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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.

These tex mex style beef enchiladas are super cheesy and flavorful. They are one of the most common combo plates served with Mexican Rice and Refried Beans.

An overhead shot of a pan of baked ground beef enchiladas
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Recipe Highlights

Enchiladas are a staple in most Mexican restaurants. They are one of the most common combo plates and you’ll almost always find them served with Mexican Rice and Refried Beans. You don’t always see them on menus, but my favorite has always been ground beef enchiladas.

Beef enchiladas are made in typical enchilada style, with seasoned ground beef tucked inside soft corn tortillas and smothered with enchilada sauce and cheese.

We have other enchilada variations for you to try that are each delicious in their own right, like Cheese Enchiladas, Ground Turkey Enchiladas, Chicken Enchiladas and White Chicken Enchiladas.

What you need

Ingredients

  • Ground beef – I prefer to use a lean ground beef, such as 90/10. You are welcome to use whatever you prefer or have on hand, just make sure to drain the excess grease really well.
  • Onion and garlic – both are chopped and added to the ground beef for flavor.
  • Taco seasoning I highly recommend making your own seasoning, which I’ve linked here, but you can certainly use a packet of the blend as well. I also add extra cumin because I love the flavor.
  • Corn tortillas – These work best for beef enchiladas because they are heartier than their soft flour counterparts. Can you use flour tortillas for enchiladas? Sure you can, and I do for my Green Chile Enchiladas. But corn tortillas are thicker and can stand up to the red sauce better and greasier beef, and they don’t tear as easily.
  • Red enchilada chile sauce – You can definitely use a homemade enchilada sauce recipe, in fact I recommend it if you have the time. But the canned sauces available are just so good that I often take the shortcut! My favorites are Old El Paso and Las Palmas. They are available in mild, medium or hot.
  • Cheddar jack cheese – Freshly grated off the block is best. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating that prevents proper melting.
  • Toppings – There are a lot of options for topping enchiladas before serving, like sliced green onions, sliced jalapenos, sour cream, Pico de Gallo, Homemade Salsa, sliced avocado, cilantro, or Guacamole.

How To Make Beef Enchiladas

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

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

4 images showing the steps for making ground beef enchiladas
  1. Cook the meat – Cook the ground beef with onions and garlic then simmer in taco seasoning. I like to use beef with a medium fat content, 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. Prepare sauce – 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. Fill tortillas – Lay the tortilla on a flat surface and add the beef down the center. Top with shredded cheese, roll and place in a baking dish seam side down.
  4. Finish with sauce and cheese – Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with lots of shredded cheese.
  5. Bake 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!
  6. Rest and serve – Let the pan sit for 5-10 minutes, then top with your desired garnishes, like sour cream, pico de gallo and chopped cilantro, and serve.
an overhead image of two enchiladas on a plate next to a large dish of enchiladas

Serving Suggestions

While beans and rice are the most popular sides that you’ll find at every Mexican restaurant, here are a few of our favorite Mexican side dishes:

Storage Tips

Storing and Freezing Enchiladas

If you plan to make these ground beef enchiladas ahead of time for freezing, use disposable foil pans instead of your ceramic baking dishes.

Storing leftovers: Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or covered in an 350℉ oven until warmed through.

Freezing cooked 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℉ until enchiladas are warmed through. 

Make Ahead Tips

Make and refrigerate up to 2 days in advance before baking. Prepare everything up to just before baking, then cover with foil and refrigerate. Let the pan of enchiladas sit out for 15-30 minutes to come to room temperature, then bake as directed.

To freeze ahead, make enchiladas and cover with the sauce and cheese. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn, and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake as directed.

This is great for packaging up a meal for a friend in need or for meal prepping. Make sure to include directions if taking to a friend – you can write directly on the foil!

Recipe Tips

  • Roll the filled tortillas right in the baking dish to prevent meat falling out when you move them.
  • 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.
  • Use caution with the sauce because it will be very hot. You can let it cool a bit if it’s too hot to handle, but the warm sauce is necessary for softening the tortillas.
  • If you prefer, you can pan-fry the tortillas in a little oil to soften them. But still dip in the sauce because that helps to soften them as they bake, and adds flavor.
Two beef enchiladas on a plate with a fork taking a pieces out of one of them

More Mexican Recipes

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

Ground Beef Enchiladas

4.70 from 114 votes
Seasoned ground beef rolled in soft corn tortillas and smothered in red sauce and melted cheese for a classic Mexican favorite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 1 Small white onion diced
  • 1 Garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons Taco seasoning 1 packet
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 8-10 Corn tortillas
  • 28 ounces Red enchilada chile sauce
  • 2-3 cups Freshly shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • Optional Toppings: sour cream, pico de gallo or salsa, diced avocado, fresh cilantro
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Instructions
 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add the diced onions and cook, stirring frequently until they begin to soften.
  • Add the ground beef and minced garlic. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink; 5-7 minutes. Drain excess grease or soak up with paper towels.
  • 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℉. Pour ½ a cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish and spread evenly.
  • Heat remaining sauce in a small-medium size skillet, just until it begins to bubble, 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 evenly over the enchiladas and top with remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
  • Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired with optional toppings like sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, sliced green onions or cilantro.

