Beef/ Cheese/ Hearty Dinners/ Tex Mex

Ground Beef Enchiladas

August 21, 2020 by Chris Collins

These ground beef enchiladas are made with a homemade enchilada sauce, stuffed with Mexican ground beef and loaded with plenty of cheese!

If you’re looking for an epic enchilada recipe then look no further. These are a perfect hearty dinner and great to prep ahead of time. Follow me…

overhead shot of two enchiladas on white plate with toppings

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Step away from the store bought enchilada sauce. I repeat, step away from the store bought enchilada sauce 🤪 All jokes aside enchilada sauce is WAY too easy not to make. It’s great to prep ahead of time and I bet you’ve already got half the ingredients on hand.

Red Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada sauce typically comes in the ‘red’ or ‘green’ variety. Today we’re going red. To make the base of the sauce you’re essentially making a roux, which will help thicken the sauce. However instead of using your regular butter, flour and milk, you’ll use oil, flour and stock.

Tomato Puree

I.e. Tomato Paste. This will not only give you that gorgeous colour, but it also offers a nice base flavour for the sauce. One tip is to ensure you fry off the tomato puree. This will take the ‘bite’ out of it and ever-so-slightly sweeten it. So, once you stir the flour into the oil, stir in the tomato puree and fry before whisking in the stock.

Chilli Powder

This gives the bulk of the flavour. Chilli powder tends to be quite mild, so you can use up to 4 tbsp. But absolutely make sure it’s regular mild chilli powder NOT cayenne pepper.

Process shots: heat oil (photo 1), stir in flour (photo 2), add tomato puree (photo 3), stir into paste (photo 4), gradually whisk in stock (photo 5), add seasoning (photo 6), simmer until able to coat the back of a spoon (photo 7).

7 step by step photos showing How to make enchilada sauce

Ground Beef Enchilada Filling

The beef filling again is very simple. I usually go for beef that’s around 12% fat – that way you get a nice bit of fatty flavour, but it doesn’t turn out too greasy. Alongside the beef and spices, I throw in some red pepper, onion and garlic.

Extra Saucy!

I prefer my enchilada filling on the slightly dryer side, just to keep it contrasted against the sauce/wet outside. However, if you like your enchiladas extra saucy then stir some enchilada sauce through the beef. That or you could add in beef stock and cornstarch/cornflour.

What else can I add to the beef filling?

To make them extra spicy you could add jalapeños, to bulk everything out a bit more consider adding black beans.

Process shots: fry pepper, onion and garlic in oil (photo 1), add beef (photo 2), break up and brown (photo 3), stir in seasoning (photo 4). 

4 step by step photos showing How to make enchilada filling

How to wrap enchiladas

Traditionally you’d want to spread your filling over 1/3 of the tortilla and roll the wrap AROUND the filling. Here I spread the filling across the whole tortilla and then roll it that way. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but I find it helps the enchiladas from collapsing too much.

Refried beans

These will not only add flavour, they’ll not only stop the filling from drying out, but they’ll all keep everything in tact.  Highly recommend adding these – you’ll find them in most mainstream stores.

Cheese

Because why only put cheese on top of enchiladas when you can stuff cheese through the centre? 🤣 Here I sprinkle a pinch of Mexican cheese blend in the centre, you know, just to be extra.

Process shots: lay tortilla flat (photo 1), spread refried beans (photo 2), add beef (photo 3), add cheese (photo 4), roll (photo 5).

5 step by step photos showing How to roll enchiladas

Baked Beef Enchiladas

To kick things off you’ll want to pour around 1/3 of your enchilada sauce into the base of the dish. You’ll also want to pour a little in between each enchilada and between the outside enchiladas and the pan, just to stop everything from sticking together.

From there it’s just a case of pouring over the rest of your sauce, sprinkling over infinite amounts of cheese and popping in the oven until golden and delicious.

What cheese to use for enchiladas?

In reality you can use most ‘melty’ cheeses. As mentioned earlier, I use Mexican cheese blend in the centre, and here I top with cheddar. Monterey Jack also works nicely!

Process shots: pour sauce in dish (photo 1), stuff in enchiladas (photo 2), pour over more sauce (photo 3) top with cheese and bake (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing How to bake enchiladas

Serving Beef Enchiladas

Once they’re fresh out the oven I go in with a good sprinkling of fresh coriander/cilantro. From there I usually serve individual portions with the following toppings:

  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Spring Onion
  • Lime Wedges (optional)

Can I prep these ahead of time?

I don’t recommend prepping them fully because they’ll go soggy, but you can definitely make the sauce and roll the enchiladas in advance, which actually make up the bulk of prep!

overhead shot of enchiladas fresh out the oven garnished with cilantro

And there we have it! All my top tips for the most glorious ground beef enchiladas.

