Beef enchiladas

Beef enchiladas

1 h
Easy beef enchiladas with corn tortillas and red sauce are a tasty dinner treat for weekdays, dinner parties, and whenever you are in the mood for a Mexican delicacy. Made with garlic, onion, red pepper, courgette, and jalapeños the flavourful filling is folded into sweet corn tortillas, sprinkled with rich cheese, and served with an intense salsa roja. Give our rice salad and ground beef enchilada recipe a try next time you are looking for a bit of heat.


Salsa roja
  • Place the tomatoes and diced onion in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let it steep for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain the tomatoes and onion and transfer them to a mini food chopper along with oil, the one and a half tablespoon of water, vinegar, and spices. Pulse for about 1 minute.
  • Pour the salsa into a bowl and stir in 100ml of water.
  • Cover it and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
Rice salad
  • Rinse the rice and bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan.
  • Add the rice and cook them at low heat for about 25 minutes with the lid on.
  • Let the rice cool off in a sieve.
  • Place lettuce leaves, corn, and rice in layers in a serving bowl.
Ground beef enchiladas
  • Preheat oven to 225°C (regular oven).
  • Let the diced tomatoes drain off in a sieve.
  • Melt the butter in a pan and cook the ground beef until it becomes crumbly and changes colour. Add onion and garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in pepper, courgette, and tomato.
  • Chop the pickled jalapeños and mix them in along with sugar and salt. Season the sauce to taste – note that it becomes spicier when it is warmed.
  • Place the 8 tortillas in a damp tea towel, then in an oven-proof dish, and cover them with a piece of parchment paper. Warm the tortillas in the oven for about 10 minutes so they become soft.
  • Transfer about 100 ml of the filling to each tortilla and roll them. Place them in an oven-proof dish with the closing facing down.
  • Sprinkle them with cheese and bake them in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve them with salsa roja and rice salad while they are still warm.

If you want to make this cheesy beef enchilada recipe truly authentic, you can make your own corn and wheat tortillas. In our recipe for shredded beef tacos, we describe how you can easily make the batter and fry the soft tortillas to golden perfection to create sweet-tasting tortillas that will be perfect for authentic beef enchiladas. You can of course also serve ground beef enchiladas with flour tortillas if you prefer these more neutral-tasting wraps or if you cannot find traditional corn tortillas.

Questions about beef enchiladas

With our recipe for beef enchiladas with corn tortillas in your repertoire, making a delicious Mexican-inspired dinner becomes incredibly easy. To learn more about the delicious Tex-Mex dish, keep on reading.

How to make beef enchiladas?
Traditional beef enchiladas make for a delicious and easy meal with plenty of flavour and heartiness. Start by making the filling by cooking ground beef, onion, and garlic, and mix it with fresh pepper and courgette, diced tomato, and pickled jalapeños. Soften the corn tortillas in the oven to make rolling them easier. Roll them up with the filling, place them in a casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until golden brown. Serve with red rice salad and salsa roja.
What to serve with beef enchiladas?
Traditional ground beef enchiladas make for a wonderful meal when served with a Mexican rice and corn salad. The freshness of ingredients like chewy corn and crispy lettuce gives the rice salad some crunch and bite. Something that the red rice itself, of course, also has. As a finishing touch, serve the ground beef enchiladas with a flavourful salsa roja. The combination of beef enchiladas and red salsa is classic, making for an authentic flavour experience. If you want another creamy addition, you can top it with sour cream or guacamole.
How to make salsa roja for enchiladas?
The best beef enchilada recipe is, of course, incomplete without a delicious condiment, and salsa roja is the perfect beef enchilada sauce. Prepare our take on the Mexican red sauce by steeping the sundried tomatoes and diced onion in water before blending them with water, olive oil, dark balsamic vinegar, and spices. Stir in more water and let the salsa roja sit for at least 30 minutes before you season it to taste and use it to top your enchiladas.
Can beef enchiladas be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can certainly make our ground beef enchiladas ahead of time, for example, if you are having people over and have other dishes to prepare as well, or if you want to prep lunch or dinner for the week. In the fridge, the ground beef enchiladas will keep for 3-4 days. You can store them either baked or unbaked, depending on your preference. Wrap the oven-proof dish tightly with a layer of cling film or aluminium foil before storing them.
Can you freeze beef enchiladas?
You can freeze your leftover ground beef enchiladas either baked or unbaked. In both cases, wrap them tightly in cling film or aluminium foil and store them in freezer bags or airtight containers for up to 3 months. They may also be frozen in a properly wrapped freezer-safe dish. If they have already been cooked, thaw your freezer beef enchiladas in the fridge overnight before reheating them in the oven. If they have not been cooked before freezing, you can pop them straight in the oven from frozen and finish baking them until they are heated and cooked through.


