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Beef Enchiladas

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This Tex-Mex-inspired beef enchilada recipe is richly seasoned, easy to make, and always such a crowd fave!

Beef Enchiladas

One of my longtime favorite recipes to whip up for a big dinner party, wrap up in a casserole dish to bring to friends, or bake up on a regular old weeknight here with just the three of us — say hello to my favorite beef enchiladas! ♡

These delicious Tex-Mex-inspired enchiladas are loaded up with with tender ground beef (or we often make ours nowadays with plant-based meat), green chiles, onion, garlic, beans, cheese, your choice of tortillas, and my favorite red enchilada sauce. And when baked to warm and melty perfection, then served up with a few slices of avocado and perhaps a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and crumbled cotija, I can tell you — after a decade plus of serving these enchiladas to loved ones — that they are always, always such a hit.

They’re perfect for prepping ahead of time, making this recipe a great option for easy entertaining or popping in the oven after a long day of work. And they can also easily be made gluten-free with corn tortillas and my homemade sauce, if you’d like.

I’ve made this beef enchiladas recipe more times than I can count and know we’ll certainly be enjoying it in our house for many years to come. So if you have yet to give it a try, it’s time!


Beef enchilada filling spread on a tortilla with cheese and red enchilada sauce

Beef Enchilada Ingredients

Detailed instructions for how to make beef enchiladas are included in the recipe box below. But before we get to the recipe, here are a few quick notes about the ingredients you will need…

  • Beef: I typically use organic lean ground beef for this recipe. But if you happen to have leftover cooked diced or shredded beef on hand (such as shredded beef barbacoa), it will work well in this recipe too.
  • Onion and garlic: We will sauté these until softened to help season the filling.
  • Diced green chiles: I typically toss a small can of diced green chiles into the filling. But you could sauté a diced jalapeño with the onion if you would like to amp up the heat even more.
  • Beans: I love adding beans to enchilada fillings for extra protein, and pinto beans or black beans are my preference with this recipe. But white beans, lentils or chickpeas would also work well here too.
  • Tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditionally used in Mexican-style enchiladas, but I usually use flour tortillas in this recipe (which are more commonly used in Tex-Mex and American-style enchiladas) because they are much easier to roll. That said, any type of tortillas that you prefer can work in this recipe.
  • Cheese: I most often use Pepper Jack or a Mexican-blend of shredded cheese for these enchiladas, but feel free to use whatever variety of cheese that you love best.
  • Cumin, sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper: These will serve as our the basic seasonings for the beef filling, but the enchilada sauce will add much more flavor too.
  • Toppings: When it comes to enchiladas, I vote the more toppings the merrier! Any combination of chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, diced red onion (or quick pickled red onions), sliced radishes, fresh or pickled jalapeños, sour cream or Mexican crema, and/or extra cheese would be delicious here.
  • Enchilada sauce: Finally, you can use any type of enchilada sauce that you prefer for this recipe, but I highly recommend using my favorite homemade enchilada sauce. It only takes a few extra minutes to prep and can simmer on the stovetop while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas. It’s made with basic pantry ingredients and tastes a million times better than the store-bought canned stuff.

Uncooked beef enchiladas in pan with cheese

Optional Variations

This homemade beef enchiladas recipe is incredibly flexible, so please feel free to customize it to your liking! For example, feel free to…

