beef enchilada casserole featured image
A Beef Enchilada Casserole has all of the flavors or the traditional Mexican meal and simplifies the recipe by layering ingredients in a casserole dish rather than rolling them.
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Table of Contents
  1. Best Beef Enchilada Casserole: Easy One-Dish-Dinner
  2. Why We Love This Beef Enchilada Casserole Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Beef Enchilada Casserole
  7. Tips
  8. Storage Tips
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy Casserole Recipes
  11. Beef Enchilada Casserole Recipe

This Beef Enchilada Casserole is filled with authentic Mexican spices and flavors in a simplified recipe by layering beef, beans, tortillas, cheese, and smothering it in a homemade sauce, then baking it in a casserole dish rather than rolling each individually. Add your favorite toppings to this easy-to-make meal and you’ve created a delicious hearty dinner to feed your hungry family.

beef enchilada casserole hero image

Best Beef Enchilada Casserole: Easy One-Dish-Dinner

A Beef Enchilada Casserole is a fun way to combine a classic enchilada with an easy, everyday casserole, and bake as a one-dish dinner.

My recipe uses a homemade enchilada sauce because it just tastes better and more fresh than a can from the store and it uses simple ingredients that I can pronounce without artificial flavoring or preservatives.

Once you’ve browned the ground beef and blended the sauce, it takes mere minutes to layer the tortillas, sauce, meat mixture, and cheese, and then bake it in the oven until it’s hot and bubbly.

For more Mexican-inspired meals, try my Queso Chicen Tacos, Chicken Fajita Quesadilla and Baked Burritos recipes.

Why We Love This Beef Enchilada Casserole Recipe

  • Quick and easy one-dish-dinner.
  • Made with simple ingredients.
  • No rolling, stuffing, or laboring in the kitchen.
  • Flavorful meaty, cheesy, saucy layers baked as a big casserole.
  • Hearty Mexican meal to satisfy your entire family at a fraction of the price of dining out.
  • Perfect make-ahead dish for a potluck, dinner party, or big family meal.
beef enchilada casserole with topping

Ingredients

  • 10 small tortillas: Flour or corn will work for this recipe, but I find the flour tortillas can get too soggy for my preference.
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 
  • 1 cup onion – You can use white or yellow. 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper 
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans or pinto 
  • 1 can (7 ounces) diced green chiles. You can use mild or hot green chiles.
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce, homemade or canned 
  • 2 1/2 cups Mexican blend cheese 

Sauce: 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 jalapeno, halved, seeded: Feel free to add more if you like your sauce a bit spicier. 
  • 4 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • 2 teaspoons tomato bouillon or chicken bouillon 
  • 1 cup chicken broth 

Toppings (Optional): 

  • Sliced avocado 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tomato 
  • Sour cream 
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
beef enchilada in a casserole

Substitutions and Additions

  • Choose Your Cheese: While I love the flavor of the Mexican blend cheese, you can use sharp or mild cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack Cheese, Pepper Jack or any other you prefer. 
  • Tasty Toppings: Feel free to swap out the toppings for what your family enjoys most. Other ideas may include black olives, green onions, hot sauce, guacamole, or shredded lettuce.
  • More Meat Options: You can use lean ground turkey, ground chicken, or cooked shredded chicken instead of beef for a lower fat version of this casserole.
  • Saucepans
  • Blender
  • 9×13-inch pan
  • Cooking spray
  • Measuring tools
  • Whisk

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How to Make Beef Enchilada Casserole

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef until it is fully cooked and no longer pink.
    Pro-Tip: If you use a ground beef with a higher percentage of fat, make sure you drain off the fat after cooking the ground beef.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper to the beef and cook for 4 more minutes.
  3. Add the black beans and green chilis, heat for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
    cooked brown beef and black beans
  4. While the beef is cooking, blend the onion, garlic, ½ the tomato sauce, cumin, oregano, chili powder, jalapeños, tomato paste, and bouillon until smooth.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute until the raw smell has cooked out.
  6. Whisk in the blended sauce, add the remaining tomato sauce and the chicken broth, and stir until combined.
  7. Cook the sauce until hot and bubbly. 
    Pro Tip: If the sauce is too thin, cook a bit longer and the flour will thicken the sauce. If it thickens too much, add a little more chicken broth.
    make the sauce
  8. Lay tortillas over the bottom of the prepared pan.
  9. Spoon sauce over the tortillas.
    lay tortilla and spread sauce in casserole dish
  10. Spread half of the beef mixture over the sauce.
  11. Sprinkle cheese over the beef mixture. 
    spread beef and sprinkle cheese over the tortillas
  12. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients until the top is sprinkled with cheese. 
  13. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. 
    Pro Tip: The enchiladas should be bubbly and the cheese melted.
    repeat layers and bake
  14. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Tips

  • You can use canned red enchilada sauce if you want a quicker cooking time.
  • You can make extra enchilada sauce and store it in the freezer. The next time you want to make this dish, just thaw it in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
  • If you use a ground beef with a higher percentage of fat, make sure you drain off the fat after cooking the ground beef.

Storage Tips

  • To Store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: Assemble the casserole as instructed, cover tightly with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight and allow to come to room temperature on the counter before it goes in the oven. It can also be frozen in individual portions once cooked.
  • To Reheat: Cover the casserole with foil and reheat at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until heated through. Optionally, single portions of enchilada casserole can be heated in the microwave.
beef enchilada casserole on a plate

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this Enchilada Casserole in advance?

You can make this casserole the night before but do not bake it. Then cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Can I freeze this casserole?

You can freeze this enchilada casserole either before or after baking.
To freeze the casserole before baking, brown the beef, add the layers, and top with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil or lid and place in the freezer.
You can also freeze individual pieces after the casserole is cooked. Just place each piece in a freezer-safe container and cover.

What is the best type of tortilla to use in this recipe?

While some recipes use flour tortillas, I prefer to use traditional corn tortillas for my casserole. Corn tortillas have a distinct flavor that plays a key part of the enchilada taste, compared to flour tortillas, which are more like a blank slate. However, feel free to use whichever you like best.

yummy beef enchilada casserole

Other Easy Casserole Recipes

5 from 3 votes
beef enchilada casserole featured image

Beef Enchilada Casserole

Serves — 8
A Beef Enchilada Casserole has all of the flavors or the traditional Mexican meal and simplifies the recipe by layering ingredients in a casserole dish rather than rolling them.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 10 small tortillas halved (corn or flour)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 15 ounces black beans or pinto
  • 7 ounces diced green chiles drained
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce homemade or canned
  • cups Mexican blend cheese shredded

Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 30 ounce (2 15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno halved,seeded
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp tomato bouillon or chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Toppings:

  • Sliced avocado
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, cook the ground beef till it is no longer pink.
  • Add the onion, garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and cook for 4 more minutes.
  • Add the black beans and green chilis and heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
  • While the beef is cooking, place the onion, garlic, ½ the tomato sauce, cumin, oregano, chili powder, jalapenos, tomato paste and bouillon in a blender and blend till smooth.
  • In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and stir in the flour, cook for 1 minute till the raw smell has cooked out. Then whisk in sauce from the blender. Add the remaining tomato sauce and the chicken broth.  Stir till combined.
  • Cook the sauce till hot and bubbly. If it is too thin, cook a bit longer and the flour will thicken the sauce. As it cools if it thickens too much, add a little more chicken broth.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° and spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Lay tortillas over the bottom of the pan, spoon some of the sauce over the tortillas. Then spread with half the beef mixture, and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Repeat layering everything till the top is sprinkled with cheese. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. The enchiladas should be bubbly and the cheese melted.
  • Serve with your choice of toppings: sliced avocados, diced tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, etc.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: Assemble the casserole as instructed, cover tightly with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight and allow to come to room temperature on the counter before it goes in the oven. It can also be frozen in individual portions once cooked.
  • To Reheat: Cover the casserole with foil and reheat at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until heated through. Optionally, single portions of enchilada casserole can be heated in the microwave.
Tips:
  • You can use canned enchilada sauce if you want a quicker cooking time.
  • You can make extra enchilada sauce and store it in the freezer. The next time you want to make this dish, just thaw it in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
  • If you use a ground beef with a higher percentage of fat, make sure you drain off the fat after cooking the ground beef.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 2121mg | Potassium: 1059mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1785IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 506mg | Iron: 6mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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