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Easy beef enchiladas are a perfect weeknight dinner! Stuffed with cheese, ground beef, black beans, and corn, smothered in a zesty red sauce, and baked until warm and crisp, the Mexican-inspired dish is delicious alongside tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole and rice. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy the best beef enchilada recipe ever — with minimal effort!

Close overhead image of the best beef enchilada recipe served on a blue table with a side of chips and salsa

Ground Beef Enchiladas

You just can’t beat the convenience of a flavorful pan of easy ground beef enchiladas! I’ve shared them with friends who have welcomed a new baby, and I’ve prepared them as a freezer meal for my parents when my mom was recovering from a surgery. Every time, they get rave reviews. Best of all, the simple dinner comes together quickly with a package of ground beef and a can of store-bought enchilada sauce. Everyone loves these cheesy beef enchiladas!

Ground beef corn and black beans in a skillet

What are enchiladas?

A traditional enchilada is a corn tortilla that’s rolled around a filling of meat, potatoes, beans, vegetables or cheese, and covered with a savory sauce. Enchiladas originated in Mexico and are popular throughout the southwestern United States.

What to Put Inside Enchiladas

There are many different varieties of enchiladas, stuffed with everything from beans and cheese to vegetables, potatoes, beef, chicken, and seafood. This recipe calls for ground beef, black beans, corn, onion, garlic, and spices, along with two different types of cheese and red enchilada sauce.

Are enchiladas better with corn or flour tortillas?

You can use either corn tortillas or flour tortillas in this recipe, so pick whichever option you prefer. While corn tortillas are most traditional for enchiladas, I always use flour tortillas. My kids prefer the soft texture of the flour tortillas, and I find that they’re easier to work with because they don’t rip or tear when rolling.

Process shot showing how to roll enchiladas

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pan of beef enchiladas. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to sauté the ground beef, onion, and garlic.
  • Onion and garlic: for added flavor in the filling.
  • Ground beef: the meat for the enchilada filling. You can use ground turkey or chicken as a substitute, too.
  • Enchilada sauce: I use this traditional red enchilada sauce, but you can substitute with green enchilada verde sauce if you prefer. You can also use about 2 ¼ cups of homemade enchilada sauce if you have a little bit more time.
  • Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese: this combination gives you the sharp flavor of the cheddar and the gooey, melty quality of the Monterey Jack.
  • Black beans: drained and rinsed.
  • Mexican-style corn: this typically includes red and green peppers for a little bit more flavor and color. You can substitute with regular canned corn or thawed frozen corn.
  • Cumin, chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper: for even more flavor!
  • Tortillas: I prefer flour tortillas because they’re easier to work with, but corn tortillas are also a great option.
  • Optional enchilada toppings: sliced green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped red onion, diced avocado or guacamole, sour cream, lime wedges.
Sprinkling cheese over top of beef enchiladas in a baking dish

How to Make Beef Enchiladas

Unlike tacos or fajitas, which both require last-minute prep and attention, this dish can be assembled in advance for a convenient last-minute dinner when you rush in the door at night. So easy!

  1. Cook the filling in a skillet over medium-high heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Roll the filling in the tortillas.
  3. Arrange the tortillas seam-side down in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with a little bit of sauce in the bottom.
  4. Pour or spoon remaining enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake the enchiladas in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until the enchiladas are heated through and the edges of the tortillas are a bit crispy.
  6. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve warm.
Overhead shot of beef enchiladas in a dish with onions on top

What to Serve with Easy Beef Enchiladas

This ground beef enchilada recipe is delicious alongside any of these easy sides:

Side shot of hands holding a pan of the best beef enchilada recipe.

Preparation and Storage

This easy enchilada recipe is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the enchiladas up to 24 hours in advance and keep them covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes.

Leftover enchiladas will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Can you freeze this ground beef enchilada recipe?

Yes! You can freeze the beef enchiladas before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled dish will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

When ready to bake, allow the enchiladas to thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake according to recipe instructions. Alternatively, if the enchiladas are in a freezer-to-oven-safe dish, you can bake them directly from the freezer. Cover the dish with foil and bake the frozen enchiladas covered in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, then remove the cover and continue baking for about 20 more minutes (or until heated through).

