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Easy ground 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.

Overhead image of ground beef enchiladas in a baking dish with green onions, red onions, and cilantro on top.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Recipe
  2. These Simple Ground Beef Enchiladas are Perfect for Busy Nights
  3. Ingredients
  4. The Directions
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Preparation and Storage Tips
  8. Recipe Variations
  9. Expert Tips
  10. Ground Beef Enchiladas Recipe

If you love Mexican-inspired dinners with ground beef, be sure to try this taco seasoning for ground beef, these homemade nachos with ground beef, a Jiffy cornbread taco bake, this 4-ingredient easy ground beef enchilada casserole, and the easiest burrito recipe, too!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy. You just can’t beat the convenience of a flavorful pan of homemade enchiladas! As much as we’d love to enjoy traditional enchiladas from local Mexican restaurants every time we’re craving the cuisine, it’s great to have an easy recipe on hand for a tasty dinner at home. You don’t need any hard-to-find or fancy ingredients, and the assembly process is simple.
  • Make Ahead. Whether you’re prepping ahead for a busy week, stashing meals in the freezer for a postpartum period, or just making dinner during your toddler’s nap time, prep-ahead dinners make life easier. Since these enchiladas can be assembled in advance, 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 surgery. Every time, they get rave reviews.
  • Affordable. Canned beans, canned corn, and budget-friendly ground beef makes this recipe an affordable way to satisfy a hungry family.
Filling for ground beef enchiladas in a cast iron skillet.

These Simple Ground Beef Enchiladas are Perfect for Busy Nights

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.

This recipe calls for ground beef, black beans, corn, onion, garlic, and spices, along with two different types of cheese and red enchilada sauce. The enchiladas are full of flavor, but they come together quickly and can be assembled in advance, making them perfect for busy weeknights.

Process shot showing how to roll ground beef enchiladas.

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need for the best ground beef enchilada recipe. 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. Lean ground beef is best for making enchiladas. You can use ground turkey or chicken as a substitute, too.
  • Enchilada sauce: I use this traditional red enchilada sauce, but you can substitute it 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 cheddar and the gooey, melty quality of Monterey Jack cheese.
  • 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! A dash of oregano is also a nice addition.
  • 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.
Process shot showing how to make enchiladas with ground beef.

The Directions

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

You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Cook the ground beef and onion.
  • Stir in the beans, corn, cheese, enchilada sauce, and seasoning.
  • Roll one scoop of the ground beef mixture into the center of each tortilla.
  • Place seam side down in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with a little bit of sauce in the bottom.
  • Pour or spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve warm.
Square overhead shot of a pan of ground beef enchiladas.

Serving Suggestions

Ground beef enchiladas are delicious alongside any of these easy sides:

Square side shot of hands holding a tray of easy ground beef enchiladas.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What else can I put in enchiladas? There are many different varieties of enchiladas stuffed with everything from beans and cheese to vegetables, potatoes, beef, chicken, and seafood. Get creative with your filling, or try these chicken enchiladas and these vegetarian enchiladas, too!
  • 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 like best. While corn tortillas are the 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.
  • What is the best Mexican cheese for beef enchiladas? If you want to use a more traditional Mexican cheese mixture for your enchiladas, try asadero and queso quesadilla cheeses mixed with cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. You could also top the enchiladas with crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco.
  • How can I prevent soggy enchiladas? The flour tortillas will naturally soften in the sauce. If you don’t like this texture, you can briefly pan-fry your tortillas in hot oil before filling and rolling. This is an extra step that we don’t find necessary, but it does create a bit of a barrier so that the tortillas don’t soak up as much of the sauce.
  • Should I cover the enchiladas before baking? You can cook the enchiladas either way — covered or uncovered. If you’re baking cold or thawed beef enchiladas made ahead of time, covering them with aluminum foil can help speed up the baking time. Uncover them for the last 10 minutes of baking so the cheese can brown and crisp up. If baking them uncovered, keep an eye on the top of the enchiladas to ensure the cheese doesn’t burn.
Close overhead shot of ground beef enchiladas in a baking dish with limes and tortilla chips and salsa on the side.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: 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.
  • How to Freeze: Freeze the beef enchiladas before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled dish will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Bake from Frozen: 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 Store: Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute pink beans or pinto beans for the black beans.
  • Make chicken enchiladas with 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken instead of ground beef. Ground turkey or ground chicken also works 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.
Overhead image of simple ground beef enchiladas on a blue table.

Expert Tips

  • 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 individual plates. There are so many delicious options, including onions, fresh cilantro leaves, avocado, sour cream, and lime.
Overhead shot of ground beef enchiladas in a baking dish on a blue table.

More Enchilada Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of a pan of ground beef enchiladas.

Ground Beef Enchiladas

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 314 kcal
Easy ground beef enchiladas are perfect for when you're craving Mexican food at home!

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 ground black 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.
    1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce,
  • 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.
    1 lb. lean ground beef, ½ of a small onion,, 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 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.
    1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce,, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese,, 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese,, 1 (15 ounce) can black beans,, 1 (11 ounce) can Mexican-style corn with red and green peppers,, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon chili powder, Kosher salt and ground black pepper,
    Filling for ground beef enchiladas in a cast iron skillet.
  • 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.
    8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
    Process shot showing how to roll ground beef enchiladas.
  • Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
    Process shot showing how to make enchiladas with ground beef.
  • 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.
    Optional toppings: sliced green onions; chopped fresh cilantro; chopped red onion; diced avocado or guacamole; sour cream; lime wedges
    Square side shot of hands holding a tray of easy ground beef enchiladas.

Notes

  • Substitute pink beans or pinto beans for the black beans.
  • Make chicken enchiladas with 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken instead of ground beef. Ground turkey or ground chicken also works 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.

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
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. Sallie says:

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

    1. Blair says:

      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. 🙂

      1. Dorothy says:

        Do you bake before freezing?

        1. The Seasoned Mom says:

          We recommend freezing the beef enchiladas before baking! Wrapped tightly, the assembled dish will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

  2. Sheila B says:

    Het, I use Mexican Veleveta Cheese, I cub it and put in meat mixture

    1. Blair says:

      I bet that melts perfectly in the enchiladas, too. Great tip!

    2. scott sproat says:

      Velvetta? no way. not healthy at all.