Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other Tex-Mex recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Beef Enchiladas Recipe

This Tex-Mex take on enchiladas is a great weeknight dish for a group or perfect for leftovers. In just a few minutes, a flavorful homemade sauce comes together to complement the meat. Onions, jalapeños, and garlic bring a freshness to the dish, and beans boost the texture and protein. With so many flavors and possible variations, this dish is sure to become a household staple!

Why this recipe works.

Growing up, enchiladas seemed exotic and mostly consisted of a can of cream of mushroom, shredded chicken, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. They were delicious but didn’t give the whole scope of what an enchilada can be. Traditionally an enchilada uses a corn tortilla and fills it with meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, or any mixture of those. In the middle of Iowa, good corn tortillas aren’t easy to find. The grocery store ones are dry and tear apart when filling.

This recipe uses flour tortillas to create a dish worthy of being called a casserole. The tortillas are filled with ground beef, beans, and cheese. They are lined up in a baking dish and have a quick homemade enchilada sauce poured over the top. As a time saver, the meal can be made in the morning and baked before dinner. The winning part comes in the customization of the toppings. Each person can make the enchiladas their own, and everyone’s happy.

White baking dish filled with baked beef enchiladas with a plate with two pieces of tortilla with fork resting on the plate as well along with sides such as cilantro and avocado.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Ground beef will create a traditional Tex-Mex-style meat mixture. Choose a good quality meat that is 85% to 90% lean for the best flavor.
  • Jalapeños add a nice pepper flavor with a small amount of heat. Bell peppers can be used in place of jalapeños for no heat.
  • Black beans offer a creamy texture and a nice way to economically stretch the filling.
  • Flour tortillas will be easy to work with and will not crack while filling. If corn tortillas are locally made and fresh, they are great to use.
  • Pepper jack cheese has a unique blend of somewhat spicy flavors, which works really well when it comes to beef enchiladas. If adverse to spice, you could use regular cheddar cheese, which will taste similar but without some of the zing.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients needed to make beef enchiladas including beef, beans, tortillas, cheese, spices, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Create the enchilada sauce. In a skillet, heat the neutral oil over medium heat. Add in the flour, onion powder, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Mix together until it thickens into a paste, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the salt and the chicken stock and stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer, let cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn off the stove. Once cooled, pour into a medium-sized measuring cup and set aside to use later.
  1. Cook the beef. In the same skillet that was used to cook the enchilada sauce, add the beef and chopped onion and let cook for 4 to 6 minutes. While it cooks, mince the garlic and chop the jalapeños, removing the seeds. Once the beef is nearly finished cooking, add the jalapeńos and garlic. Cook for an additional 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
  1. Assemble the dish. Add salt, black beans, and ¾ cup of the enchilada sauce to the skillet with the cooked beef mixture. Stir everything together. Scoop the beef and bean mixture onto a tortilla, sprinkle cheese on top, then roll. Place into a 9×13 baking dish with the seam-side down. Repeat until the dish is full, lining the rolled tortillas next to each other.
  1. Bake the dish. Pour the remaining sauce evenly across the dish, then sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Place in a 350°F oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Once it has finished baking, let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with avocado, cilantro, or lime.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • To test the spice of the jalapeños, take the seeds or pith of a pepper and touch it to the tip of your tongue. Be wary, as it could be spicy!
  • Season at each step of the process. Adding things like salt to different elements of the dish at different points provides a well-seasoned meal and uses less salt overall.
  • Make the enchilada sauce that’s poured on top of the tortillas fully encase them. It’s important to do this step to ensure the enchiladas do not get dried out while baking.
  • If the prepared enchilada sauce forms a bit of a crust on the top while it’s resting, that is no problem. Simply stir it together again, and the skin will loosen again.
White plate with two flour tortilla beef enchiladas with fork slicing a serving from one of the tortillas with slices of avocado in the background.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

What can be done to reduce the spice?

You can use bell peppers in place of the jalapeños, and cheddar cheese can be used in place of pepper jack cheese. To reduce the spice of the enchilada sauce, leave out the cayenne pepper.

How long does this recipe keep after baking?

Leftovers should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. The leftovers will last 7 to 10 days.

How can this recipe be made vegetarian?

Remove the meat and add tofu, more beans, rice, or roasted sweet potatoes.

Can corn tortillas be used instead of flour tortillas?