If you’re after more ground beef Tex Mex recipes check out my Ground Beef Tacos and Ground Beef Quesadillas!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties too:

Delicious Tex Mex Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these beef enchiladas shall we?!

two enchiladas on white plate with sour cream and other toppings

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How to make Beef Enchiladas (Full Recipe & Video)

two enchiladas on white plate with sour cream and other toppings

Ground Beef Enchiladas

These ground beef enchiladas are made with a homemade enchilada sauce, stuffed with Mexican ground beef and loaded with plenty of cheese!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4
Calories: 942kcal
Cost per serving: £2.50 / $3

Equipment:

  • 11" x 14" Baking Dish
  • Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Cheese Grater
  • Plastic Spatula/Turner
  • Whisk

Ingredients (check list):

Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 cups / 750ml Chicken Stock (preferably low sodium to give you more control over the saltiness)
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 - 4 tbsp Chilli Powder to spice preference (see notes)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Ground Beef

  • 1lb / 500g Ground Beef (10-12% works great)
  • 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium Red Pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced/finely diced
  • 2 tsp EACH: Paprika, Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste (season meat well)

Enchiladas

  • 8x 6"-7" Tortilla Wraps, warmed in microwave
  • 1x 14oz/400g can of Refried Beans
  • 1 - 1.5cups / 100-150g Mexican Cheese Blend, to stuff inside (or cheese of choice)
  • 2 - 2.5cups / 200-250g Monterey Jack or Cheddar, to top (or cheese of choice)

To Serve

  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado, diced
  • Fresh Tomato, diced
  • Green/Spring Onion, finely sliced
  • Fresh Coriander/Cilantro, finely diced
  • Lime Wedges (optional)

Instructions:

Sauce

  • In a large pan or pot over medium heat add 3 tbsp oil. Once hot, stir in 3 tbsp flour. Stir in 3 tbsp tomato puree and fry it off for a couple of minutes. By now a paste should form and at this point very gradually begin adding in your stock, whisking as you go to avoid any lumps forming.
  • Once you've added the stock, season with 1-4 tbsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp each onion & garlic powder and salt & pepper to taste. Take off heat and pour into jug to one side.

Beef

  • In a pan over medium heat add a drizzle of oil, then add in onion, red pepper and garlic. Fry until it all softens and begins to brown, then add in beef. Break up with a wooden spoon and fry until brown.
  • Add in 2 tsp paprika and cumin, 1 tsp oregano and salt & pepper to taste (season well). Give it a good stir then place to one side. You can add in some enchilada sauce if you like a saucier filling.

Enchiladas

  • Divide refried beans among your tortilla wraps and evenly spread over one side. Top with beef and a pinch of cheese. Here I use Mexican Cheese blend, you don't needed too much, most of the cheese goes on top. Roll up wraps then place to one side.
  • Spread 1/3 of your enchilada sauce in a 11" x 14" baking dish, then place in your enchiladas. Pour the rest of your sauce over the top. Make sure there's sauce in between enchiladas and between the ones touching the pan, just so the don't stick. Sprinkle over cheese then bake in the oven at 356F/180C for 25-30mins or until the cheese goes golden and gooey on top with the sauce bubbling.

Serve

  • Sprinkle over coriander/cilantro whilst in the pan, then serve up individual portions with desired toppings!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Chilli Powder - Really important it's regular chilli powder (not cayenne pepper, do not sub this). Chilli powder is generally quite mild, but if at all weary PLEASE start with a lot less and work your way up!
b) Texture - This down to preference. The refried beans and cheese keep the filling nice and soft, but if you like a more 'wet' filling feel free to stir in some of your enchilada sauce into the beef before rolling. That or stir in 1/2 cup stock with 1/2 tsp cornstarch/cornflour until the beef creates a glossy sauce. To bulk out the filling consider adding in black beans.
c) Options for rolling - As you can see in the video I roll my enchiladas slightly differently than usual (spread everything evenly then roll up). I find the enchiladas keep shape better this way. You can roll them traditionally (spread fillings in a row and roll around the fillings). The difference isn't huge - just down to preference.
d) Make ahead - You can make the sauce in advance, just allow to cool then tightly cover and store in the fridge. Add a splash of water if needed to loosen up when needed (it will thicken as it cools). You can also roll the enchiladas ahead of time, just tightly cover in the fridge until needed. From there just construct everything and pop in the oven. Add an extra 5 mins or so if making everything straight from fridge.
e) Calories - whole recipe divided by 4 without additional toppings. Based using 10% fat beef, 2.5 tbsp chilli powder, 1 cup Monterey jack and 2 cups cheddar.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Ground Beef Enchiladas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 942 Calories from Fat 486
% Daily Value*
Fat 54.01g83%
Saturated Fat 29.996g150%
Trans Fat 0.612g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.271g
Monounsaturated Fat 16.191g
Cholesterol 156mg52%
Sodium 1427mg59%
Potassium 1186mg34%
Carbohydrates 58.43g19%
Fiber 6.2g25%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 57.77g116%
Vitamin A 3695IU74%
Vitamin C 54.1mg66%
Calcium 769mg77%
Iron 8.83mg49%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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