How to Reheat

If reheating an entire pan of enchiladas, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through (about 20 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Easy Beef Enchiladas Recipe Variations

  • Substitute pink beans or pinto beans for the black beans.
  • Make chicken enchiladas with 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken instead of the ground beef. Ground turkey or ground chicken also work well.
  • Omit the beans and substitute with about 1 ½ cups of additional ground beef or corn. You can also replace the beans with 1 ½ cups of cooked rice or diced bell peppers.
  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. You’ll need to warm the corn tortillas before rolling them (so that they don’t fall apart). To do so, wrap a stack of tortillas in damp paper towels. Microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute, or until the tortillas are soft and flexible.
  • Swap out the Mexican-style corn and use regular canned corn or frozen corn that’s thawed before adding to the skillet.
  • Use green enchilada sauce instead of the red enchilada sauce.
  • If you have some extra time, prepare a batch of homemade enchilada sauce for this recipe. You’ll need a total of about 2 ¼ cups.
Close overhead image of ground beef enchiladas on a table with chips, salsa, and rice

Tips for the Best Beef Enchilada Recipe

  • For an extra kick and flavor, add a can of diced green chiles to the beef mixture. You can also season the beef mixture with taco seasoning rather than the cumin and chili powder.
  • Make the enchiladas spicy with some jalapenos on top or some cayenne in the filling.
  • Bake the enchiladas just until warmed through (this takes about 20 minutes, but every oven is slightly different). The sauce should be hot and bubbly, and the edges of the tortillas should be crisp. Keep an eye on them, because you don’t want them to burn.
  • Set out an enchilada toppings bar and let your family members garnish their plates with all of their favorites! There are so many delicious options, including onions, fresh cilantro leaves, avocado, sour cream, and lime.
Overhead shot of a tray of ground beef enchiladas on a dinner table

More Enchilada Recipes to Try

Close overhead image of the best beef enchilada recipe served on a blue table with a side of chips and salsa

Beef Enchiladas

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 4 – 8 people
Calories 314 kcal
​​​​​​​Easy beef enchiladas are a perfect weeknight dinner!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ½ of a small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce, divided (about 2 ¼ cups total)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11 ounce) can Mexican-style corn with red and green peppers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Optional toppings: sliced green onions; chopped fresh cilantro; chopped red onion; diced avocado or guacamole; sour cream; lime wedges

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread about ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan; set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and onion; cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat; drain off excess grease.
  • Stir in ¾ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of the cheddar, ½ cup of the Monterey Jack, beans, corn, cumin, and chili powder. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Place a heaping ½ cup of the beef mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes (or until the enchiladas are heated through and the edges of the tortillas are a bit crispy). Garnish with desired toppings and serve warm.

Notes

  • Substitute pink beans or pinto beans for the black beans.
  • Make chicken enchiladas with 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken instead of the ground beef. Ground turkey or ground chicken also work well.
  • Omit the beans and substitute with about 1 ½ cups of additional ground beef or corn. You can also replace the beans with 1 ½ cups of cooked rice.
  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. You’ll need to warm the corn tortillas before rolling them (so that they don’t fall apart). To do so, wrap a stack of tortillas in damp paper towels. Microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute, or until the tortillas are soft and flexible.
  • Swap out the Mexican-style corn and use regular canned corn or frozen corn that’s thawed before adding to the skillet.
  • Use green enchilada sauce instead of the red enchilada sauce.
  • If you have some extra time, prepare a batch of homemade enchilada sauce for this recipe. You’ll need a total of about 2 ¼ cups.
  • For an extra kick and flavor, add a can of diced green chilies to the beef mixture.
  • Make the enchiladas spicy with some jalapenos on top or some cayenne in the filling.
  • Bake the enchiladas just until warmed through (this takes about 20 minutes, but every oven is slightly different). The sauce should be hot and bubbly, and the edges of the tortillas should be crisp. Keep an eye on them, because you don’t want them to burn.
  • Set out an enchilada toppings bar and let your family members garnish their plates with all of their favorites! There are so many delicious options, including onions, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, and lime.

Nutrition

Serving: 1enchiladaCalories: 314kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 25gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1061mgPotassium: 447mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 722IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 236mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: beef enchilada recipe, beef enchiladas, easy enchiladas, ground beef enchiladas
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in December, 2012. It was updated in April, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Just made this! We both enjoyed it! I used ground venison instead of beef and added black beans. Froze half ????

    1. Sallie! I can’t believe that you came so far back into the blog archives! 🙂 I’m glad that you liked it, and I’m even more glad that you have some in the freezer for later. 🙂