This easy ground beef enchiladas recipe takes simple ingredients and transforms them into delicious enchiladas smothered in sauce and cheese. It’s great for family weeknight dinners served with your favorite toppings.
Beef enchiladas is a Tex-Mex inspired recipe made with taco-seasoned ground beef, onions, garlic, and green chiles as a tasty and flavor-packed filling. Pick your favorite kind of tortillas, arrange them in a casserole dish and smother them generously with enchilada sauce and a Mexican cheese blend.
Bake until they are warm and toasty and all that cheese has melted. Then serve with your choice of toppings like sour cream, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, diced avocado, shredded lettuce, sliced green onions, chopped red onions, or crumbly cotija cheese.
We’re using store-bought ingredients to get dinner on the table quickly. It’s great for days when you don’t feel like fussing around too much in the kitchen, but still want a warm and tasty meal. If you love the taste of enchiladas but don’t want to mess around with rolling them up, try out this chicken enchilada casserole instead.
For more ground beef recipe ideas try this cheesy meatball skillet, sour cream beef noodle casserole, or this homemade spaghetti sauce. Or if you’re in the mood for more Mexican-inspired recipes, I think you’ll like Mexican ground beef casserole, slow cooker shredded beef tacos, or these cheesy baked chicken tacos.
Ingredients in Beef Enchiladas
BEEF ENCHILADAS RECIPE TIPS
- Enchilada sauce – I used store-bought enchilada sauce for convenience but feel free to use your own homemade sauce if you have a recipe or go-to. The brand I used was Hatch red enchilada sauce which I feel has more flavor than El Paso’s brand of enchilada sauce.
- Taco seasoning – I used a packet of taco seasoning mix but you can use your own taco spice mix if you have a go-to recipe.
- Beef – The leaner your meat, the less fat you have to drain after browning. I used 97% lean and still had a lot of grease to drain. I like using a meat masher to break up any clumps while browning ground beef – it makes things so much easier!
- Onions and garlic – Try using fresh onions and garlic for the best flavor but you can substitute them with onion and garlic powder in a pinch.
- Tomato paste – This enhances the beef flavor significantly. I like using the Cento brand of tomato paste that comes in a tube so it stores easily and you can reuse it when needed. It’s also less of a hassle than dealing with canned tomato paste that rarely gets used up in one go.
- Green chiles – This adds a little flavor but very little heat. I used Ortega’s fire-roasted green chiles in this recipe. You can also substitute this with diced fresh jalapenos for more kick.
- Tortillas – You will need corn tortillas for this recipe so they hold up well against the enchilada sauce and aren’t a soggy mess. I used the Mission brand super-size yellow corn tortillas.
How to Prevent Corn Tortillas from Tearing
Cold or room-temperature tortillas might crack and tear when rolled. To minimize the risk of this happening, you can warm them up a little. The moisture from being warm should make the corn tortillas more pliable.
- Pan method – Warm each tortilla in a dry pan for about 30 seconds per side. 30 seconds should be enough time – you don’t want them too crispy or they will break just as easily similar to when they are cold and dry.
- Microwave method – Place a stack of tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for about 20-30 seconds until warmed up.
Some other tips I’ve heard of are pan-frying your corn tortillas in just a little oil until they are barely crispy but still pliable enough to roll. This gives them more texture and stops the tortilla from absorbing too much sauce – making them even less prone to being soggy. Drain them on paper towels before rolling them up.
Do Enchiladas use Corn or Flour Tortillas?
Enchiladas are usually made with corn tortillas. There is a signature taste and texture that corn tortillas have which flour tortillas lack. However, if you’re not a fan, feel free to use flour tortillas in its place. Just be mindful that they might be a little more soggy and prone to fall apart compared to corn tortillas.
- Cheese – I used a Mexican cheese blend of shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheese.
- Assembly – You don’t need a thick layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish – just enough to add some moisture so the enchiladas don’t stick to the bottom of the baking dish.
I kept the filling or beef mixture dry and did not add enchilada sauce to it so there’s a clear difference in taste and texture between the outside and inside layers of the enchilada. This way, you’re not overloaded with sauce!
- Make ahead – Prep the beef enchiladas ahead of time by following the directions until step 6. Cover with foil and refrigerate until it’s time to bake. Bake according to the directions.
- Add more filling – Bulk up your enchiladas with additional fillings like refried beans, black beans, or rice.
- Use green enchilada sauce – Switch it up with some green enchilada sauce.
- Add more flavor – Add more flavor to the beef filling with spices like chili powder or chipotle chili powder or try a mix of ground beef and crumbled cooked chorizo.
What to Serve with Beef Enchiladas
If you kept the beef mixture simple you can serve these beef enchiladas with standard Mexican restaurant sides like refried beans and rice. I enjoyed mine with some sour cream and a vinegar-based hot sauce. I found the sourness of the hot sauce contrasted and complimented the strong tomato-based flavor of the enchiladas perfectly. The brand of hot sauce I used was Tattoo avocado and serrano hot sauce.
And that’s about it. Let me know how to liked these simple beef enchiladas, what customizations or substitutions you made, or what you paired them with in the comments below.
MORE MEXICAN-INSPIRED RECIPES TO TRY
- Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
- Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Air Fryer Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos