Pastel Azteca

Pastel Azteca (Mexican Tortilla Casserole)

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Pastel Azteca is a delicious Mexican tortilla casserole!
My recipe has layers of flour tortillas, corn, chicken, tomatoes, and a creamy sauce to bind it all. I added peas at the last moment, which is not what my very Mexican friend who taught me this recipe suggested, haha.



  • 5 large flour or corn tortillas
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

For the binding mixture:

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cayenne pepper to taste or chili powder

To assemble:

  • 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Butter a pyrex dish, about 7x12 inches.
  3. Heat tortillas for 5 or 10 minutes, until they loose their softness and begin to crisp. Torn them in medium, uneven pieces. Roughly divide pieces into 5 parts.
  4. Defrost peas and corn by boiling water, adding them and leaving them until the water breaks into a boil again. Drain and divide into 4 parts.
  5. Put 1 part tortillas on the bottom of the dish. Scatter on top 1 part of vegetables and ½ cup tomato chunks.
  6. Keep layering in the same order and same amounts. You will have a layer of tortilla pieces on top. Scatter both cheeses evenly.

For the binding cream:

  1. In a bowl mix cream, milk, mayonnaise, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add cayenne or chili powder, from ¼ teaspoon to 1 Tbs, depending on your taste.

Final assembly:

  1. Pour this mixture evenly and slowly on top of the casserole. You can lift a few parts of the layers to let it seep in between.
  2. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbly.
  3. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.


Tips & tricks for making this recipe:

  • Tortillas: you can use flour or corn tortillas. I sometimes quick-fry them as in the original recipe, but most times I drizzle them with olive oil and bake them lightly in the oven. A bit healthier and less messy.
  • Vegetables: I always use corn, frozen is my favorite kind and available year-round. Chopped tomatoes because, again, it is healthier than salsa and canned tomatoes, and I like the freshness they add. But adapt to your favorite flavors. The peas are a last-minute addition and a good one. Omit them if you don't have any.
  • Cheeses: use your favorite mix.
  • Binding cream: it is essential of course, and adapt the amount to your personal palate. Nowadays, I make this recipe without following quantities, I just start layering, so sometimes the amount of cream mixture is not enough. And yes, it uses mayonnaise and it is amazing.
  • Chicken: if you use rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled or baked chicken, this comes together in no time.
  • Reheating: this casserole reheats like a charm, and freezes well too. Wrap it well, of course.

Keywords: pastel azteca, tortilla chicken casserole