Beef Enchilada Recipe
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This delicious beef enchilada recipe features seasoned ground beef, black beans and corn wrapped in tortillas and smothered with enchilada sauce and melty cheese. These enchiladas are easy to make, full of flavor, and perfect for feeding a crowd.
Easy Enchilada Recipe
Enchiladas are one of my favorite dinners, and my go-to choice when ordering at a Mexican restaurant. These days, with five young kids, we don’t go out to eat often, but I can still get my enchilada fix by making them at home. My favorite enchilada recipes include these Chicken Enchiladas, Vegetarian Enchiladas, and, when I need an especially fast meal, Enchilada Casserole.
Until recently, my recipe collection was missing a great beef enchilada recipe. So I got to work in the kitchen to do some recipe testing, and I’m now happy to share these beef enchiladas, a new favorite!
I opted to make these enchiladas with ground beef rather than shredded beef because ground beef makes this recipe especially quick and easy to prepare. The meat cooks up quickly in a skillet and then you’re ready to add a few more ingredients to round out the filling, roll the enchiladas, and bake!
With their delicious combination of tortillas, beef, cheese and enchilada sauce, these homemade enchiladas are the ultimate comfort food. They’ll have everyone going back for seconds!
Beef Enchilada Recipe Ingredients
The main components of this enchilada recipe are ground beef, vegetables, enchilada sauce, tortillas, cheese and seasonings. I love these enchiladas with black beans and corn, but feel free to switch up the veggies based on your tastes and what you have on hand in your kitchen. Chopped fresh spinach, bell pepper or zucchini would also be delicious in the filling. This recipe is flexible!
- Olive Oil: For sautéing the onion.
- Onion: I usually use a yellow onion, but red onion also works well here.
- Ground Beef: If you don’t use lean ground beef, you may wish to drain off any excess grease after browning the meat.
- Seasonings: Garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano and salt are classic combination of seasonings often used in Tex-Mex and Mexican cooking. I use fresh garlic and also add black pepper for extra flavor.
- Red Enchilada Sauce: While you can use store-bought enchilada sauce, these enchiladas are the best when made with my homemade enchilada sauce. You’ll need to make a double recipe of sauce to have enough for the enchiladas. Any extra enchilada sauce can be frozen for future use.
- Black Beans: Black beans are a healthy source of vegetarian protein. They’re a delicious addition to enchiladas and help to make the filling go farther while using just one pound of meat. I usually use canned beans to save time, but Instant Pot Black Beans (drained) work perfectly here, too.
- Corn: Both frozen corn and canned corn work well. If using frozen, you do not need to thaw or pre-cook it before adding it to the enchilada filling. Drain canned corn well before using.
- Fresh Cilantro: For a bit of fresh flavor!
- Shredded Cheese: Cheddar cheese, Colby jack, Monterey jack or Mexican blend cheese are all good options. Choose one, or use a combination of cheeses.
- Tortillas: I prefer using flour tortillas for enchiladas because they roll up easily and hold their shape well. Corn tortillas also work well and are a great option if you need the enchiladas to be gluten-free. To make corn tortillas more pliable, you can warm them in the microwave, layered between two damp paper towels or dip them in enchilada sauce before filling and rolling.
Time Saving Tip!
You can substitute Taco Seasoning for the chili powder, cumin and oregano in this recipe. Use 1 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, and be sure to still add the salt and pepper (unless your taco seasoning already has added salt).
How to Make Beef Enchiladas
There are just a few simple steps to making this enchilada recipe. Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
- In a large skillet, cook the onion until softened.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
- Stir in the fresh minced garlic and seasonings and cook for 30 seconds. Then remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, as well as the black beans, corn and cilantro.
- Spread a small amount of enchilada sauce in the bottom of your baking dishes. I used a 9×13-inch dish and an 8×8-inch dish. This recipe makes at least 10 enchiladas, so you’ll need two baking dishes.
- Fill the tortillas with the meat mixture and shredded cheese, roll up tightly, and place in the baking dish.
- Spread the remaining sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.
- Bake at 350° F for 25-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Then serve, with your favorite toppings and Mexican food sides.
What to Serve with Enchiladas
Enchiladas are even better with toppings! Try them with a spoonful of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, chopped red onion or green onions, chopped fresh cilantro and guacamole, pico de gallo or salsa.
On the side, try one or two of these easy recipes:
Make Ahead Instructions
This easy enchilada recipe is one of my favorites for entertaining. It’s comforting, crowd-pleasing, and can be made ahead and then popped in the oven right before you’re ready to eat.
To make enchiladas ahead:
- Prepare as directed, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to one day.
- When you’re ready to bake the enchiladas, take the baking dish out of the refrigerator while the oven preheats. A few minutes at room temperature will start to take the chill off of the enchiladas.
- Bake as directed in the recipe. You may need to add about 10 minutes to the baking time to heat the enchiladas through. If you find that the tops and edges are browning too much, you can cover the dish with foil.
Storage and Reheating Tips
- Refrigerator: Leftover enchiladas can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly, for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Enchiladas also freeze wonderfully! You can freeze these before or after baking. Let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before heating.
- To Reheat: Heat in the microwave or in a covered baking dish in a 350° F oven until hot throughout.
Beef Enchilada Recipe
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 19 ounces red enchilada sauce, about 2 ½ cups, divided
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn or canned corn, drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 12 ounces shredded cheddar, Monterey jack, Colby jack or Mexican cheese blend cheese, about 3 cups, divided
- 10 medium-large flour tortillas, 8-inch, soft taco size
- Optional, for serving: sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped red or green onion, chopped cilantro, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 2-4 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling, until until the beef is browned. If there is a lot of excess grease from the beef, drain it off.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, the black beans, corn and cilantro.
- Spread ½ cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a greased 13×9-inch baking dish and ⅓ cup of sauce in the bottom of a greased 8×8-inch baking dish.
- To assemble each enchilada, take one of the tortillas and put ½ cup of the meat filling down the middle of the tortilla, slightly to the side of the center. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded cheese over the meat filling. Roll up the tortilla as tightly as you can and place it, seam side down, in one of the prepared baking dishes. Repeat with remaining tortillas and enchilada filling.
- Spread the remaining sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with toppings as desired.
- Enchiladas can be prepared up to one day ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate, then bake as directed. You may need to add about 10 minutes to the baking time if baking enchiladas cold from the refrigerator. If you find that they are browning too much in the oven, cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Leftover enchiladas may be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly, for up to 3 days.
- Enchiladas may be frozen for up to 3 months, before or after baking. Let them cool completely and then freeze in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before heating.
- Reheat leftover enchiladas in the microwave or in a covered baking dish in a 350° F oven until hot throughout.