Beef Enchiladas with seasoned ground beef and smashed pinto beans rolled up in flour tortillas then smothered in a red chili sauce. This is the easy Tex-Mex way to make a beef enchilada recipe baked in a casserole. It’s one of our Best-Loved recipes perfect for weeknight dinner or a special crowd!
We love this beef enchiladas recipe with pico de gallo and if you ever run out of taco seasoning try our homemade taco mix! Enchiladas are great for feeding crowds and make a great dinner staple! Prefer chicken? Try our popular White Chicken Enchiladas with white sauce and green chiles!
What is a Beef Enchilada?
If you love Mexican food you’ll love these beef enchiladas! Enchiladas are rolled-up tortillas typically, filled with meat and covered in a savory Mexican-style chili sauce. Our ground beef enchiladas are smothered in a cheese-based enchilada sauce (chile con queso) making it one of the best beef enchilada casseroles you’ve had, even my mom loves this dish, who is of non-Mexican origin! It’s savory, cheesy, and packed with protein-rich pinto beans, and even children can eat this meal because it’s not too spicy or overwhelming.
Beef Enchilada Recipe:
When enchiladas taste this good, you share! I discovered this beef enchiladas recipe from a Cookbook that I own with over 600 recipes that have been submitted by different families so you know there are some family favorites! The author also granted me permission to share the enchilada recipe and if you want to own your copy, you can buy the 'Spice Thyme' cookbook here! I happened to use “Cheryl’s Cheesy Enchiladas” on page 307, and let me tell you they are a huge hit!
Beef Enchilada Ingredients:
Easy beef enchiladas made of simple ingredients. Salsa Con Queso (chili peppers with cheese) is a cheese dip usually found by the chips at most grocery stores, however, you can easily use melted Velveeta or American cheese melted with some milk. Any cheese dip will work and helps the sauce stay creamy even after baking. Here is everything you’ll need for this enchilada casserole;
- Flour Tortillas- such as burrito size is what you’ll need to roll up the beef filling, I like to tuck in the sides and place the seams down to keep the filling in.
- Ground Beef- I typically use 70/30 ground beef and leave in the extra fat, it makes a juicy and tender ground beef filling that won’t be as dry. If you have ground venison or bison you can use that or any dark red ground meat. Once the ground beef cooks with diced onions you can season the meat with taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. Leftover shredded beef or turkey will work too.
- Pinto Beans- I used 2 cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed then coarsely mashed. You can simply use 2 cans of refried beans or any canned type of beans, mashed.
- Salsa Con Queso- is basically melted cheese dip with chili peppers. The best substitute is to make a cheese sauce with American cheese and milk.
- Enchilada Sauce- is a chili pepper sauce made of a simple roux, sour cream, chili powder, tomato juice, salt, and pepper. I do add some salsa con queso dip to the sauce for an amazing concoction. If you don’t have tomato juice simply puree diced tomatoes in green chilies.
How To Make Beef Enchiladas:
Homemade beef enchiladas are an easy casserole recipe with quick prep and easy oven instructions. This enchilada recipe with beef makes about 8 large burrito-size tortillas, so, it’s best to use a large baking dish big enough to hold all the stuffed enchiladas and sauce. Cover the pan with aluminum foil when baking so the tortillas don’t dry out.
- In a large skillet, cook the beef filling, and brown the ground beef and onion for 10 minutes. Stir in the beans, cheese dip, and seasonings. Set aside.
- Prepare the enchilada sauce, melt the butter, and whisk in the flour. Add the milk, water, and tomato juice and bring to a boil (stirring occasionally.) Stir in the cheese dip, sour cream, and chili seasonings.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Ladle 1 cup of enchilada sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish and set aside.
- Assemble the enchiladas; place a heaping 1/2 cup of the beef filling into each flour tortilla and roll up, tucking in sides. Place into the prepared baking dish and finish assembling all the enchiladas. Pour the remaining sauce over the tops.
- Bake covered for 30-45 minutes until sauce is bubbly.
- Garnish casserole with chopped cilantro and serve with your favorite Mexican toppings.
How Long to Bake Beef Enchiladas? The ground beef filling should be thoroughly cooked before assembling. What your looking for is for the layers to reheat and simmer in the enchilada sauce, which can take about 30 minutes at 350°F.
Wondering what to put in beef enchiladas? Beef enchiladas recipes can be highly versatile! You can customize ingredients to your liking;
- Authentic enchiladas are usually made of corn tortillas. I prefer flour tortillas as they are much easier to roll and don’t break apart as easily. Corn tortillas are also gluten-free. Try our Whole Wheat Tortillas for a whole grain variation.