  • Use corn tortillas: To make Mexican-style enchiladas, use corn tortillas (homemade or store-bought) in place of flour tortillas. Since corn tortillas are typically smaller, you will likely need to use nearly double the quantity of tortillas. (Just arrange them in the pan however you’d like.) Then to bring out that toasty corn flavor and prevent the corn tortillas from tearing, I recommend either flash-frying the tortillas for about 10 seconds per side in a skillet that has been lightly drizzled with oil. Or alternately, you can just dip the tortillas briefly in the warm enchilada sauce before rolling them up.
  • Use green enchilada sauce: Instead of red enchilada sauce, try making green beef enchiladas with my homemade green enchilada sauce recipe. It’s easy to make and adds the most delicious savory green chile flavor to this dish.
  • Use different beans: As I mentioned above, white beans, lentils or chickpeas would also work well here in place of pinto or black beans.
  • Make vegetarian enchiladas: To make these vegetarian enchiladas, simply use plant-based ground beef or sausage. (We usually make ours nowadays using Beyond beef.) Or alternately, you can replace it with extra veggies (such as roasted cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, etc), extra beans, or any other vegetarian fillings you prefer. To make vegan enchiladas, be sure to also use vegan cheese as well.
  • Make gluten-free enchiladas: To make gluten-free enchiladas, use gluten-free corn or flour tortillas. And also be sure to use a 1-for-1 gluten-free flour blend (in place of all-purpose flour) in the homemade enchilada sauce recipe.
  • Make dairy-free enchiladas: To make dairy-free enchiladas, just use your favorite variety of vegan cheese in the recipe.

Beef enchilada closeup with avocado and sour cream

Make-Ahead and Freezer Instructions

Make ahead instructions: If you would like to prep these enchiladas up ahead of time, go ahead and prep them through Step 4. Then cover the baking dish tightly and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Bake as directed.

Freezer instructions: You can freeze enchiladas either before or after they have been cooked. For optimal texture, I recommend freezing enchiladas before hand, which will allow the tortillas to crisp up perfectly in the oven and avoid sogginess. But either option will work. Simply…

  • Freezing uncooked enchiladas: Prep the enchiladas in a freezer-safe pan (foil pans work well) through Step 4. Cover the dish very tightly with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. (If you don’t have an extra pan, you can line a basic baking dish with parchment and freeze the enchiladas until firm. Then gently lift the frozen enchiladas up from the pan, quickly transfer to a large freezer bag, squeeze out any extra air, then seal and freeze.)
  • Freezing cooked enchiladas: Prep the enchiladas through Step 5. Cover the pan very tightly with foil or transfer the enchiladas to a freezer bag and squeeze out any extra air. Freeze for up to 3 months.

How to reheat frozen enchiladas: If the uncooked enchiladas are completely frozen, bake covered at 350°F for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes or until cooked through. If the uncooked enchiladas are thawed, bake as directed in the recipe below. Frozen cooked enchiladas can be baked uncovered at 350°F for 20-30 minutes until warmed through. You can also heat frozen cooked enchiladas in the microwave, but note that the tortillas may dry out and become rubbery.

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Beef Enchiladas

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

This beef enchiladas recipe is made with a delicious (and easy!) homemade red enchilada sauce, and it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Prepare the enchilada sauce. Prepare the enchilada sauce according to recipe instructions.
  2. Sauté the beef filling. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground beef and cumin and sauté for 5 minutes or until completely browned, crumbling the beef with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Stir in the beans and green chiles until combined. Season the mixture with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Prep oven and baking dish. Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly along the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  4. Assemble the enchiladas. To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, beef filling, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla. Add a generous spoonful of the beef filling in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place it in the prepared baking dish. Assemble the remaining enchiladas. Spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese.
  5. Bake. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack.
  6. Serve. Serve the enchiladas immediately while they’re nice and hot, garnished with lots of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!


Notes

Tortillas: See notes in the post above if you would like to substitute corn tortillas.

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192 comments on “Beef Enchiladas”

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  1. These look like perfect enchiladas! 

    I joined snapchat a few weeks back too but have mostly been stalking. I’m having a hard time seeing the point — although it is kind of fun!

  2. I’ve been on snapchat for awhile, and I am still trying to figure it out.. Right now, it’s just pictures of my dog.
    On a more delicious note, these enchiladas? Is it wrong that I want them for breakfast. I’m thinking all that protein beef goodness is the perfect way to stay full until lunch ;) Pinned!

