Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Quesada (Mexican lasagne)

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 6
From Saturday Kitchen
Comfort food goes south of the border with layers of fried tortillas, shredded chicken, cheese and tomato sauce. Equipment and preparation: You will need a 23cm/9in round deep baking dish.


  1. Place the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with light chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (When it is cooked, you should be able to pull the legs easily off. But do be careful as it is hot!)

  2. Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the stock for another recipe. Allow the chicken to cool slightly, then while it is still warm, pick all the meat from the bones.

  3. Shred the chicken quite finely into strips using your hands and set side.

  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  5. Make a tomato sauce by heating 50ml of the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and slightly coloured. Add the garlic and cook gently for a further 3-5 minutes.

  6. Add the passata, tequila, sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer to reduce the sauce slightly.

  7. In a frying pan, heat one tablespoon of the oil and add the poblano chilli. Cook over a medium heat until softened.

  8. Add the sliced courgettes into the frying pan, turn the heat up and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  9. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and individually fry the tortillas on both sides and drain well on paper towel.

  10. In a deep ceramic oven proof dish, start building up the quesada. Break up the tortillas so they fit snuggly inside the dish.

  11. Place a ladle full of tomato sauce on the base of the dish followed by a layer of the shredded chicken and one-third of the sliced courgettes and flowers. Top with a layer of fried tortilla, one-third of the grated cheese and cream.

  12. Repeat this process twice more, finishing with a layer of tortilla, cheese and cream. (You may not use all the chicken.)

  13. Place in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes and bake until the top is bubbling and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes before cutting into six pieces.

  14. For the battered courgette flowers, heat a deep fat fryer to 180C/350F. (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  15. Place the flour, salt and water in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Dip the courgette flowers in the batter and place in the deep-fat fryer for 2-3 minutes, turning once, until the flowers are golden-brown all over. Carefully remove from the hot fat with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  16. Place a spoonful of lasagne on a serving plate and serve the fried courgette flowers alongside.


  • light chicken stock, to poach the chicken
  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz whole chicken
  • 150ml/5fl oz sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 litre/1¾pt passata
  • 1 tsp tequila
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 fresh poblano chillies, seeds removed, sliced (alternatively use green pepper)
  • 10 baby courgettes, finely sliced
  • 6 small soft corn tortillas (or 2 large ones if available)
  • 10 courgette flowers, torn in half
  • 200g/7oz cheddar, grated
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream

For the battered courgette flowers

  • 4 courgette flowers
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 300ml/10fl oz sparkling water
  • 1 tsp salt

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Quesada (Mexican lasagne)

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