Best Beef Enchiladas Recipe – How to Make Beef Enchiladas

Best Beef Enchiladas Recipe - How to Make Beef Enchiladas
the pioneer woman's beef enchiladas recipe

Caitlin Bensel

Filled with tasty ground beef and tucked into a casserole underneath a blanket of cheese and sauce, these easy beef enchiladas make a hearty and satisfying weeknight supper. Inspired by Ree Drummond’s family recipe for enchiladas, this easy version speeds things up to get dinner on the table in a snap. Fans of chicken enchiladas will love this hearty beef version, which is the perfect dish for Taco Tuesday!

What’s in enchiladas?

Enchiladas come in many different flavors, as a glance at your neighborhood Mexican restaurant’s menu will show you! Second to beef, chicken enchiladas are quite a popular Mexican recipe, especially when filled and topped with green chiles. Plain cheese enchiladas are delicious, and beans are always welcome. These beef enchiladas keep things simple with a richly spiced filling of ground beef, onions, garlic, and green chiles.

Do you use corn or flour tortillas for enchiladas?

While either can be used depending on your preference, flour tortillas are used in this recipe to keep the method short and simple. When using corn tortillas, it can be helpful to fry them for a few seconds to make them more collapsible. For the flour tortillas in this recipe, 30 seconds in the microwave is all you need to soften and make them easy to roll.

Do I have to make enchilada sauce from scratch?

While homemade enchilada sauce is delicious, it’s not necessary for this quick and easy family meal idea! Here, store-bought sauce is perked up by simmering it for a few minutes with extra spices to wake up the flavor.

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6 – 8


Prep Time:





Total Time:






10-oz. cans enchilada sauce (about 2 cups)

1/2 tsp.

ground black pepper


small white onion, chopped

1 1/2 lbs.

lean ground beef


4-oz. can diced green chiles, drained

2 tbsp.

shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Thinly sliced โ€‹โ€‹red onion, for garnish

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

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  1. Add the enchilada sauce to a small saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the salt, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and pepper. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture to the enchilada sauce (reserve the remaining spice mix for the beef). Bring the sauce a simmer over medium heat; Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and the remaining spice blend. Cook, stirring often, until the beef is browned and crumbly, about 8 minutes. Stir in the green chiles and 1/2 cup of the warmed enchilada sauce; cook 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat, and let cool slightly.
  3. Place the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds on high to soften. Leave the paper towel over top of them to keep them moist and collapsible.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375ยฐ. Spoon 1/2 cup of the warmed enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon 1/2 cup of the beef mixture down the center of a tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll the tortilla up to enclose the filling, and place in the baking dish seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese.
  5. Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the tortillas are toasted, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; top with red onion and cilantro just before serving with sour cream, if you like.

This recipe calls for lean ground beef (90% beef, 10% beef fat), sometimes labeled ground sirloin. Use this type and there won’t be a need to drain the fat from the cooked beef. However, any ground beef will work for this recipe.

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