Beef Enchiladas Recipe with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

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This Beef Enchiladas Recipe is a fantastic option if you are expecting guests or attending a potluck/bring-a-dish event. It will be ready and smell amazing within the hour. The key ingredients are the homemade enchilada sauce which makes this classic Mexican dish taste out of this world!

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Two beef enchiladas on a plate with a fork, and a dish with the remaining enchiladas in the background. Text overlay says"Beef Enchiladas Recipe". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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Beef Enchiladas Recipe

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions, to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required and understand the steps and timings involved.

Looking for an easy and delicious weeknight meal? These beef enchiladas are a family favorite!

The enchilada sauce is made from scratch, so it’s extra flavorful. Plus, the recipe is simple to follow. You’ll have dinner on the table in no time!

If you want to save even more time, you could use a jar of enchilada sauce, but I promise you, the from-scratch version is so much better than anything you could buy!

If you prefer to use white meat in your enchiladas, then put the ingredients for Chicken Enchiladas on your list.

We also have a collection of more than 70 Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes, so you’ll never be short ideas!

An enchilada is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a savory sauce. Originally from Mexican cuisine, enchiladas can be filled with various ingredients, including meats, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, or combinations. 

Ingredients for Enchilada Sauce - bowl of spices, tomato sauce, butter
Ingredients for Enchilada Sauce
Ingredients for Enchilada Filling - Ground Beef, Chilies, Garlic, Onion
Ingredients for Enchilada Filling

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been linked to Amazon, Amazon Fresh, or other stores if available online.

It may not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, sugar, etc., as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. Please note, you can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

How to Make Beef Enchiladas from Scratch

More Recipes Using Ground Beef

One of the hero ingredients in this dish is ground beef, so here are some more recipes using the same:

More Mexican/Tex-Mex Recipes

Looking for more Mexican/Tex-Mex dishes to make? Check these recipes out next:

Beef Enchiladas from Scratch

Recipe Tips

  • This recipe takes about an hour to come together, as written, but you can save some time by using store-bought sauce if desired.
  • You can also save time in the future by preparing double or triple batches of the sauce and filling to freeze for later use.
  • This recipe follows a two-step process to prevent soggy tortillas that fall apart after baking.
  • The first step is to lightly toast the corn tortillas in a little vegetable oil.
  • The second step is to lightly coat the toasted tortillas on both sides in some of the sauce before assembling the enchiladas.
  • Building a stack of toasted and sauce-coated tortillas, as described in the recipe card, will help them stay warm and pliable until you are ready to assemble the enchiladas.
  • This recipe is written for a 7”x11”x2” baking dish, similar to this one.

How Do I Make Beef Enchiladas?

Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

Easy Beef Enchiladas

Easy Beef Enchiladas

Yield: 4-8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This Beef Enchiladas Recipe is a fantastic option if you are expecting guests or attending a potluck/bring a dish event. Makes 8 Enchiladas.


For the Red Enchilada Sauce

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1¼ cup tomato sauce (passata)
  • 1¾ cup chicken broth, divided

For the Filling

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 lb (450g) ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 (4-oz/100g) can green chilis, drained
  • 3 Tbsp red enchilada sauce (above)

Remaining Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 (6-inch/15cm) corn tortillas
  • 8-oz (225g) 4-cheese Mexican blend, finely shredded, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, finely chopped

Optional Toppings

  • Diced avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and/or shredded Iceberg lettuce.


  1. To prepare the red enchilada sauce, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the flour, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and one cup chicken broth and stir for 3-4 minutes until completely smooth.

    Making Enchilada Sauce
  3. Reduce heat to low and gradually add the remaining chicken broth, a one-quarter cup at a time, while you work on the filling and assembling the enchiladas.

    Note: The sauce will continue to thicken as it rests. Adding additional chicken broth, a little at a time, while you work on Steps #4-13 will help maintain the proper consistency.
  4. To prepare the filling, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt, and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions soften and just start to develop some color.
  5. Add the beef to the pan and break apart with a spatula while it browns. Cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally or until completely browned.

    Adding Ground Beef To Pan

  6. Once the beef is browned, carefully drain excess fat from the pan before adding green chilis and three tablespoons of the sauce to season. Stir to combine and reduce heat to low to keep warm.

    Removing Excess Liquid from Pan


    Combined Mixture
  7. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Add three or four spoonfuls of the red enchilada sauce to a 7”x11”x2” baking dish and use the back of the spoon to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
  8. To assemble the enchiladas, add a small amount of vegetable oil to a small pan set over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add one tortilla and toast for approximately 2 minutes until nicely browned. Flip the tortilla and repeat on the other side.

    Frying Tortilla
  9. Dip the toasted tortilla into the warm enchilada sauce to coat on both sides. Remove as much excess sauce as possible before transferring to a large, rimmed plate. Set aside.
  10. Add a little more vegetable oil to the skillet and repeat step #8 with a second tortilla. Place the toasted tortilla on top of the sauce-covered tortilla on the plate, then add one spoonful of sauce on top of it. Use the back of the spoon to spread the sauce until it covers the top surface of the second tortilla. (The excess sauce from the first tortilla will adhere to the bottom of the second tortilla).

    Time-Saving Tip: Add additional oil and the next tortilla to the hot pan right before you add the sauce to the top of the last tortilla on the stack. This will speed up the process of prepping your tortillas significantly vs. waiting to toast the next one until after you have covered the last one in the sauce.
  11. Repeat step #10 with the remaining tortillas, lightly toasting each tortilla in a little oil on each side, then adding to the stack and evenly coating the top surface with some sauce.

    Tip: Building a stack of toasted and sauce-coated tortillas, as described above, will help them stay warm and pliable until you are ready to assemble the enchiladas.
  12. Once all eight tortillas have been prepped, add a large spoonful of the filling to the top tortilla halfway between the midway point and the bottom edge. Add a little shredded cheese on top and roll the tortilla from the bottom end up. Place the rolled enchilada into the prepared baking dish, seam down.


    Adding Cheese to Filling

    Rolling Up the Tortilla
  13. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas until all eight enchiladas are in the baking dish, as shown.
  14. If any of the beef filling is left over, spoon it into the baking dish in the space on either end of the enchiladas, as shown.

    Rolled Tortillas added to Baking Dish
  15. Top with the remaining sauce and shredded cheese and place in the center of the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and bubbly.

    Adding Cheese to Dish

    Melted Cheese on Enchiladas
  16. Remove from oven and top with some fresh cilantro right before serving. Add additional toppings if desired. Enjoy!




This recipe is written for a 7”x11”x2” baking dish.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 880Total Fat: 74gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 46gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 2008mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 8gSugar: 9gProtein: 25g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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