These cheesy, easy beef enchiladas are made Tex-Mex style by rolling seasoned ground beef into soft corn tortillas, then smothering them in red enchilada sauce and lots of melty cheese. A kid-friendly dinner made for busy weeknights!
Beef Enchiladas – The EASY Way!
Let’s be real: a lot of enchilada recipes are anything but easy.
After standing at the stovetop making the filling in one pan and enchilada sauce in the other, you start rolling your enchiladas, only to have them break into pieces while your kids impatiently ask when dinner will be ready. Thirty minutes later, your enchiladas are ready, with filling spilling out of the tortillas from the tops, bottoms, and sides. Sigh.
But I promised you easy beef enchiladas, and this recipe delivers! The filling is simply ground beef and onions simmered with Mexican inspired seasoning. The sauce? It’s store-bought, saving you from having to bust out that second pan. And best of all, I’ve even got a tip for making sure your corn tortillas don’t fall to pieces when you’re rolling them.
Yep, this is a beef enchilada recipe that won’t disappoint! If you are an enchilada lover like me, find my Tex-Mex style Cheese Enchiladas here, Chicken Spinach Enchiladas, or my super cozy Beef Enchilada Soup.
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Simple – There’s nothing fancy or complicated here and that’s what makes these ground beef enchiladas so good. If you love tacos, you’ll love this recipe! If you want an even faster version try my Beef Enchilada Casserole here!
- Customizable – Pile your beef enchiladas with lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and other Tex-Mex toppings, jazz up the filling by adding beans, veggies, or cheese—or do both!
- Kid-Friendly – Kids love a good Tex-Mex dinner, and since this one isn’t fiery hot, it’s a guaranteed winner with the whole family, like my Enchilada Meatballs!
What to Serve with Easy Beef Enchiladas
Since this dish has the classic flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine, it will pair well with many of your favorite Mexican-inspired side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Sautéed Peppers and Onions – Serve these on the side or on top of your enchiladas for a fajita/enchilada mashup.
- Easy Mexican Rice – Or try Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice.
- Mexican-Style Crock Pot Refried Beans – Beef enchiladas restaurant-style! Pair them with refried beans and a scoop of rice.
- Crock Pot Black Beans – For those who like their beans whole instead of refried.
- Mexican Roasted Vegetables – The perfect way to round out your ground beef enchilada dinner.
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This easy beef enchilada recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few ingredients for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use for how to make ground beef enchiladas to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
Ground Beef Filling:
- Lean ground beef – I like to use lean ground beef because there’s less fat to drain off, but any kind you like or have on hand will work.
- Onion – Yellow or white is perfect here.
- Taco seasoning – Store-bought or use homemade taco seasoning.
- Corn tortillas – Corn tortillas are a more authentic choice than flour. (Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to keep them from tearing!) You can use flour tortillas if you prefer, but they can get more soggy when cooking.
- Cooking oil – Vegetable oil or canola oil work well.
- Red enchilada sauce – Red sauce pairs well with ground beef enchiladas, but you can also use green enchilada sauce if you prefer it.
- Shredded cheddar cheese – Or substitute Mexican-blend cheese.
You can pick one, both, or none! It is totally up to you!
- Chopped cilantro – To brighten up the flavor.
- Pico de gallo – I like using homemade, but you can generally buy a tub in the refrigerated section at many grocery stores.
- Drain off the fat – Get rid of the excess grease before adding the taco seasoning, not after, to keep your ground beef filling flavorful.
- Warm the corn tortillas – This is the key to my easy beef enchiladas! Add a small amount of oil to a skillet and quickly warm each side of the tortillas in it before you fill them. Once the pan is dry, add more oil—just don’t add all of the oil at once or you will end up using much more oil.
- Don’t leave the tortillas in the oil – If you do, they’ll go from soft and pliable to crispy, which isn’t what you want for this beef enchilada recipe! As long as the oil is hot, all they will need is a few seconds on each side of the tortilla.
- Use the right size casserole dish – You want to Crowd the enchiladas in the baking dish a bit. This, along with placing them seam-side-down, will help them stay together.
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!
- Brown the ground beef in advance – Cook the ground beef and onion a day or two ahead of time; you can even make a big batch of browned ground beef and onion to use in other recipes.
- Make the filling – You can also finish cooking the filling by adding taco seasoning and store that in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble.
- Use pre-diced onion – Save yourself some prep time and buy diced onions in the produce section or salad bar at your grocery store.
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!
- Beef and Bean Enchiladas – Add black beans or refried beans to the enchiladas before adding the beef and rolling them up.
- Beef Enchiladas With Green Sauce – While red sauce is our preference to pair with ground beef, if you like the tangy flavor of green sauce, you can buy that to use in this recipe instead.
- Stacked Beef Enchiladas – This casserole has all the flavors of enchiladas with none of the rolling. It is the fastest way to make the dish!
- Creamy Beef Enchiladas – Stir sour cream into the red sauce to make these easy beef enchiladas creamy.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this beef enchilada recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Assemble the ground beef enchiladas in a freezer-safe baking dish and cover tightly.
- Thaw the enchiladas in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours
- Bake the beef enchiladas as instructed in the recipe below.
Easy Beef Enchilada Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making ground beef enchiladas, 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
More Ground Beef 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 beef recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Korean Ground Beef Skillet
- Easy Mexican Ground Beef and Rice
- Cheeseburger Pasta
Ground Beef Filling:
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 12 corn tortillas
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil, vegetable oil or canola oil
- 19 ounces red enchilada sauce, (1 medium can or 2 small cans)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- freshly chopped cilantro
- pico de gallo
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and chopped onion over medium heat. Break the meat up as it cooks until it is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain any excess grease and mix in the taco seasoning.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tortillas and flip each side to quickly warm and coat with oil. Repeat will all tortillas adding additional oil to the skillet as needed.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. I used a 9×13 inch casserole. Spread to coat the bottom.
- Fill each tortilla with meat mixture and roll tightly placing seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all of the beef filled enchiladas are rolled and in the pan.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas so that they are all covered in sauce, then sprinkle the cheese over the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges start to bubble. Garnish with your choice of chopped cilantro or pico de gallo.