This Cheesy Beef Enchilada Skillet is LOADED with flavor and SO EASY to make! Made in just one skillet, you get all the flavor of ground beef enchiladas in as little as 20 minutes. This meal is perfect for the whole family since you can choose how you serve it, from stuffing it in tortillas, or scooping it over chips or rice, to keeping it light and low carb by eating in a bowl, or topping cauliflower rice. This dinner is a home run for parents and the kids!
Beef Enchilada Skillet – The EASY Way!
Enchiladas are the ultimate Mexican comfort food. Filled with rich meat, smothered in sauce and cheese and baked to perfection, they leave little room for improvement!
This Cheesy Beef Enchilada Skillet is the best twist on a trusty old favorite!
This meal is made in as little as 15 minutes all in just one skillet!
And as if being so easy to make wasn’t good enough, it is super delicious, carrying all of those traditional enchilada flavors.
The best part though, is how ultimately versatile the dish is! As a family of 5, with three opinionated kids, I love dinners that allow each of us to customize it a little to our personal preferences.
This dish can go from a kids dream dinner, served nacho style over chips, to a wholesome bowl topped with shredded lettuce, to a low carb lovers dream topping cauliflower rice and topped with guacamole.
I will go through even more ideas below, but the combination of
- quick to make
- easy to clean up
- SO DELICIOUS
- Customizable for every taste prefence
makes this dinner a BIG WINNER in our house!
How to Serve Cheesy Beef Enchilada Skillet
Since this dish has the classic flavors of ground beef enchiladas, it will pair well with many of your favorite Mexican side dishes.
There are both classic options and many low carb options for those who want to keep it light.
- Traditional style – in tortillas
- Nacho style – over chips
- Burrito bowl style- topped with lettuce, pico de gallo and sour cream
- Low carb style- Over cauliflower rice
- Over rice – Mexican or white
- Over spaghetti squash
Side Dish Ideas
- Mexican Rice or cauliflower rice
- Black or refried beans
- Side salad with jalapeno ranch – family favorite!
- Buttermilk Cornbread
- Mexican Corn Salad
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Beef Enchilada Skillet recipe is as simple as promised! Just a package of ground beef combined with a handful of ingredients for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
- Lean ground beef– The leaner the better, although you can drain the grease off after cooking.
- Garlic powder
- Red enchilada sauce– I like Las Palmas, but you can use your preferred brand or it is easy to make homemade enchilada sauce too!
- Diced green chiles– this will be one small can. I really like Old El Paso brand best because theirs are just a bit crushed which I think allows the flavors to meld better.
- Sour cream
- Cheddar cheese– Mexican blend, colby jack, or monterey jack are all good for this recipe.
- It starts with the meat! The meat really is the star of this dish, so using a high quality ground beef will help you seal more flavor into the recipe. I like to use the leanest ground beef to avoid it getting to greasy, but you can use any percentage you prefer.
- Enchilada Sauce adds flavor and heat. You can choose your enchilada sauce by the brand with the flavor you like best. You can also choose between mild, medium or hot for the level of spice, making this dish more or less spicy based on your personal preference.
- Use the lid to melt the cheese. This dish cooks uncovered for the bulk of the time. You just use the lid at the end, after adding the cheese. This helps to melt the cheese quickly and gets it super melty and delicious! Without a lid, it will still melt, but it will take much longer.
- Top it off! You can add all sorts of toppings to finish the Enchilada Skillet. Keep it simple by just using cheese, or give it lots of flavor by adding toppings such as diced green onions, pico de gallo, sliced olives, dollops of sour cream or guacamole, etc.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Precook the ground beef– Ground beef can be cooked up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge, or up to a month in advance when stored in the freezer.
- Pre-make the skillet– This recipe can be prepared through step 3 then cooled and transferred to the fridge. When ready to eat, continue with step 4 to finish the dish quickly.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Extra Cheesy Enchilada Skillet– Make recipe as directed substituting cream cheese for the sour cream in the recipe. This will make the enchilada skillet extra cheesy, creamy, and delicious.
- Loaded Beef Enchilada Skillet– Make the recipe as directed, stirring in 1 cup each of black beans and corn with the green chiles.
- Spicy Beef Enchilada Skillet– Instead of green chiles, use diced jalapeños in the recipe to add flavor and heat. You can also use spicy red enchilada sauce to up the spice in the recipe.
If you have special dietary needs, this recipe meets some and can be easily modified to comply with others.
As always, check all store bought ingredients for compliance on specific dietary needs. The notes below are a general guide.
- Gluten free: This recipe is naturally gluten free, however check the enchilada sauce, or make from scratch because some enchilada sauces do include gluten.
- Dairy free: This recipe can be made dairy free by omitting the sour cream and cheese sprinkled on top of the skillet.
- Nut free: This recipe is naturally nut free
- Egg free: This recipe is naturally egg free
- Low carb/Keto: This recipe is low carb at only 6g net carbs per serving.
- Macros: The approximate macro calculation for this recipe is- P: 32g C: 8g F: 42g
Freezer Meal Instructions
This cheesy Enchilada Skillet can be easily converted to a freezer meal. To make this as a freezer meal:
- Prepare the recipe through step 3.
- Transfer to a freezer friendly container.
- Once ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
- Place back in the skillet and continue the recipe at step 4 once the beef mixture is heated.
Ground Beef Enchilada Skillet Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making Enchilada Skillet, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Beef Enchilada Stuffed Shells– Make large pasta shells per package instructions. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon the ground beef mixture into each shell. Drizzle additional sauce over the shells and then top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
- Creamy Beef Enchilada Pasta– Heat leftovers in a skillet. Once heated, slowly mix in heavy cream, or half and half until the mixture is the consistency of a sauce. Toss sauce with cooked pasta, zoodles, or spaghetti squash.
- Beef Enchilada Pepper Nachos– Cut mini sweet peppers in half and remove the seeds and stems. Stuff each pepper full of the ground beef mixture. and top with cheese. Bake at 425˚F until the cheese is melted, the meat is heated through, and the pepper is softening. Top with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
More Easy Skillet Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite skillet recipes below.
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Cheesy Beef Enchilada Skillet
- 2 lbs ground beef lean
- 1 onion diced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce
- 4.5 oz diced green chiles (1 small can)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 2.5 oz sliced black olives drained, (1 small can)
- 3 Green onions diced
- Brown the ground beef and diced onion over medium heat until the beef and no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain any excess grease or moisture.
- Place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Add the garlic powder, salt, enchilada sauce, green chiles, and sour cream. Mix well.
- Bring sauce to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 4-6 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in half the cheese to the meat mixture, then sprinkle the other half on top. Place the lid on the pan for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and top with black olives and green onions if desired.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)