Of course! Corn tortillas are actually the more traditional/authentic choice when it comes to enchiladas. If you prefer corn tortillas, they can be used instead of the flour tortillas that the recipe indicates. However, I find that most corn tortillas purchased from the store do not hold up well when making liquid-soaked recipes such as this one. They tend to become soggy and will fall apart with this much enchilada sauce. Thus, I recommended using flour tortilla for the best results. However, that is not to preclude you from using what you prefer, especially if you make your own corn tortillas, which will usually be stronger than those from a store.

Can this meal be prepared but baked later?

Yes, this can be prepared 8 to 12 hours before baking. Store the prepared dish in the refrigerator. The cold dish will add 5 to 10 minutes of extra baking time beyond what is stated in the recipe.

Can rice be added to this recipe?

Rice is a great side to serve with the enchiladas and can be used instead of one of the filling ingredients.

White rectangular baking dish filled with beef enchiladas with two tortilla pieces missing showing the interior texture of the enchiladas with beans spilling out.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More dinner recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

White baking dish filled with baked beef enchiladas with two slices missing with cheese all over the top.

Beef Enchiladas

5 from 6 votes
This Tex-Mex take on enchiladas is a great weeknight dish for a group or perfect for leftovers. In just a few minutes, a flavorful homemade sauce comes together to complement the meat. Onions, jalapeños, and garlic bring a freshness to the dish, and beans boost the texture and protein. With so many flavors and possible variations, this dish is sure to become a household staple!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 enchiladas

Ingredients

For the enchilada sauce

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock

For the enchiladas

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeños seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 15-oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 12 oz pepper jack cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set it aside.
  • In a 12-inch skillet, heat the neutral oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the flour, onion powder, dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and garlic powder. Stir the spices in the hot oil until they are dark and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and salt. Stir the tomato paste into the spices and cook until it is darkened and beginning to coat the bottom of the skillet, 2-3 minutes.
    2 tbsp neutral oil, 2 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp cumin, 1 tbsp chili powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp tomato paste, ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Slowly pour in the chicken stock a few tablespoons at a time and whisk to prevent any lumps. Continue to slowly add the stock until it is all added. Bring the mixture to a simmer to activate the flour, 3-4 minutes. Once simmering, remove the sauce from the heat. Pour the sauce into a bowl and set it aside.
    2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • Place the same skillet back over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chopped onion. Cook the beef until it is fully browned, 4-6 minutes. Add the jalapeńos, garlic, and salt. Stir until the garlic is fragrant, 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat.
    1 lb ground beef, 1 medium onion, 2 jalapeños, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Add the beans and ¾ cup of the prepared enchilada sauce to the meat mixture. Stir to combine. Divide the filling between the flour tortillas. The filling will be piled high on the tortillas, but once they are rolled, it will be perfect. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of shredded cheese over each one. Roll each tortilla around the filling and line them in the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolled enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
    1 15-oz can black beans, 12 oz pepper jack cheese, 8 large flour tortillas
  • Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until the cheese is golden, 25-35 minutes. Once baked, remove the dish from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • To test the spice of the jalapeños, take the seeds or pith of a pepper and touch it to the tip of your tongue. Be wary, as it could be spicy!
  • Season at each step of the process. Adding things like salt to different elements of the dish at different points provides a well-seasoned meal and uses less salt overall.
  • Make the enchilada sauce that’s poured on top of the tortillas fully encase them. It’s important to do this step to ensure the enchiladas do not get dried out while baking.
  • If the prepared enchilada sauce forms a bit of a crust on the top while it’s resting, that is no problem. Simply stir it together again, and the skin will loosen again.

Nutrition

Serving: 1enchiladaCalories: 543kcal
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

You May Also Like

Never miss a post by signing up for my newsletter.

Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

Learn more about me

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating:




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Super delicious! But how can you say the prep time is 10 minutes? Took so much longer. Making sauce, making filling, assembling, Took me closer to 50 minutes.

  2. 5 stars
    I never have leftovers when I make this and it’s very toddler approved! I use a seedless poblano pepper to limit heat for my 2 year old and sometimes add corn kernels to the meat mixture but it’s perfection every time. Pro tip: make double the sauce and freeze a portion for next time.

  3. 5 stars
    These are a little trickier to make than I thought they might be, but they are delicious! I’m not sure they would qualify as a weeknight meal, but I will definitely make them again when I have some extra time. Thanks Kaleb!