  3. I’ve never made enchiladas before surprisingly (but I sure love eating them). So thanks for the inspiration Ali!

  4. Oh my word! These enchiladas look perfect!

  5. If you happen to have some leftover Gimme Some Oven barbacoa, it also makes a wonderful beef filling for enchiladas. I had that last week before seeing this recipe – just barbacoa, cheese, and enchilada sauce assembled using the same methods described here. And it’s so simple because the barbacoa is already seasoned and full of flavor. 

  6. It is so amazing and I really love it. I have never tasted this dish. I dont know how it is delicious but I think it will be incredible b’cuz of many ingredients. Thanks.

  7. I started following on Snapchat! I still getting used to it too and most times I forget to snap anything, whoops.

  8. I am going to substitute corn tortillas for the flour ones due to the fact that flour tortillas have gluten,
    I thought this was a gluten free site.

    • Hi Carolyn! While some of the recipes on our site are gluten-free, this is not a gluten-free food blog. The gluten-free recipes we do have on the site, specify that they’re gluten-free, so we hope you’ll find that helpful!

  9. Great dish. I made it last Sunday. It’s always nice to have variety with dinner. And my husband and I are Mexican food junkies:-) Very easy to make and tasty.

  10. Look delicious ! I definitely try it this weekend, my husband is a fan of Mexican food.

    But look i like it will take times to make it :)

    Thanks for your recipe !

  11. I made these last night and they were so so good!!! I put 2 chicken breast in the Crockpot yesterday morning with a little taco seasoning and 1 cup of salsa. When I got home, I started your red sauce. While it was cooking I shredded the chicken, and prepared the other ingredients. The assembly was super easy (thanks for the video). I added corn in as well for a little crunch. Since I had no cilantro, I put sliced green onions on top and a lime sour cream drizzle.

    I think these were THE BEST enchiladas I’ve ever had! I reduced the chili powder to only 3 Tbsp, but only for my kids. Next time, I’m doing the full 4 because I didn’t think they were too spicy at all. Thank you so much for posting this delicious recipe and super easy red sauce!!

    • That’s great to hear, Jessica, we’re so happy you liked it! Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  12. Nobody said it was authentic so shut up already! I’m mexican and I make my enchiladas different and I am probably gonna try this but make some changes… Not everyone cooks the same so stop being so ignorant

  13. best enchiladas, hands down. 
    Enchilada sauce is delicious and easy.
    I used ground turkey and still yummy.

  14. Hi Ali, just a quick note to say I made these for dinner last night and they were fantastic! Your homemade enchilada sauce was beautiful and my husband thought they tasted amazing. We will be having this again real soon! Thanks for your lovely recipe x

    • Thank you for your sweet words Jessica, we’re happy you and your husband enjoyed these! :)

  15. Beef enchiladas is heavenly, such a yum dish, great post.

  16. This looks delicious. I think it’s important to feel what makes you feel good! Coconut oil is something I still have to try, but I can definitely relate to your love with butter!

  17. This looks delicious. I think it’s important to feel what makes you feel good!

  18. #gimmesomeoven.. Made this and it was delish!! Viva la Mexico 

  19. Looks delicious! I get more suggestions for my family’s diet. Thankyou very much!

  20. Great page! My personal favorite is Beef

  21. Amazing! My husband was so impressed when I made these.  He said they were restaurant quality. Thanks for the recipe! 

    • Thanks Ann, we’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed these, what a nice compliment! :)

  22. I made this last night, exactly as written. It was delicious!

  23. Homemade tomato is one my go to comfort foods too :-).

  24. I made the chicken enchiladas and red sauce yesterday.  The red sauce recipe only took me about 10  minutes to assemble.  The flavor really makes the recipe.  My house smelled wonderful  and I will never buy canned sauce again.

  25. I have never made beef enchiladas but the pics are really mouth-watering. i’m gonna share this with the wife and hope she’ll like the idea too.

