If there was a fool-proof recipe, this would be it. Try this easy recipe and WOW your family.

Our family has enjoyed this beef enchilada recipe for years. It goes together quickly, and there's little room for error. With a busy family of four, I like that I can make it ahead of time and then bake it closer to dinnertime.

I'm not a fan of enchiladas at a restaurant, as they seem to get a little squishy for my tastes. These simple beef enchiladas bake up well, can be easily cut with a fork, and are still firm as you take your first bite.

The enchiladas are great by themselves, or you can be creative in adding some complementing sides. We like this Member's Mark Southwest Salad Kit, available at Sam's Club. Of course, tortilla chips and queso, salsa, or fresh guacamole are always welcomed side dishes.

If there are any leftover beef enchiladas, they keep well for several days in the refrigerator. Once the enchiladas have cooled, place leftovers in a sealed container and refrigerate.

Crazy Simple Beef Enchiladas Recipe:

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 19 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 12 ct. flour tortillas
  • Optional additional toppings (salsa, guacamole, sour cream, black olives, black beans, additional shredded cheddar cheese)

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9"x13"x2" baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray and spreading about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of the pan. (This prevents the bottom of the enchiladas from becoming hard while baking.) Brown the ground beef over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to crumble the beef as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese into the meat mixture. Stir until well combined and the cheese is melted.

Using a measuring cup, add 1/3 cup of the meat mixture to a flat flour tortilla. Roll up the flour tortilla and place in the prepared pan, seam-side down. Repeat this step for all of the flour tortillas. You might need to squeeze the last enchiladas into the pan.

Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas. Use a spoon to spread the sauce evenly over the enchiladas, being careful to not have exposed flour tortillas on top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

(Optional: You can prepare the enchiladas ahead of time and bake closer to dinnertime. Cover the pan of enchiladas with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.)

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. If the pan of enchiladas just came out of the refrigerator, you might need to bake an additional 5 minutes.

To serve, use a spatula to place an enchilada (or two!) on a plate. Add additional toppings as desired.

Variations

Keeping this beef enchilada recipe simple lends itself to quite a few variations. Enjoy trying new ways to serve this classic dish, like:

  • Make it cheesy! Sprinkle additional cheeses (Monterey jack, queso fresco, etc.) on top of the rolled enchiladas before baking.
  • Add sauteed peppers, onions, and black olives to the meat mixture.
  • Be sensitive to spiciness. Depending on your family's preferences, choose mild or spicy enchilada sauce. If you're wanting to avoid processed sauce, you can try making your own homemade enchilada sauce.
  • Make it festive for the holidays by using red and green enchilada sauce.
  • Keep it light by substituting ground turkey for the ground beef.
  • Make it gluten-free. Substitute corn tortillas for flour tortillas.
  • Double this recipe. Before baking, cover one pan with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze that pan of enchiladas for another time. And bake the second pan to enjoy today.
    • Thawing instructions: Remove from the freezer at least 24 hours before baking. Remove the foil and plastic wrap. Follow the baking instructions above.

Have you tried this enchilada recipe? How did it turn out? Tell us in the comments below.