Notes

Yield: 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.
Storing leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or covered with foil in an 350℉ oven until warmed through.
Freezing cooked enchiladas: Bake 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℉ until enchiladas are warmed through. 
Make Ahead and Refrigerate: You can prep the entire pan of enchiladas and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Prepare everything up to just before baking, then cover and refrigerate. Let the pan sit out for 15-30 minutes to come to room temperature, then bake as directed.
Freeze Ahead: Prep the enchiladas and cover with the sauce and cheese. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn, and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake as directed.

Nutrition

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

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

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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4.70 from 114 votes (90 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Rebecca Payne says:

    I usually make green chili chicken enchilada’s. I have to try this one. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Rebecca! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Chris says:

    I followed the recipe and these are great! We all loved them and they received the highest honor in my house (do again).

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping Chris.

  3. Karen Velthaus says:

    I made these last night with homemade enchilada sauce as well. They were excellent. I did add a can of green chilis and split the chili powder with chipotle chili powder. A definite repeat. Thanks

    1. Kristin says:

      Fantastic feedback Karen! Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Tobee says:

    Very easy & very good!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Tobee!

  5. Dave Guenther says:

    I’ve tried both corn and flour tortillas without much difference honestly. They both end up pretty messy but the corn tortillas I used certainly did seem to soak up the red sauce. Perhaps not quite as much but their texture wasn’t anything close to what it was previously. Think that’s why we prefer to use some quality tamales and do something similar to this using green chile sauce every now and then. Might try using 2 corn tortillas next time binding them together somehow and see how that works.

  6. Jayne says:

    This was sooooo good! I had to use flour tortillas since my grocery store was out of corn tortillas. I did what you said and didn’t dip them in the sauce. I added a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles into my meat. They turned out perfectly! It reminded me of a burrito I used to get at Chi Chi’s restaurant. My husband LOVED it. Thank you!!!! This will definitely go in our rotation.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Jayne! (Awesome feedback) Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Dondi Grubb says:

    These are so good! My family requests them every week.

  8. Janet Bradley says:

    Gonna make this, but have a question first? Why wouldn’t;t you use and package of Mexican blend shredded cheese that you can buy at the store?

    Thanks, Jan

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Janet, The pre-packaged cheeses have a coating that keep the shreds from sticking together. Almost like a teflon. It doesn’t melt as well (or taste as good) as fresh cheese.

    2. Karen Velthaus says:

      Yes, Janet, the pre-packaged cheese has cellulose added to it as a filler and as a coating so the cheese does not stick together. It is plant based – part of the cell wall of plants but it does cause the melting point to change. I always grate my own for that reason.

    3. Melody says:

      I use prepackaged every time and it still turns out amazing!

  9. Katherine Hagen says:

    I looked a couple of times….cook at what temperature? I am making it today so I am going to guess at 350 but I don’t see it in the instructions…unless I missed it.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Katherine! It’s in step 3 – Preheat to 350. Enjoy!

  10. Mary says:

    I really liked this dish.
    It was easy to prepare and super delicious !

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Marry.

  11. Vickie says:

    What size tortilla is best?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      REgular sized corn tortillas. They are about 6-8 inches. Regular taco sized tortilla (not street tacos).

  12. CToth says:

    Excellent. My man raved about these and asked that they be added to the dinner rotation.
    Easy and delish… these are a win/win.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome CToth! Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Priscilla says:

    Can I use flour tortilla instead. Would it be too soggy?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Flour tortillas would get soggy, but you can use them. Maybe don’t soak them in the sauce or mix sauce in with the meat. Just pour some (not all) over the top.

  14. Joanna says:

    Thank you. These were so incredibly good. My family really liked them. Thank you for your website my family loves Mexican food and little by little trying to learn. I accidentally bought the smaller size corn tortillas, which by the way turned out better for us.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Joanna! Thanks for stopping by.

  15. Rohtak says:

    So glad you enjoyed them Kimberly! I love that you made it with ground turkey too!

  16. Sharon Dailey says:

    I have made this many times for my family – it’s a keeper!. Very easy and relatively inexpensive (I have four boys + the husband, no such thing as leftovers!) I have also subbed ground turkey breast and spinach and herb extreme wellness wraps – saves approximately 175 calories and 7g of carbs. Still VERY good!
    Thank you for the recipe

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Sharon! Thanks for the awesome feedback.

  17. Debi Blake says:

    Absolutely wonderful! I added cilantro (in the tube) and green chiles into the meat mixture. It is now one of my husband’s favorite meals! Thank you for the recipe

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Debi! Thanks for the positive feedback.

  18. Michelle says:

    Easy yummy recipe that my entire family (picky eater included) loved! Perfect for a quick week night meal! Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Michelle! Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Christine says:

    Great recipe! I Make it all the time with ground turkey. Add a can of black beans if you want to make a few more. I use pre-shredded cheese (in all my recipes) and it melts just fine. Pop in under the broiler for a minute if you want it browned a bit.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I love using ground turkey and black beans!

  20. Kayla says:

    So I’m assuming you mix the cumin in with the taco seasoning? it’s listed as an ingredient but the recipe doesn’t state where it goes

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Yes that is correct.