  26. Made these last week, was SO proud of the turn out. They were DELICIOUS. My boyfriend loved them too. The enchilada sauce was so easy to make as well, and turned out phenomenal. Thank you… your site is now in my top 3 favorites!

  27. Hi,Ali!
    I dont know how it is delicious but I think it will be incredible b’cuz of many ingredients. 
    Thank you very much!

  28. Thanks for the wonderful recipes, now I know what to make for my husband tonight. I might replace the ground beef with other meat.

  29. Hi Jessica! We suggest assembling them without the sauce and cheese, then covering them tightly with foil, and putting them in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, remove the foil, top with the sauce and cheese, re-cover with the foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown (with the cheese melted completely). We hope you enjoy! :)

  30. I am making this now and am excited. We made the Asian pepper Kabobs the other day and loved them. I think this is my new favorite go to for meals. Can’t wait to report on them.

    • Thanks for sharing Jess — we’re glad to hear you enjoyed the kabobs, and we hope you enjoy the enchiladas too! :D

  31. look delicious. but it not easy to make :v. i made it lastnight. Failllllllllllllllllll :((((

  32. Oh My Godd! This food make me hungry!

  33. Just made these enchiladas last night, and the red enchilada sauce recipe. They were amazing!  Barely any leftovers left. 

  34. I will definitely try to do your recipe. There are many versions of enchiladas made by Mexican people and they all taste different. My husband still not love it. I will try with your recepie.

  35. This looks effin yummy!! I would definitely try this out… This looks like a great alternative for my source of protein since I am working out. Getting sick of eating the same ol food. :))

  36. This beef recipe looks very delicious.
    I will try it soon.
    Thank for share this great recipe !

  37. Hi ALI,
    I found this awesome post on Pinterest and visit here
    This recipe looks very delicious. I’m hungry now. Will try it soon.

  38. This recipe turned out to be a decent burrito but not an enchalinda.  If you would try to make this recipe similar to enchalinda you should use corn tortillas 

  39. Nice beef dishes. These pictures look beautiful and are very mouth watering. Wanna try this now.

  40. At my home nobody loves beef items and now I’m going to try all of the above and I’m sure all my family members would love to eat them. Thanks for sharing such nice stuff.

  41. I like your ideas it so unique play with beef enchiladas in kitchen would be great idea to be fit !! Diana Jeff Love it :)

  42. I love beef dishes. These pictures are looking beautiful and are mouth watering. I Wanna try this recipe now.

  43. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! The dish looks delicious! Gotta try it at home.

  44. This is for dinner tonight! Cannot wait! These look amazing!

  45. These enchiladas were delicious! I added some chopped yellow bell pepper that I had leftover and they were a big hit with my boyfriend, who LOVE enchiladas. Next time, I’ll have to make your homemade sauce instead of canned to go with it. Thanks for always having the best recipes!

  46. These enchiladas were delicious! I like these type of things on my breakfast table….

  47. Thanks for your delicious dish. I always try your recipe at home.

  48. I and my husband adore this recipe, of course I tweak it a little but it’s the p perfect guideline and I love the sauce recipe, my friends all say I am a super good cool cool but honestly before this recipe my enchiladas were lacking….thanks for being my kitchen cheat sheet of inspiration in the kitchen… over a year later and I love love love this meal

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Paula — we’re happy to hear you and your husband enjoy these! :)

  49. My Mouth hurts thinking i cant make this myself!!

  50. Hello again, made the beef enchilada tonight. Short on time, so I layered the dish instead. Made the sauce as per directions, but cut back 1 Tbsp of the chili. Turned out magnificent. My husband loved the sauce so much, he cleaned up the plate with a spoon. This one also was graded with an A. Now, we have enough left over for 2 more dinners. Yeah! I get to play in the garden…

    • Hi Fran! Thanks for sharing with us, we’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed the sauce and the enchiladas! :D