Beef Enchiladas are a delicious dinner that you can make ahead or freeze for later. The best enchilada sauce will make this a new family favorite.
As I mentioned the other day, I’m obsessing over my new enchilada sauce recipe. I’m not saying I would drink it . . . I’m also not saying I wouldn’t.
I knew that it would make the perfect beef enchilada recipe. But making traditional enchiladas with homemade sauce can be a tricky and time intensive process.
I want to make dinners for you that are as easy as possible, so we are going to talk about a few things that will make this recipe more simple for you.
HOW TO MAKE BEEF ENCHILADAS
This is quick overview of what you are going to do and when. For the full list of ingredients and printable recipe, head to the bottom of the post.
- Preheat your oven.
- Gather all of your ingredients, measure your spices, cut your onions, and grate your cheese.
- In a large skillet sauté onion in oil to make enchilada sauce.
- Add in seasonings and flour.
- Whisk in chicken stock and tomato sauce, stir in garlic, and let simmer for five minutes.
- While you are on the step of sautéing the onions for the enchilada sauce, start cooking your beef in a separate large skillet to make the filling.
- When the beef is broken up, add the second onion, and cook until the beef is cooked through.
- Drain the fat from the beef, and stir in some green chiles.
- Puree your enchilada sauce, and stir 1/2 a cup of it into the beef.
- Pour another 1/2 cup in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Assemble the enchiladas by putting 1/4 cup of the beef mixture in each tortilla, along with a little cheese. Place in the baking dish seam side down.
- Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce and the rest of the cheese over the top and bake until bubbly.
It seems like a lot. But I promise it’s not. You are basically just making enchilada sauce and cooking beef at the same time.
This is a recipe that once you do it one time, you can do it in your sleep.
HOMEMADE ENCHILADA SAUCE
I am going to bat for the home team here and say that my enchilada sauce is what really puts this recipe over the top.
That said, I do not judge people based on their cooking. If you don’t have time to make enchilada sauce, make this recipe about twice as easy and fast, and just use two cups store bought sauce.
Or make my sauce ahead of time. Just saying.
CORN TORTILLAS VS. FLOUR TORTILLAS
One way you can make this easier is with store bought sauce.
I opted to make the sauce from scratch and take a different short cut by using flour tortillas.
Traditional enchiladas use corn tortillas, and the flavor is better with corn. However, they are difficult to roll unless you either dip them in enchilada sauce (messy) or lightly pan fry them (no thanks).
While you are getting a less authentic flavor here with flour tortillas, I think in this case the time saved is worth it.
The ultimate way to make these a fast weeknight dinner is to make them the day before.
When making in advance, instead of putting them in the oven, wrap them in aluminum foil and bake within 24 hours.
You can also freeze this recipe. Make in a disposable baking tray and wrap it three times and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When baking, transfer from the freezer to the preheated oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Make life SUPER easy and make two batches at a time, one to bake tomorrow and one to freeze for later.
THE THREE WAYS WE CAN MAKE THIS EASIER
So, to summarize like I’m back in 8th grade English:
- Use store bought sauce instead of making it from scratch. (I didn’t think the time saved was worth sacrificing flavor.)
- Use flour tortillas instead of making corn tortillas easier to roll. (I did think the time saved was worth it.)
- Make these the day before and pop them in the oven when you get home from work.
OTHER GREAT ENCHILADA RECIPES
If you make this enchilada recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Enchilada Sauce (see note)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small yellow diced
- 4.5 ounces diced green chiles
- 8 flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese see note
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large skillet for the enchilada sauce, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While the onion is cooking, add the ground beef to a separate skillet to make the enchilada filling, breaking it up and seasoning it with salt and pepper. Once broken up, add the second diced onion and cook until the beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Stir chili powder and cumin into the onion for the enchilada sauce and cook for about thirty seconds. Then stir in 1 tablespoon all purpose flour. Slowly whisk in chicken stock. Then stir in the tomato sauce and minced garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Once the beef is cooked through, remove from the heat, drain the fat and stir in the green chiles.
- Transfer the enchilada sauce to a blender and blend to make smooth (optional). Pour 1/2 cup in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup into the beef filling and stir to combine.
- Working with one flour tortilla at a time, add 1/4 cup of the beef filling and about a tablespoon of the shredded cheese. Roll and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue with all 8 flour tortillas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top, and then top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.