- Make beef enchiladas with green sauce (with pureed green chiles or Salsa Verde from tomatillos.)
- Use different canned beans. I like black beans, pinto, or small red beans, kidney beans can also be mashed into beef.
- For vegetarian enchiladas use riced cauliflower, extra lentils, or bulgur for the ground beef filling.
- Use half a block of cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack or Mexican cheese for the cheese dip in the sauce. Dairy-free milk like almond milk or cashew milk can be used.
- Use different ground meat like ground turkey, chicken, or venison.
- Make this spicy by adding 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper to the ground beef. You can also add 1 Tbsp of minced Jalapenos to the enchiladas sauce.
Can Beef Enchiladas be Made Ahead of Time?
You can prep these enchiladas ahead of time and bake them right before dinner. Simply prep the sauce and beef filling in the morning, then reheat them before filling and assembling. You can do this up to 3 days before assembling, just refrigerate the filling and enchilada sauce. To make these freezer-friendly enchiladas roll up tortillas with the cooked beef filling and place them into a foiled pan. Wrap in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Freeze uncooked enchiladas for the best results, cooked enchiladas can only get soggier when reheating.
How To Reheat Frozen Enchiladas: Thaw overnight in the fridge. Prepare the enchilada sauce and pour it over the enchiladas, then bake for an additional 10 minutes than the required cooking time in the recipe card.
Beef Enchiladas in Crock Pot:
For a super easy meal, cook the filling and assemble tortillas into a crockpot! Follow all the instructions as you would in the recipe card only layer into a slow cooker and top with the enchilada sauce. Cook over high for 2 hours or over low for 4 hours until bubbly.
What To Serve with Beef Enchiladas:
Not only can you fill enchiladas with different meat and seasonings but the toppings and garnishes can really bring this dish to the next level. Here are my favorite Mexican toppings to use;
- More Chile Con Queso (melt 2 Tbsp butter add 2 Tbsp of flour; then add 2 cups milk, 1 small can of chile peppers, and 10 oz of White American cheese.)
- Serve with a side of rice Spanish rice (simply season my stovetop rice with a packet of Goya Sazon.)
- Dollop with sour cream, Canned salsa, or Pico De Gallo
- Serve with a side of refried beans or guacamole and tortilla chips
- Drizzle with your favorite Hot sauce
- Serve with sliced avocados, olives, chopped lettuce, diced jalapenos, fresh cilantro, or additional cheese, like cotija cheese.
Tips For Making Beef Enchiladas:
- Camping? Bring your instant pot and cook everything in it. Fill and assemble enchiladas into a foil pan and pour the sauce over the tops. Cover and cook over a fire pit cooking grate or rack.
- Make your own taco seasoning spice mix with 1 tsp of onion and garlic powder, 1 Tbsp of cumin, paprika, and Oregano
- Mix and Match the beans with different bean varieties.
- Add an additional 1/2 cup of your favorite shredded cheese for extra cheesy enchiladas.
- This recipe for beef enchiladas is best served with a fresh salsa like pico de gallo.
- Homemade enchilada is easy! It will probably take you just as long as preparing a sauce from canned enchilada sauce!
- This beef enchilada bake should be covered when baking in the oven.
What is the best beef enchilada recipe that you’ve tried? Comment us below to share your favorite variation or toppings!
How to Make Easy Beef Enchiladas:
Beef Enchilada Recipe
- 1 large baking dish (15x11)
- 1 medium saucepan (for enchilada sauce)
- 1 12-inch skillet
- 8 flour tortillas (burrito-size)
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 1/3 cup taco seasoning
- 30 oz canned pinto beans (two 15 oz cans, mashed)
- 1 cup cheese dip (divided)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup tomato juice*
- 1/2 cup sour cream (Daisy brand)
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- In a large skillet fry the beef and onion until browned (10 minutes.) Add the taco seasoning, drained and mashed beans, 1/2 cup of cheese dip, salt, and pepper. Stir and set aside.
- Make the Enchilada Sauce: Melt butter and whisk in the flour. Add milk, tomato juice, and water-bring to a boil. Then add 1/2 cup of cheese dip. Turn off the heat and stir in sour cream, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the baking dish by spreading 1 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom.
- Assemble enchiladas: place a heaping 1/2 cup of the beef filling into each flour tortilla and roll up, tucking in sides.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the arranged tortillas. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Serve with Pico de gallo or sour cream.
- Can use any jarred cheese sauce or melt Velveeta cheese with milk.
- Use 3 1/2 cups of any cooked beans that are mashed.
Nutrition per serving