Ground beef enchiladas are a family-favorite Mexican dinner, and easy to prep ahead! Make this recipe to put a delicious spin on Taco night.
When you want new meal ideas for dinner, Mexican recipes will give you plenty of cooking inspiration. From easy ground beef tacos to albondigas and enchiladas, Mexican foods are generally easy to make, and they’re budget friendly too..
Whether you like to cook with store bought ingredients or prefer to make things from scratch, I’ll show you how easy it is to make a pan of ground beef enchiladas.
Ground beef enchiladas
This isn’t an authentic enchilada recipe because I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. It’s delicious nonetheless, with lean beef, Mexican seasonings, onion, garlic and homemade refried beans. Layered on top are red enchilada sauce and plenty of cheese.
Making red enchiladas from scratch is easier than you might think. But now and then, I enjoy the convenience of using cooking shortcuts. So, I’m including substitutions for those who prefer to use store-bought ingredients.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Ground beef– I like to use a blend of hamburger that has a little bit of fat in it, because it adds a lot of flavor to the dish. If it’s an option for you, avoid using ground beef with more than 15 percent fat. I find that even if the fat is drained off, the meat still feels very greasy.
- Enchilada sauce-If you’re tight on time, feel free to use canned enchilada sauce, but if you like making sauces from scratch, I’ve got you covered. I have two versions to choose from, and both are easy to make
My red enchilada sauce is a quick “gravy”, or you can spend a little more time and make red enchiladas using my authentic enchilada sauce recipe.
- Seasonings– The spice blend is basically what’s in my taco seasoning blend, but feel free to use whatever you like. If nothing else, a simple chili seasoning and a bit of salt makes a big difference.
- Refried beans– Again, for time and convenience, using a can of refried beans is fine, but making authentic refried beans is SO simple to do!
- Tortillas– I like to use flour tortillas because they are easier to roll, but feel free to use corn if you prefer them. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and have the time, Chef Rick Bayless has a great recipe and video on how to make authentic corn tortillas
The best size tortillas for enchiladas are 7-inch or 8-inch flour tortillas, or 6-inch corn tortillas. These sizes fit well into most casserole pans.
- Shredded cheese– Packages of shredded cheese have an anti-caking agent on them that prevents the cheese from clumping together in the bag. Unfortunately, it also prevents the cheese from melting well. For this reason, I recommend buying and shredding a block of cheese.
How to fill and roll enchiladas
- Make the filling. Sauté the onion and garlic, then add the ground beef and spices. Let it cook just until the ground beef starts to turn brown. Mix in the refried beans and stir to combine. Your filling is ready!
- Add a thin layer of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. As well as adding flavor, the sauce helps prevent the enchiladas from sticking to the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Add filling and roll the tortillas. Spread 1/3 cup of ground beef filling horizontally across the center of a tortilla, keeping the filling close to each edge. Next, bring the bottom half of the tortilla up and over the top of the filling. Then roll the enchilada up into a nice package.
TIP: Don’t roll the tortilla up too tightly or it may tear.
Place the enchilada seam side down in the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat these steps until all of the ground beef enchiladas are filled and rolled.
- Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and shredded Monterey jack cheese and cover with aluminum foil to bake.
In the last 10 minutes remove the foil and continue baking.
Make-ahead ground beef enchiladas
If you have an active, busy family, you should know that this enchilada recipe is freezer friendly. Just make and cook the meal when you have time, then freeze the fully baked enchiladas.
Then, when you’re ready to enjoy it, move the casserole straight from the freezer to a preheated 350°F. oven
Be sure to cover the pan with aluminum foil for the first 15-20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and keep baking for another 20 minutes, or until the ground beef enchiladas are heated through.
Ground Beef Enchiladas
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano (See Note 1)
- 1 tsp chili seasoning (See note 2)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20)
- 2 cups refried beans (See Note 3)
- 4 cups red enchilada sauce
- 8 flour tortillas
- 8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- In a small bowl whisk together the spices and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onion, cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Add ground beef, spices and cook for 2 minutes, breaking up meat as it browns. Add refried beans and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Pour some of the enchilada sauce to cover bottom of 13×9″ baking dish.
- Spread 1/3 cup of ground beef filling horizontally across the center of a tortilla, keeping the filling close to each edge. Next, bring the bottom half of the tortilla up and over the top of the filling. Then roll the enchilada up into a nice package. TIP: Don't roll the enchilada up too tightly or the tortilla could tear.
- Place the rolled enchilada seam side down into the sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish. Repeat until 8 nice sized ground beef enchiladas are in the pan.
- Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and shredded Monterey jack cheese and cover with aluminum foil to bake 15 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes uncovered. Serve with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top.
- I like to use Mexican oregano, feel free to substitute.
- I make my own chili powder, feel free to substitute with your favorite.
- Substitute homemade refried beans with one 14oz can refried beans.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.