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Beef Enchiladas

A crowd pleasing Mexican favorite these beef enchiladas are loaded with a delicious filling made with seasoned beef, cheese and veggies then smothered in homemade enchilada sauce. It is an easy, cheesy dinner idea that your whole family will love!

Beef enchiladas on a white countertop.
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Easy Beef Enchiladas

We have Mexican food for dinner quite often at my house. There are so many Mexican dishes that are quick, easy and super flavorful. These enchiladas are a comfort food favorite, as well as baked chicken taquitos, fajitas, slow cooker pork tacos and Mexican stuffed shells.

One of my all time favorite Mexican dishes is enchiladas. They are so easy to make and freeze really well. Plus they come together quickly and are perfect for busy weeknights. I’ve shared my favorite green chile enchiladas, pork enchiladas and creamy chicken enchiladas, so today I thought I’d share a beef enchilada recipe which is just as yummy!

These easy beef enchiladas are loaded with a hearty easy taco meat mixture, lots of cheese and some veggies too. ;) My kids like to eat them plain, but I top mine with cilantro and sour cream. We love serving them with a big Mexican salad, chips and salsa or Mexican rice. It just adds to the deliciousness!

Beef Enchilada Ingredients

With only a handful of ingredients, these enchiladas are easy to pull together for a weeknight meal!

Beef enchilada ingredients on the countertop.
  • Meat: I used lean ground beef, but feel free to use ground turkey if you’re not a fan of red meat.
  • Veggies: I love to add in chopped onions, red bell pepper and green chiles to give them extra flavor.
  • Spices: We keep the spices pretty simple by just adding in ground cumin, kosher salt and pepper.
  • Enchilada sauce: I typically use canned enchilada sauce for convenience. If you have the time, try making my homemade red enchilada sauce.
  • Tortillas: Flour tortillas are my favorite because of their texture and size. You can use corn tortillas, however you most likely will need to use 10-14 of them since they are smaller. The cooking time may vary as well due to the different texture and smaller size.
  • Cheese: I use a mix of both cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. You could use whatever you have on hand though, like Mexican cheese or monterey jack cheese.

Variations

  • Meat. Instead of ground beef, this recipe also tastes delicious with Instant Pot shredded beef.
  • Fillings. You can bulk up the beef filling by adding in black beans, rice, tomatoes or corn.
  • Spice. For spicy enchiladas, add in some chili powder, red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Sauce: Instead of a red enchilada sauce try a green sauce similar to salsa verde!
  • Vegetarian, dairy free or gluten free: It’s easy to adapt these to any speciality diet that is needed! Use a plant based meat or make cheese enchiladas, dairy free vegan cheese or gluten free flour tortillas or corn tortillas.

How to Make Beef Enchiladas

This beef enchiladas recipe makes 8 enchiladas which can serve 4 people. Plan accordingly if you need more or would like leftovers!

Showing how to make beef enchiladas in a 4 step collage.
  1. Brown meat and veggies. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef. Then add in onions, bell peppers, green chiles, salt, cumin and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  2. Assemble. Add half of enchilada sauce to bottom of 9×13″ pan. Then place 1/3 cup beef mixture into center of tortilla. Mix the 2 cheeses together and then top enchilada with cheese.
  3. Roll. Place enchiladas seam side down inside the pan. Repeat with all 8 enchiladas, then top with remaining sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with olives if desired. Then place back in oven and bake additional 15-20 minutes without the foil.

Expert Tips

  • Softening tortillas. To soften tortillas prior to rolling your enchiladas, simply warm them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds between damp paper towels. This helps make them more flexible and easier to roll.
  • Corn or flour tortillas: Really it is a matter of preference. I prefer flour tortillas but corn tortillas will hold up to the filling, although since they are smaller you will need to use more. You may also want to fry them quickly to prevent tearing and make them more toasty.
  • Assemble ahead of time: Make ahead by assembling the dish without topping it with the sauce and cheese and store it covered in the refrigerator up to 48 hours. Before baking, add the sauce and cheese and follow baking instructions.
  • Toppings. Load on lots of delicious toppings like fresh cilantro, sour cream, sliced olives, green onions or guacamole.
Beef enchiladas with cilantro on a white countertop.

Sides to Serve with Enchiladas

Make a fiesta out of this easy dinner my serving it with some Mexican sides! Here are a few favorites:

FAQs

What is the secret to good enchiladas?

Softening your tortillas will make them easier to roll. If you are worried about soggy enchiladas, you can also fry your tortillas briefly before filling them. This helps create a barrier to keep the sauce from soaking into the tortilla.

What is a beef enchilada made of?

While recipes can vary, a beef enchilada usually has beef, onions, bell peppers, green chilies, enchilada sauce, cheese and seasonings. For these easy ground beef enchiladas, I use lean ground beef.

Are flour or corn tortillas better for enchiladas?

Really it is a matter of preference! Both can be used to make enchiladas.

Should I cover my enchiladas before baking?

Yes. Cover your dish with foil and bake until heated through. If you would like your cheese hot and bubbly, after the initial baking time remove the foil and continue to bake a few minutes more.

Beef enchiladas on a white plate.

Storing and Freezing

Store: To store place in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.

Freeze: If you’d like to make ahead and freeze, simply freeze right before baking. Roll and assemble enchiladas in pan, then cover tightly with foil or lid. Place in freezer (in a leveled spot) for up to 2 months. If baking from frozen, you may need to add an additional few minutes baking time or bake thawed following instructions in recipe card.

Other enchilada variations we love include breakfast enchiladas, cheesy chicken enchilada dip, or cheesy enchilada pasta!

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Beef enchiladas with cilantro on a white countertop.

Beef Enchilada Recipe

5 from 16 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
A crowd pleasing Mexican favorite these beef enchiladas are loaded with a delicious filling made with seasoned beef, cheese and veggies then smothered in homemade enchilada sauce. It is an easy, cheesy dinner idea that your whole family will love!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ -2 cups red enchilada sauce , divided
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup onion , finely chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cumin , plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt , plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto or black beans , rinsed and drained
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 ½ -2 cups shredded Monterey jack and pepper jack cheese , combined (can also use a mix of Mexican style cheese and Monterey Jack)

Optional toppings: Sliced olives, Chopped cilantro, Sliced green onions, Sour cream

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce.
    • In a large frying pan, brown the beef over medium-high heat. Add in the onions, red bell peppers, green chiles, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook 3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Stir in the beans.
    • In the center of a tortilla, place 1/3 cup meat mixture. Sprinkle cheese over the top and roll up. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour remaining 1 cup enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese.
    • Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and top with olives, if using. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
    • Top with cilantro, green onions, and sour cream, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

    Video


    Notes

    Tips + Variations
    • Softening tortillas. To soften tortillas prior to rolling your enchiladas, simply warm them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds between damp paper towels. This helps make them more flexible and easier to roll.
    • Meat. Instead of ground beef, this recipe also tastes delicious with Instant Pot shredded beef.
    • Fillings. You can bulk up the beef filling by adding in black beans, rice, tomatoes or corn.
    • Spice. For spicy enchiladas, add in some red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
    • Toppings. Load on lots of delicious toppings like cilantro, sour cream, sliced olives, green onions or guacamole.
    Make Ahead + Freezing
    If you’d like to make ahead and freeze, simply freeze right before baking. Roll and assemble enchiladas in pan, then cover tightly with foil or lid. Place in freezer (in a leveled spot) for up to 2 months.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1enchilada | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 951mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mexican

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!



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