This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

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
Pin this recipe for later!Pin This

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
Save this recipe
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

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.

Free Email Series
5 Secrets to Dinnertime Sanity
Free email series with tested, tasted & terrific dinner recipes!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




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

Comments

  1. Paulette Long says:

    This was easy and delicious. I look forward to making this again.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Paulette! Thank you so much for stopping by to share.

  2. Willa says:

    So sorry to say this recipe sounded so good but a disappointment, too salty, etc.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I’m sorry you didn’t like the recipe. However there is no added salt except for the taco seasoning, which is your choice of a packet mix. So maybe the mix you chose was too salty? Or maybe you could elaborate on the “etc” and I could address your concerns a little better.

  3. Jorge says:

    Made enchiladas numerous times using this recipe and the results are always outstanding. Have not had a better enchilada even at a restaurant.
    The recipe is clearly presented and very easy to prepare.
    In addition to the way the recipe lists, I prepare the ground beef Cuban Picadillo style for additional flavor and add sliced black olives.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Jorge! Thanks for stopping by to share.

  4. Alissa says:

    Seriously, SO good. These are forever in my menu rotation. I mix a can of drained and rinsed black beans to the meat&seasoning. You guys, DO NOT skip dunking the tortillas in the enchilada sauce. 10/10.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Alissa! Thank you so much for stopping by.

  5. Linda DORAN says:

    I thought they turned out good. I got 7 good sized enchiladas. Used a large corningware dish and an 8 inch glass square dish. Makes alot. I’ll just put the second dish in the oven and reheat them tomorrow.

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Linda! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Wendy says:

    Your Ground beef enchilada recipe is my “go to”. I do like to mix in a can of rinsed black beans as well. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Wendy! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Stephanie Paige says:

    Would you recommend green chili enchilada sauce with cheddar topping?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      You could use green enchilada sauce.

  8. Rod says:

    I am so excited to try this out tonight but I have one question when rolling up corn tortillas how do you keep them from splitting and totally falling apart, I usually end up with a mess, thank you

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      You can dip them in just a little bit of the sauce, but if that’s too hot you can microwave them. Wrap a big stack in slightly damp paper towels and microwave for a minute. This may be enough depending on the thickness of the tortillas. If not, you should flip them from the middle (so the middle tortillas become the outer tortillas) and then microwave for another 30-60 seconds. This usually works well for me.

      Also, brand can make a difference. I tend to have better luck with Mission tortillas.

      1. Bob Lob Law says:

        I ended up making it more like a casserole because the corn tortillas did not roll well even after microwaving and dipping per the recipe (I even used Mission brand). Still came out delicious but I wish I’d used wheat tortillas to be more like a traditional rolled enchilada.

  9. Leighanna says:

    This is my go-to enchiladas recipe. I’ve made it several times over the last year, and it’s always a huge hit. I honestly don’t see any validation in the very few negative comments. One of the best things I like about this recipe is that it’s so flexible. Sometimes I add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis. I like to make homemade queso and guacamole to have on the side.

    Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe. It’s delicious every time, no matter if I follow the recipe or make adjustments. I’d give it 10 stars if I could. 🙂

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Leighanna, I truly appreciate your kind words and feedback. So glad you enjoy this recipe.

  10. Des says:

    Fan favorite! My 3 year old loved this ❤️

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Des.

  11. Barbara Mcmickings says:

    Making for dinner tonight can’t wait sounds Delicious

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Barbara, Please leave some feedback if you can. Would love to here from you.

  12. Rick Saiz says:

    These are not authentic Mexican enchiladas. These are typical American gringa style enchiladas. Lightly frying the corn tortillas gives them a delicious flavor. Taco seasoning is never used! Mexican cheese, such as cotija, or any Mexican cheese should be used, not American cheddar cheese! Most Mexican cooks skip the cumin. It has a overpowering flavor. Tomatoes and salsa are not used, and are never put on top of the enchiladas. Mexican red Chile molido powder is used for the sauce. Many Mexican cooks use Red child pods with gsrlic , salt, and onion powder, four cups of water and blend it in the the blender. Next , summer it over the stove for about an hour. You can add a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Rick! Thanks for your comments (all 3 of them)! I’m so grateful to have a “real Mexican” perspective on this recipe that was, despite your many criticisms, created by a real Mexican. I’m sharing it here so that gringas like me can make real Mexican cuisine here in the states. No need to school me on Mexican cuisine – there is more than one way to make a dish.

    2. spot says:

      Look somewhere else Rick.
      Your supposed to rate the recipe for taste not your interpretation of what’s authentic, Duh!
      This recipe is fine!
      Please, spend the rest of your life rating recipe websites “one star” for your idea of authenticity.
      The rest of us will enjoy the dish while you toil with criticism.
      FYI, Rick is not an authentic Mexican name, I Rate You One Star.

    3. Barbara Mcmickings says:

      Rick who cares this sounds delicious to me

  13. Pam McKenzie says:

    It was impossible for me to manage stuffing and rolling the tortilla after it was dipped and wet from sauce. I couldn’t roll it tightly and tore a lot of holes in them. I rolled them dry and then poured the sauce on top and that worked great. My family loved them, but I had to do some alterations .

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Glad you made it work and that you enjoyed the recipe.

    2. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Pam! Thanks for stopping by.

    3. Barbara Walsh says:

      You can stack your tortillas and put in the microwave for about 5 seconds per tortilla. It helps to separate them with paper towels too so they don’t stick together.

  14. Beth says:

    This is phenomenal

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Beth!

  15. Stephanie says:

    This recipe is always such a hit in my house, we love having it on Taco Tuesday! The instructions are easy to follow and I love the make-ahead tips along with the step-by-step photos, thank you so much for this recipe, (my family thanks you too)!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  16. Heather says:

    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. Kristin Maxwell says:

      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.

  17. Nancy Jones says:

    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!

  18. Heather says:

    This is my family’s favorite enchilada recipe!! Very flavorful. This is my go to recipe now.

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s Awesome Heather! Love the feedback! Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Eileen says:

    Can I freeze these enchiladas forgot a later time?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      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.