Easy Ground Beef Enchiladas are filled with taco-seasoned ground beef and cheese, then topped with red enchilada sauce and even more cheese! They are ready for the oven in just 25 minutes and can be made in advance and baked later. Best of all you can serve these enchiladas with just plain and simple cooked white rice plus a green salad for a deliciously easy meal.
Long before Taco Tuesday was popular, enchiladas have been part of our regular rotation for an easy, flavorful meal. We love the mild seasoning and best of all the double cheese. Yes! These enchiladas have cheese inside the enchilada and, also, on top!
What Are Enchiladas?
An enchilada is a tortilla wrapped around a savory filling and then covered in a flavorful sauce. The tortilla can be corn, flour, or a combination of corn and flour. The filling can be meat, cheese, or vegetable and the enchilada sauce can be red, green, sour cream, or any flavorful sauce that complements the filling.
This means that the combinations of tortilla, filling, and sauce can be endless in variation!
This dish of enchiladas uses ground beef and cheese as the filling, a flour tortilla, and a mild red sauce. These ingredients make an enchilada that is very easy to make! Plus, the ingredients are generally available at most major supermarkets and it takes only 20 minutes to prepare this dish for the oven. So, let's cook!
Ground Beef - Any kind of lean ground beef works well. If after browning the meat, the fat is excessive just drain it from the meat before adding the taco seasoning.
Taco Seasoning Mix - I use a taco seasoning mix because it contains chili powder, cumin, and all the other right spices to season this dish. I prefer the Taco Bell branded seasoning but feel free to use your favorite brand.
Shredded Cheese - Purchase pre-shredded or shred the cheese yourself.
Flour Tortillas - The fajita-sized tortillas fit well in a 13 x 9" baking dish.
Red Enchilada Sauce - Mild red sauce is my choice for an enchilada that is never too hot.
Green Onions - Optional, and used as a quick and pretty green garnish that goes with the enchiladas.
As you see the ingredients are simple. I buy the red enchilada sauce in a larger can than I need. This is because the cost of a value can is only a few cents more than a 19-ounce can and I can use the leftover sauce for other dishes like a sauce for a cheese omelet or a topping for meatloaf.
Sometimes, I buy shredded cheese and sometimes I buy a block of cheese and shred it myself. It depends on what's on sale. But, my preferred cheese is a block of Tillamook medium cheddar cheese. I think it has the very best flavor and of course, it melts beautifully!
How to Make Them
Step 1 - Heat a large 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is well heated, add the ground beef. Stir the ground beef with a large spoon, breaking the ground beef up and turning it frequently until the meat is well browned on all sides. Drain the meat if needed.
Step 2 - Add the contents of 1 taco seasoning mix and continue to stir the meat until it is coated with the seasonings. Add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the meat filling cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the seasoned beef cool.
Step 3 - Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese to the seasoned ground beef and stir well to combine.
Step 4 - Place 8 tortillas on a parchment-covered work surface. Spread approximately ½ cup of the seasoned beef and cheese mixture down the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place it seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
All that's left to do is pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the filled enchiladas, sprinkle them with the remaining shredded cheese, cover the dish with aluminum foil. Then they are off to the oven to bake until the sauce is bubbling, and the enchiladas are heated through. Yumm!
My Top Tips
Brown the Meat Well. The meat will be so much more flavorful if the ground beef is browned with a dark brown sear. You don't want to burn the meat, but you do want to get caramelization to form to add depth to the flavor of the meat.
Toast the Taco Seasonings. When you add your taco seasoning packet to the meat, let it cook into the meat and let the spices "toast". This will bloom the spice and make your filling tastier.
Create an Assembly Line. Layout all of your tortillas at once and place the filling on each tortilla before you begin rolling the tortillas around the meat. This will let you divide the meat and cheese mixture more evenly and every enchilada will be similar in size.
Can You Freeze These Enchiladas?
You can freeze enchiladas of all types including this recipe for ground beef and cheese enchiladas. Simply, prepare them up to the point of baking them, and be sure to use a freezer-proof casserole or baking dish. Aluminum baking pans are great for freezing and often come with a cardboard lid to make sealing the enchiladas easy. If using a casserole or baking dish, be sure to tightly cover your dish of enchiladas with heavy aluminum foil.
My best pro tip for freezing is to not put any enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking pan and to put it only over the top of the enchiladas. This helps keep the bottom of the enchiladas from getting soggy.
Substitutions & Variations
Substitute Corn Tortillas. Corn tortillas are flavorful and delicious. It just happens that my family prefers flour tortillas for this dish of ground beef enchiladas.
Add Whole Kernel Corn. If you need to stretch your budget and use less ground beef, add whole kernel corn to the filling. The sweetness of the corn is a perfect partner to the mild spice of the seasoned ground beef.
Use Smaller Tortillas. This recipe uses a "fajita" sized tortilla, which is between 7" and 8" in diameter. But you can use a tortilla that is "street taco" sized and about 4" in diameter. The smaller enchiladas are perfect for potlucks and gatherings!
Do Not Use Sour Cream. Although some people like sour cream as a garnish, I do not recommend topping these enchiladas with sour cream. To me, sour cream reduces the rich flavor of this dish that has only a little heat. However, if you cannot buy mild enchilada sauce and substitute a "hot" variety, a dollop of sour cream will cool the heat.
Make it Delux. Most nights I use a garnish of just thinly sliced green onions. But for special occasions, I garnish these enchiladas with tomatoes, avocado, or a combination of tomato and avocado.
These ground beef enchiladas are so easy to make there is no need to wait for Taco Tuesday or a Sunday supper to enjoy a comforting plate of these enchiladas. Serve them with steamed white rice, a green salad... and don't forget the chips and guacamole!
If you love the flavor of this dish, check out my Taco Stuffed Peppers, for another Mexican-inspired main dish that uses ground beef.
More Delicious Main Dishes
- Sunday Best Beef Stew
- Baked Italian Seasoned Pork Chops in Creamed Corn
- Green Chili Mac & Cheese
- Italian Meat Sauce
Easy Ground Beef Enchiladas
- 1 ¼ Pounds Ground Beef
- 1 Taco Seasoning Mix, 1 Ounce
- 1 Cup Water
- 3 Cups Shredded Cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese, Divided
- 8 Each Flour Tortillas, 7 to 8" in Diameter
- 19 Ounces Mild Red Enchilada Sauce
- 4 Green Onions, Green Tops Finely Chopped
- Heat a large 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is well heated, add the ground beef. Stir the ground beef with a large spoon, breaking the ground beef up and turning it frequently until the meat is well browned on all sides. Drain the meat if needed.
- Add the contents of 1 taco seasoning mix and continue to stir the meat until it is coated with the seasonings. Add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the meat filling cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the seasoned ground beef to cool.
- Heat the oven to 375°F/190°C and spray a 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spread ½ of the enchilada sauce evenly in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese to the seasoned ground beef and stir well to combine.
- Place the 8 tortillas on a parchment-covered work surface. Spread ½ cup of the seasoned beef and cheese mixture down the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place it seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Top the enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle them with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake the enchiladas for 45 to 50 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let them stand for 5 minutes. Then garnish them with the finely chopped green onions. Serve and Enjoy!
Nutrition Per Serving
All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.