Ground Beef Enchiladas

Learn how to make the best, easy Ground Beef Enchiladas! This classic Mexican recipe has seasoned ground beef rolled up in soft corn tortillas and smothered in red sauce and melted cheese.

An overhead shot of a pan of baked ground beef enchiladas

Ground Beef Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a staple in most Mexican restaurants. They are one of the most common combo plates served with Mexican Rice and Refried Beans. Chicken Enchiladas might be the most popular but my favorite has always been ground beef enchiladas.

Ground beef is budget-friendly, incredibly flavorful and is nearly impossible to mess up. I always cook a big batch of ground beef with some garlic and onion so it’s ready to use in a bunch of different ground beef recipes, like Hamburger SoupBeef Queso Dip and of course, ground beef enchiladas.

My dad loved enchiladas with ground beef and there’s not a lot of Mexican restaurants that offer them on their menu. So we had to learn how to make them at home. Thus, this recipe for ground beef enchiladas was born.

4 images showing the steps for making ground beef enchiladas

How to make Ground Beef Enchiladas

Ground Beef Enchiladas are pretty simple to make, but do require a few extra steps.

  1. Cook the ground beef with onions and garlic, then simmer in taco seasoning. I like to use a higher fat content beef, like 85/15 because the fat adds flavor and I always drain out the extra grease. But you can use a leaner variety if you like.
  2. Heat red enchilada sauce in a skillet big enough for the corn tortillas. Let it simmer so you can dip the tortillas in to soften them. Use tongs to hold the tortillas because the sauce is very hot.
  3. Lay the tortilla on a flat surface and spread about ¼ cup of the ground beef down the center of the tortilla.  Top the meat with some shredded cheese. You can do this right in the baking dish you’re going to use for baking the enchiladas to save yourself from having to transfer them and risk all the meat falling out. Roll the tortilla around the filling and arrange seam side down in the pan. Depending on how much meat you use for each enchilada, you may get anywhere from 8-14. Use another pan if necessary rather than trying to stuff them all in one dish.
  4. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with lots of shredded cheese. You can use cheddar, jack or a combination of the two, but always use cheese that’s freshly shredded off the block. Pre-shredded cheese contains preservatives and won’t melt nicely.
  5. Bake the ground beef enchiladas uncovered until hot and bubbly. You can tent some foil over the top if they are getting too brown. Baking them uncovered gets the edges of the tortillas get a little crispy – that’s my favorite part! To make them even fancier, top with thinly sliced green onions or sliced olives.

an overhead image of two enchiladas on a plate next to a large dish of enchiladas

Helpful Tips and FAQs

  • What kind of tortillas should I use? Traditional enchiladas are made with corn tortillas because they won’t soak up the red sauce. My Creamy Chicken Enchiladas are made with a cream-based sauce which works better with flour tortillas.
  • Do you have to fry the tortillas? This one is a little more controversial because some will tell you that you have to fry them in order to soften them. Instead of frying, we heat up the enchilada sauce to a simmer and dip the tortillas in to warm them. This makes them pliable enough to roll without cracking. If you notice they are still breaking, heat your stack of tortillas in the microwave for one minute, then proceed with dipping.
  • Freezing cooked ground beef enchiladas: Bake the enchiladas and let cool completely. Cover the entire pan tightly with foil, crimping around the edges to seal and prevent freezer burn. This method also works with freezing smaller portions in individual containers. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350 degrees F until enchiladas are warmed through. 
  • Make ahead tips: Ground Beef Enchiladas can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance before baking. Let sit out for 15-30 minutes to come to room temperature, then bake as directed. To freeze, make enchiladas and cover with the sauce and cheese. Cover tightly with foil and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake as directed.
  • If you plan to make these ground beef enchiladas ahead of time for freezing, use disposable foil pans instead of your ceramic baking dishes.

Two beef enchiladas on a plate with a fork taking a pieces out of one of them

Serving Suggestions

We take our Mexican food very seriously around here and we have tons of authentic and inspired dishes. Our most popular is my cousin’s Authentic Mexican Rice. We serve it with these ground beef enchiladas, Ground Beef Tacos, Barbacoa, Oven Baked Tostadas and Chicken Tacos. If I’ve got a lot of mouths to feed I’ll add in a batch of Refried Beans or slow cooker Mexican Beans.

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A close up of Beef Enchiladas topped with sour cream, salsa, and cilantro

Ground Beef Enchiladas

Seasoned ground beef rolled in soft corn tortillas and smothered in red sauce and melted cheese for a classic Mexican favorite.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 454kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning 1 packet
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • 28 ounce can red enchilada chile sauce
  • 2-3 cups freshly shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced
  • Optional Toppings: Sour Cream Pico de Gallo or salsa, Diced Avocado, Fresh cilantro

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef with diced onions and garlic, breaking up the beef with a spoon as it cooks. Cook until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  • Sprinkle taco seasoning and cumin over the beef and stir in ¼ cup of water. Continue to cook, stirring often, until water is absorbed.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour ½ a cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish and spread evenly.
  • Heat remaining sauce in a small skillet, just until bubbly, then remove from heat. Wrap a stack of 10 corn tortillas in a clean kitchen towel and microwave on high for 30 seconds to a minute. Dip a tortilla in the enchilada sauce to coat both sides then lay flat on a cutting board or plate. Add a small amount of the meat mixture (about 3 tablespoons) down the center of the tortilla, then top with about 1-2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll up both sides and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and meat.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas evenly and top with remaining shredded cheese. Feel free to add more or less cheese based on your preferences. Sprinkle sliced green onion on top.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired with optional toppings like sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, sliced green onions or cilantro.

Notes

You can get anywhere from 8 to 14 enchiladas depending on the amount of meat you place in each tortilla. You will have about 2 ½ cups of meat mixture to work with. Using ¼ cup of meat on will yield 8-9 enchiladas.

Nutrition

Calories: 454kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 28gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1516mgPotassium: 351mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1358IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 315mgIron: 3mg
Keyword enchiladas, ground beef enchiladas

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. They are baking, but corn tortillas are small! I couldn’t fold them with 1/4 a cup of meat in them. I made 10 with enough meat to still fold them and sprinkled the rest of the meat over all of them. I need bigger ones, but I don’t think they come bigger.

    1. Hi Heather, they actually are available in two different sizes – street taco (about 3-inches) and regular taco size which is about 6-inches. The amount of meat that you use doesn’t have to be exact. If you end up with meat leftover, you can sprinkle it over like you did, or roll a few more and fit them snugly in the dish or use a separate dish.

  2. I wrapped the corn tortillas in the towel so tightly that some of them broke in half so I had to improvise. I bought a 10 oz can of enchilada sauce, oops, supposed to be a 28 ounce! I would use only 1 tbsp. of taco seasoning. Put plenty of cheese on top. It is melty and gooey and delicious. I would use a little bigger pan so as not to crowd the enchiladas. I used onion and garlic salt as my husband doesn’t like the real thing (picky). Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Yez, I talk about this in the post.

      Freezing cooked ground beef enchiladas: Bake the enchiladas and let cool completely. Cover the entire pan tightly with foil, crimping around the edges to seal and prevent freezer burn. This method also works with freezing smaller portions in individual containers. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350 degrees F until enchiladas are warmed through.

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