torture as we waited for the dish to be completed. Interesting choice of edam cheese, but it sure worked. Good one, Pati!

  11. I love watching your show. Your great thank you for all your recipes. I also would like the recipe for you brittle it look so good.


  13. What a great dish! Love you and your passion for food. Saw you on our food network channel. Just made this for my family in Australia to celebrate Father’s Day. Mixed up the ricotta with chopped frozen spinach and Parmesan to increase the vegetable intake. We now want to learn a lot more about Mexican cuisine!

  14. Hey Pati. my mum was trying to remember a similar recipe to this but it was vegan. she says she may have seen it on your tv show so is there like a similar recipe thats vegan and uses tortillas, cheese, pumpkin and burnt capsicum? these are the only things my mum remembers. thanks for your help

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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 🙂

  22. 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.)

  23. 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!


  25. 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.