Whether you’re making a weeknight family dinner or cooking for guests, this beef enchilada recipe is always a hit. It’s full of flavor and easy to make with either ground beef or any left-over chuck roast you happen to have on hand.
If it’s Mexican Monday, there’s a good chance beef enchiladas are on our dinner table. This beef enchilada recipe comes together quickly and is loaded with beef, onion, green chilies, garlic, shredded cheese, corn tortillas or flour tortillas, and red enchilada sauce.
Beef Enchilada Ingredients:
The full recipe is below, but here are a few quick notes about some of the ingredients.
- Beef: Typically, we use ground beef for this recipe. However, when we have leftover beef from a chuck roast, it works well too by either cutting the meat into cubes or shredding it.
- Beans: We like adding black beans or pinto beans to this recipe because of the extra flavor, texture and protein they provide.
- Tortillas: Either corn tortillas or flour tortillas work for this recipe.
- Onion and garlic: These ingredients add tremendous flavor.
- Diced green chilies: We use a small can of diced green chilies.
- Enchilada Sauce: This recipe can be made with either homemade enchilada sauce or store-bought. Homemade sauce is preferred, but it does take a little more time (about 5 minutes). We use canned enchilada sauce when we’re in a pinch.
- Cheese: We use whatever cheese we have on hand. Cheddar, Mexican-Blend, Pepper Jack, and Monterey Jack are all great options.
What type of tortillas do you use for Enchiladas:
There’s an ongoing debate online on whether flour or corn tortillas should be used for enchiladas. We recommend trying both and seeing what your taste buds prefer.
If you want more authentic Mexican-style enchiladas, use corn tortillas. They will add to the overall flavor of the enchiladas, and they can hold their own in the sauce. If using corn tortillas, you will need to quickly fry each tortilla before filling them for about 10 seconds. More on this below.
If you want a more American-style, Tex-Mex enchilada, use flour tortillas. If using flour tortillas, our experience is that they become slightly soggy if eating them as leftovers the next day.
Can this beef enchilada recipe be made-ahead? frozen?
The enchiladas can be assembled up to one day ahead of time, tightly covered with foil, and refrigerated until ready to bake. If you go this route, bake for 15 minutes covered with foil, and then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted. The enchiladas can also be frozen for up to 3 months before baking (if frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking).
How do I stop my beef enchiladas from getting soggy?
To keep your enchiladas from getting soggy, be careful of how much sauce you put on the top of them. You don’t need to drown them! Because you placed some sauce in the enchilada, you won’t need that much more.
If soggy enchiladas keep plaguing you, another trick to try is to dip both sides of the tortilla in the enchilada sauce after you fry them (in lieu of adding 1 tablespoon of sauce to the tortilla during assembly). This is a time consuming step that we rarely do, but it ensures even distribution of the sauce. It also means you can use less sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
Beef Enchilada Recipe:
Beef Enchilada Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef you can also use roast that's finely shredded or cubed if you have it on-hand
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 15 oz
- 1 can diced green chilies 4.5 oz
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- kosher salt and black ground pepper
- 8 flour tortillas Or, 10-12 corn tortillas
- 3 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated Other cheese such as Mexican-Blend, Pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack are also great options
- 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, divided
Or, one 15-ounce can enchilada sauce
- Toppings: cilantro, avocado if desired
- Brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the fat. Add the cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine. Stir in the beans and green chiles until combined. Turn off the heat and set aside
- If using corn tortillas, in a small skillet over medium heat, heat some canola oil. Lightly fry the tortillas just until soft. Do not crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all the tortillas have been fried. Skip this step if using flour tortillas.
- Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly along the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish
- To assemble the enchiladas, lay tortilla on a flat surface and add 1 tablespoon of the enchilada sauce to each tortilla. Then, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the beef mixture to the center of the tortilla. Top with about 1/4 cup cheese. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down onto prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beef mixture. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheeses.
- Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro and avocado, if desired
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Do you want to learn more about beef? Join our weekly e-newsletter where we share farm happenings, recipes and beef availability. Sign-up and get a cheat sheet with 9-must-ask questions before buying beef directly from a farmer. Or, we have an entire ebook about beef that goes through purchasing and preparing beef from a cattle farmers perspective.
Here are a few other links you may like:
- What everybody ought to know about beef cuts
- Buying a Cow. How Much Beef Is It?
- 7 Steps to Grilling a Steak to Perfection
- How We Raise Our Grass Fed Beef
- Bonfire Burger
- Prime Rib Roast with Garlic Herb Butter
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