This is a super easy beef enchilada recipe. It’s something I just made up when I was yearning for enchiladas, but didn’t want to take a lot of prep time.
I also didn’t have some of the ingredients I needed for “fancier” enchilada recipes. I made these beef enchiladas from what I had on hand and loved them so much they are my “go to” enchiladas whenever I am in the mood for them.
This enchilada recipe comes together fairly quickly. There are just a couple of steps before you pop them into the oven: cook the ground beef mixture and put together the enchiladas.
The recipe uses a pound of ground beef. I use lean or medium. If you use medium ground beef just drain off the excess fat once the meat is cooked.
You can also exchange the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey if you prefer.
Pantry Ingredients For Beef Enchiladas
Wheat Tortillas (or Corn if you prefer)
Canned Enchilada Sauce
Canned Refried Beans or Black Beans
Pantry Staples From the Fridge
Cheddar or Monterray Jack Cheese
Sour Cream (optional for serving)
Green Onions (optional for serving)
Fresh From the Market or Herb Garden
That’s it. You can see that most of the ingredients you will probably have on hand in your cupboard or fridge, especially if you love Mexican recipes like I do.
Use whatever salsa you like in this recipe. If you like things hot, feel free to use a mouth burning hot salsa and lots of hot sauce. If you prefer you enchiladas milder, like me, use a mild salsa. I omit the hot sauce altogether but I know that many of you wouldn’t consider it a real enchilada without some heat, so go for it.
This recipe is really simple, but it does have a couple of steps and a few ingredients, so the best way to make these enchiladas quickly is to be a bit organized. I get all of my meat filling ingredients out of the fridge and cupboard and place them together.
As the meat and seasonings are cooking, get out the other ingredients. First of all, I spray the baking dish with non-stick spray, just to cut down on the amount of scrubbing I have to do later on. Use it or not. It’s your choice.
Put a bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and make sure it is spread evenly (only use a bit).
One can of enchilada sauce may not seem like a lot, but it’s enough. When I first tried this I was sure that it wouldn’t stretch and was about to get out another can, but the one can was perfect. Just don’t use too much sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. I would say use less than 1/4 of the can. You only need a small smearing of the sauce to keep the enchiladas from sticking or being too dry.
You can use either black beans or refried beans in this recipe. I have used both, but I love refried beans so I often use them. Take out your tortillas and spread each of them with a bit of the beans. Just divide the beans evenly so that each of the 8 tortillas has a smearing of beans on it.
You can fold your enchiladas one of two ways. Traditional enchiladas are made by putting the filling in the center then folding each side over it into the center, so the ends are open.
I tend to fold them burrito style. I know purists would say they are not then an enchilada, but they have enchilada sauce on them, so that makes them enchiladas to me.
To fold the packets burrito style, place the meat mixture just below the center of the open tortilla, leaving space along the edges to fold. Take the bottom end of the tortilla and fold it over the filling. Take the sides and fold them into the center of the enchilada, then roll the whole thing up towards the top with the sides folded in.
All you need to serve alongside these yummy enchiladas is a big salad or some Mexican seasoned rice.
Easy Beef Enchilada Recipe
- 1 9"x13" baking dish Plus a smaller baking dish if needed
For the Meat Mixture:
- 1 pound ground beef, or ground chicken/turkey
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups salsa, mild or spicy
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- hot sauce to taste, (optional)
To Make the Enchiladas:
- non-stick spray
- 8 tortillas, large
- 2 cups refried beans, or black beans, (1 - 14 ounce can)
- 10 ounces red enchilada sauce, (1 can)
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese , or strong cheddar cheese, shredded
- sour cream, to serve (optional)
- cilantro, chopped, to serve (optional)
- 2 green onions, to serve (optional)
For the Meat Filling:
- Fry the ground beef (or chicken or turkey) with the chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin until the meat is browned. Drain off any excess fat from the pan. Mix in the salsa and chopped cilantro.
- Set aside the meat mixture while you prepare the tortillas.
To Make the Enchiladas:
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Get out a 9"x13" baking pan (you may need a second, smaller pan if you are making 8 tortillas). Spray it with non-stick spray. Coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Just use a bit of the can of sauce. (See the notes above the recipe.)
- If you have the space, lay out all of the tortillas shells. I start by placing a small scoop of the beans on each tortilla. Make sure you have an equal amount on each tortilla then spread it where you will be adding the meat filling.
- When filling the tortilla shells, place the filling just below the center of the tortilla. Don't put the filling too close to the edges as you need room to roll them up.
- Add the ground beef mixture, again making sure it is evenly distributed among the 8 tortillas. Take 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and sprinkle it over the open enchiladas.
- Roll each enchilada by taking the bottom end of the tortilla (where the filling is closest) and placing it snugly over the filling. Take the sides of the tortilla and fold them into the center, then roll up the enchilada from the bottom towards the top, with the sides tucked in. You'll end up with what looks like a very large egg roll. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. It will taste great.
- Place the tortillas in the baking pan, making sure they are tightly packed into the pan. You may need a second smaller pan to accommodate all of the tortillas.
- Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the prepared enchilada rolls, then take a small spoon and spread the sauce, making sure that all of the tortillas are covered. You may have a few spots that are dry but that's fine, as long as they are mostly covered.
- Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the enchiladas and bake them at 375ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are hot and bubbly and the cheese is fully melted.
- Serve these beef enchiladas topped with large scoops of sour cream, chopped cilantro and sliced green onions.
If you love these beef enchiladas, try our easy chicken enchilada casserole. It’s like a Mexican lasagna.
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