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These saucy, cheesy Ground Beef Enchiladas are made with a rich homemade enchilada sauce that is like a Tex-Mex gravy. They are savory, hearty, and supremely satisfying.

We love having Mexican food for dinner and think it’s best when it’s homemade! Serve these enchiladas up with Horchata, Mexican Rice, and Pico de Gallo for a full-on Mexican feast!

A pan of homemade enchiladas with red sauce and cheese on top.

Ground Beef Enchiladas

These easy beef enchilada recipe is seriously the best. The homemade red enchilada sauce is so much better than anything that comes in a can from a store and it hardly takes any time at all to make on the stovetop.

I make no claims about these being authentic Mexican beef enchiladas since I think of them as being more Tex-Mex anyway. But regardless of their authenticity, these beef filled enchiladas make an incredibly satisfying and delicious dinner, especially if they are made with homemade flour tortillas.

We like enchiladas with corn tortillas as well and often rotate between the two when making enchiladas. Either way they are delicious!

Two beef enchiladas topped with sour cream and tomatoes on a white plate with avocado slices.

The ground beef enchiladas I grew up with are a little different from these. Instead of using taco seasoning to flavor the meat, like I do here, my mom would mix a package of cream cheese and an egg in with the cooked ground beef and onion and just pour a can of red enchilada sauce over them. I still like my enchiladas that way sometimes, but find myself making them with Mexican spices or taco seasoning more often these days.

How to make beef enchiladas

  1. Brown the ground beef. I tend to prefer ground beef with a higher fat percentage over a lean ground beef because it’s more flavorful and enchiladas. Just be sure to brown the meat over medium high heat and drain the grease well once the meat is no longer pink.
  2. Make the enchilada sauce. This starts with a roux, which is just melted butter or oil with some added flour. Once this cooks for a minute or two, add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer until slightly thickened.
  3. Assemble. Warm the tortillas to make them pliable. Fill with some of the filling and roll up nice and tight. Nestle the enchiladas seam side down in a large casserole dish with a little extra sauce in the bottom, then pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with the rest of the shredded cheese. You could even sprinkle black olives over the top, if you like them, but the adults in our household are kind of babies and can’t stand olives so we always leave them off.
  4. Bake. Bake the ground beef enchiladas with foil over the top for about 20-25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until they are heated all the way through and the cheese is melted on top.
A collage showing how to make enchiladas by filling flour tortillas with ground beef, rolling them and placing in a baking dish, topping with enchilada sauce and cheese.
Homemade enchiladas in a baking dish.

Best way to warm tortillas for rolling enchiladas

If I’m using flour tortillas, I warm them in the microwave with the tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel for about a minute before filling them with the ground beef mixture.

If using corn tortillas, I like to heat a little oil on the stovetop and dip each tortilla with tongs for a few seconds on each side. The oil both warms them enough that they don’t tear while being filled, and protects them from soaking up too much of the sauce and turning to mush while the enchiladas bake.

A baking dish full of homemade beef enchiladas topped with sour cream, cilantro, and tomatoes.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions

We love that enchiladas are something you can make in advance and even freeze so you have something on hand for busy days. These make a great freezer meal for sharing with a friend in need.

To freeze before cooking: Either us a disposable aluminum pan or line a casserole dish with a thick layer of foil. Assemble the enchiladas like normal, then freeze. If you lined your regular baking dish with foil, once the enchiladas are frozen you can pop them out, wrap them in another layer of foil, and keep them in the freezer that way so your have your casserole dish free to use. When ready to thaw and bake, just pop the foil-wrapped enchiladas back in the pan.

They can stay frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, first allow the enchiladas to thaw on the counter for at least an hour or in the fridge overnight. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30-40 minutes covered with foil. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes until hot all the way through.

To freeze after baking: I like to divide leftovers into individual portions to freeze. It makes them easier to reheat for lunches.

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat well in the microwave or oven.

Two beef enchiladas on a white plate with slices of avocado.

What to serve with enchiladas

Enchiladas are pretty heavy and filling all on their own. We typically serve them with light sides like a nice, fresh salad or slices of watermelon and something sweet to drink like Brazilian Lemonade.

Be sure to have sour cream, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, and chopped green onions for topping the enchiladas.

More Mexican recipes

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Best Beef Enchiladas
Yield: 10-12 Enchiladas

Best Beef Enchiladas

These saucy, cheesy Ground Beef Enchiladas are made with a rich homemade enchilada sauce that is like a Tex-Mex gravy. They are savory, hearty, and supremely satisfying.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Meat Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef (I prefer 85/15 or 80/20)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato sauce

Assembly

  • 10-12 medium (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, freshly grated

Garnish

  • Freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Tomato, diced
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Olives
  • Sour cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and saute for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the ground beef and spices, breaking up the meat and cooking until browned. Transfer meat to a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter for the sauce in the same pan. Whisk in the flour to form a roux and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in all of the spices, then lowly whisk in the beef broth, a few splashes at a time to avoid lumps. Stir in the tomato sauce, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently until slightly thickened.
  4. Mix 1/4 cup of each kind of cheese with the browned ground beef. Warm tortillas in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel until soft and pliable. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of a large 9x13-inch baking dish.
  5. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup of meat, then roll tightly and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all the meat and tortillas have been used, then pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, then cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot all the way through.

Notes

  • Freezer instructions: Make and assemble the enchiladas up to the point of baking. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before baking, covered in foil, for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, then remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot all the way through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 790mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g