Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas

We love tex-mex in the Kelley household and these beef enchiladas are one of our favorites! I have been working on developing the perfect beef enchilada for our family for some time. I wanted something easy and all homemade, but still flavorful and delicious. Sometimes enchilada recipes with homemade sauce are complicated and overwhelming! This recipe gets you a flavorful homemade sauce, without any steps that are crazy complicated or require using a blender.  

I like to use the smaller tortillas for this recipe, and I have recently come to love and cook more with corn tortillas. I grew up eating enchiladas made with the larger flour tortillas, which are delicious, but I really like the method I use in this recipe. It gives them a nice roasted corn flavor that accents the beef enchiladas perfectly. If you don’t have time for the method I outline here, just use some small flour tortillas! It will still be delicious and no one will hold it against you – I promise.

Don’t hesitate to switch up the kind of beef you use either – I often use leftover shredded beef or steak in these and it is fantastic as well. If you were feeling real crazy, you could even go for pork or chicken. The sauce goes well with anything!

The easiest, all homemade version of beef enchiladas you'll find! This recipe is so good with a completely homemade enchilada sauce. PLUS you get 3 ideas for making beef enchilada freezer meals!

This is one of my favorite recipes to transform into a freezer meal. I have three different ways I like to to this:

  1. Our family only eats half of this beef enchilada recipe for one meal. Most often, I’ll simply place half of the filling mixture in a quart zip-top bag, label it, and freeze it flat. I do the same thing with half of the sauce. Then all I have to do to make this is thaw it, add a couple tablespoons of water to each, assemble the enchiladas and bake!
  2. If I do want to assemble the entire recipe, I’ll put half in a 8×8 baking dish and cook it up for dinner. I assemble the other half in a disposable 8×8 baking dish and place it in the freezer. If you don’t have a disposable baking dish, just line a regular dish with foil or parchment. Once everything is frozen, you can pull it out with the foil or parchment and place it in a zip-top bag. Obviously you’d place it back into a dish for baking. I place these frozen in a cold oven, preheat to 300 and bake for 20 minutes, increase the temperature to 400 and bake until bubbly. I don’t like to let these thaw before baking, I think it makes them too soggy.
  3. If I’ve baked an entire recipe and there is a lot leftover, I divide them up into individual portions for a quick dinner or lunch. I love using disposable bread baking dishes for this, or you can even just use a piece of foil you’ve turned up the edges on, just bake them on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish. I bake these in the oven using the same method as in step 2, just adjusting the first time down by 5 or 10 minutes if there are only a few enchiladas I’m reheating.

There you have it! The best and easiest homemade beef enchiladas. I also have a killer recipe for creamy chicken enchiladas…I just have to remember how I made it the last time. Ha! This is why I blog, so I can remember the recipes I make! It got so bad before I started recording them here that after a good dinner Andy would tell me, “Go write this down RIGHT NOW before you forget what you did! I want to eat this again without any changes!”

Ha! Without any changes…so me. Ah, the life of a forgetful cook. Thank heavens for blogging.

Serves 4-6

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

35 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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    For the Sauce and Filling
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon oil, optional
  • 1 medium onion, minced fine
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded with the membranes removed, minced fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, I like cheddar or monterey jack
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • For Assembly
  • About 12 6-inch tortillas. You choose if you want to use flour or corn, details for each in the instructions.
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, I like cheddar or monterey jack
  • Toppings
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce, sliced in to strips


    For the Sauce and Filling
  1. In a large skillet, begin browning ground beef. When it is almost browed completely, add the onion and the jalapeño chile and sauté. You may need to add more oil at this point.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. If necessary, remove any excess oil.
  4. Add spices and cook for 1-2 minutes until they bloom and become fragrant.
  5. Pour in tomato sauce and beef broth and simmer until flavors meld, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and taste to determine if you need more or less.
  7. To separate the sauce and the filling, place a fine mesh strainer over a heat-proof bowl and pour the sauce and meat through. Press the meat with a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. Pour filling into a bowl and combine with cheese and cilantro, stirring quickly to avoid large clumps of melted cheese.
  8. For Assembly
  9. Spread about 1/3-1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  10. If you are using corn tortillas, I like to turn on one of my gas burners to medium-low and set the tortilla on top for a few minutes until it is brown and the edges are slightly charred. Turn it over and repeat of the opposite side. If you have an electric stove, you can do this by putting the tortillas on a cooking sheet in a single layer and broiling for a few minutes in the oven. If you are using flour tortillas, skip this step and begin with step 10.
  11. Dip the tortilla in the sauce and coat on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
  12. Fill with about 3 tablespoons of filling and sprinkle with cheese.
  13. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  14. Repeat until filling is gone.
  15. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.
  16. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.
158 cal
14 g
2 g
8 g

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    July 28, 2016 at 10:12 AM I made these the other night and they turned out SO good! I'll definitely make them again. My husband even said "I like the little hint of cilantro in it!" I didn't even think he knew what cilantro was, haha! Thanks Alli!!
    • Reply
      August 12, 2016 at 2:15 PM I'm so glad they turned out so well!! Haha, sometimes Andy surprises me with his ingredient prowess :) Thank you!

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