This ground beef enchiladas recipe is made with only 8 simple ingredients! You'll love the easy, super flavorful red enchilada sauce that is full of fresh flavors and has just the right amount of spice (mild for me)--add more if you like spicy. Make it healthier by using low-carb or keto tortillas instead of corn tortillas!
You will love this Enchiladas Recipe
8 Simple ingredients. Any recipe under 10 ingredients is what I know I am looking at when I'm looking for recipes to try. If your family loves Mexican food as much as mine, you may already have many of these in your pantry and fridge!
Fabulous flavor. The homemade enchilada sauce is the star of the show in this recipe. You are taking store-bought enchilada sauce and kicking it up with added ingredients like green chilis and fire-roasted tomatoes, and you can add any ingredients you want to make it your own--delicious!
Lighten them up. In this recipe, I use soft corn tortillas--yes, make sure the package says soft on it; they are the best! You can absolutely replace them with low-carb or keto tortillas to make this a low-carb meal for the whole family. They won't know the difference. 🙂
What is an Enchilada?
An enchilada is a delicious and flavorful Mexican dish that consists of a rolled tortilla (corn or flour) filled with various ingredients, typically including meat, cheese, beans, and vegetables, then filled and topped with a rich, savory sauce using red or green chiles.
Enchiladas in Mexico are not usually baked. They are filled with warm ingredients right before serving. In North America, we typically served them as a hot baked dish or casserole, and because they are baked, they are very soft.
Corn tortillas can be dipped in sauce and then fried in oil until soft and pliable or fried in oil and then dipped in sauce. The tortillas may also be dipped in sauce or wrapped in wet paper towels to soften long enough to roll without the tortilla breaking. Cooking oil helps to prevent the enchiladas from softening.
Beef Enchilada Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make easy beef enchiladas:
- Ground Chuck: you can use any variety you like; I use either an 80/20 or lean ground beef 90/10 blend.
- Yellow Onion: you can also use white or sweet onion.
- Cottage Cheese: any variety of cottage cheese is good such as low-fat, reduced-fat, small curd, or large curd.
- Canned Red Enchilada Sauce: choose mild or spicy based on what spice level you prefer.
- Canned Chopped Green Chiles: make it mild or spicy based on your preference.
- Canned Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes: this adds such great flavor and a slightly smoky flavor which is SO good!
- Soft Corn Tortillas: make sure the package says that they are soft; they are the best! Flour tortillas may be used. Substitute low-carb keto tortillas to make them healthier.
- Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend: any Mexican cheese blend or taco blend shredded cheese work great!
- Optional: fresh cilantro, sliced olives, diced fresh tomatoes.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can customize your beef enchiladas:
Use ground turkey or ground chicken, diced chicken breasts, thighs, or even shredded rotisserie chicken instead of ground beef.
Add refried beans or black beans to the ground beef to make a thicker enchilada mixture.
Substitute the corn tortillas with low-carb or keto tortillas to reduce your carbs.
Add fresh diced peppers to the onions when cooking to add some fresh heat.
Make it spicier by using hot diced green chilis and hot red enchilada sauce.
How To Make Beef Enchiladas
Here are the steps for making chicken enchilada bake. Full instructions and details are in the recipe card below.
1. Preheat oven and grease baking dish. Cook ground beef and onion until onion is tender and beef is cooked through.
2. In a blender, add diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and green chilis, and blend until smooth.
3. Wrap 3 to 4 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 15-30 seconds until pliable.
4. While the tortillas are warm, fill with ground beef, cottage cheese, sauce, and shredded cheese. Roll up and place in baking dish. Repeat.
5. Sprinkle any remaining meat, cottage cheese on top of the enchiladas. Add any remaining sauce and cheese over the top of the enchiladas.
6. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly.
- These corn tortillas are not fried in oil and are softer in consistency because they are baked together in a casserole dish. They are softened by wrapping them in a moist paper towel and microwaving them 15 seconds at a time until pliable. From there, they are filled, rolled, and baked together.
- For crispier tortillas, fry tortillas in hot oil for a few seconds until they are very pliable. Immediately fill and roll and place in the baking dish.
- Time-saving tip: layer the enchiladas, and don't worry about rolling. The flavor is the same, and it takes much less time!
How To Serve a Beef Enchilada
There are a variety of ways you can serve your ground beef enchiladas. Here are some ideas:
Serve with sour cream and your favorite salsa!
Garnish with fresh chopped herbs such as cilantro or parsley.
Adjust any seasonings to taste, including salt and pepper.
Add your favorite taco toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, fresh onion, sliced black olives, avocado, or any others!
Be sure to save this pin to Pinterest for later! 🙂
How To Store Ground Beef Enchiladas
Allow your leftovers to cool and transfer to an air-tight container to store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Store in the freezer in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.
These make great leftovers for meal prepping for grab-and-go lunches during the work week. Pull the night before work and store in the fridge to allow it to thaw, and microwave it easier at lunchtime.
Best Beef Enchilada Recipe FAQs
The primary difference is that traditionally burritos are made with a flour tortilla, and enchiladas are made with corn tortillas. A traditional burrito can also be eaten with your hands, and enchiladas are smothered in sauce and baked, so you normally use a fork to eat them. You can get smothered burritos that you would eat with a fork, but normally burritos are not cooked once prepared either.
I think this depends on when you are cooking the enchiladas. If you are baking them immediately after you have cooked the meat and prepared your enchiladas, you can bake them uncovered because you are just trying to warm the dish and melt the cheese. If you prepared these ahead of time and you are baking them cold from the fridge, you should cover your dish so that it can be heated through without burning the cheese on top.
The tortillas are soggy because moisture has penetrated the tortilla and broken them down. Baked enchiladas are typically much softer and served as a casserole or baked dish than a traditional Mexican enchilada in which the shell is softened by frying in oil until pliable. The ingredients are warm when the tortilla is filled, so no baking is required.
More Enchilada Recipes
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- White Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
- Cheesy and Creamy Seafood Enchiladas
- Carne Enchiladas
- Green Chicken Enchiladas
- Healthier Green Enchiladas
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 10 ounce can red enchilada sauce
- 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
- 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 10 corn tortillas (soft) (buy the ones that indicate they are soft)
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- (optional for garnish) fresh cilantro and sliced olives or diced tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, cook the ground beef and onion until onion is tender and the beef is cooked through.
- In a blender add the diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and green chiles. Blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Wrap 3 to 4 corn tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave on high for 15 to 30 seconds until they are warm and pliable.
- While they are still warm, place the tortillas on on a board and fill with 2 tablespoons of ground beef mixture, 1 tablespoon cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce and a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up and place in the casserole dish seam side down. Repeat the process with each tortilla.
- Sprinkle any remaining meat mixture and cottage cheese over the top of the enchiladas. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top, then finish by sprinkling with the rest of thew shredded cheese.
- Bake enchilada casserole for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: Ground chicken or turkey may be substituted for beef.
- TIPS: Increase the spicy heat by using hot green chiles or hot enchilada sauce. If you like it mild omit the green chiles or use tomato sauce instead of enchilada sauce.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream and salsa. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley. Pairs well with refried beans and a green salad with avocado dressing.
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