Salsa roja
Sundried tomatoes
25 g
Red onion cut into cubes
Boiling water
200 ml
Rapeseed oil
1½ tbsp
1½ tbsp
Dark balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp
Pink peppercorns
½ tsp
Fine salt
¼ tsp
100 ml
Rice salad
Red rice
150 ml
450 ml
Coarse salt
½ tsp
Romaine lettuce
150 g
Ground beef enchiladas
Diced tomatoes
½ can
10 g
Ground beef (6% fat)
300 g
Red onions
Small garlic cloves crushed
Red pepper cut into cubes
Green courgette semi-thick slices cut into 4 pieces each
Pickled jalapeños cut into slices
40 g
½ tsp
Coarse salt
1¼ tsp
Corn tortillas
Grated cheddar and maasdam cheese
75 g

Easy beef enchiladas with red sauce

Ground beef enchiladas with onion, red pepper, and jalapeños are filled with flavour. The savoury beef is brightened by the addition of pungent onions and fresh, sweet peppers while the pickled jalapeños add heat as well as a distinct sour-spicy taste with plenty of acidity. The combination of beef enchiladas and red sauce is a classic that is almost impossible to miss in Mexican cuisine, and it is the perfect addition to the spicy, sweet, savoury flavours in the filling.

And of course, who can resist melted cheese baked to golden brown perfection in the oven on top of the enchiladas? Sprinkling with cheese that is made specifically for melting will satisfy anyone with a love for cheese dishes. The cheese also gives the beef enchiladas an irresistible look with the gooey cheese strings from when you scoop one up on your plate.

If you are in the mood for more dishes from Mexican, you might want to check out some of our other irresistible recipes from this cuisine. For example, check out our recipes for quesadillas, chicken wraps with Mexican corn salad, and spicy nachos to give you both soft, crispy, and spicy options.

Spice it up with a homemade salsa roja

The best beef enchiladas need a tasty condiment to complement the oven-crispy corn tortillas and gooey melted cheese. Salsa roja is a staple Mexican sauce with tomato which is great for cheesy beef enchiladas. 

In our take on the classic sauce, we have chosen to make it with sundried tomatoes because these tomatoes have an intense sweet-tart flavour that is even more potent than fresh ones. Their sweetness is underscored by the addition of thick dark balsamic vinegar. This rich, caramelised vinegar infuses the salsa with a lot of flavours to create an intense topping, perfectly matching the complex-flavoured beef enchiladas.

Roll in corn tortillas and serve with red rice and corn salad

It is not always about the filling, and in this case, the soft corn tortillas and Tex-Mex rice and corn salad are just as important. Encase your tasty ground beef filling in soft corn tortillas to wrap it all up and get all the best flavours in just one bite. These traditional, Mexican wraps have a distinct corn flavour as well as nutty undertones, and this slightly sweet flavour is mirrored in the rice and corn salad which features the same delightful, yellow corn as the tortillas. The chewy and crispy salad made with lettuce and red rice has some great nutty undertones, too. The colourful salad makes for a tasty and decorative side dish to the irresistibly spicy beef enchiladas.

Make it your own

In case you like a lot of heat, you can easily make the dish spicier. Fresh chilli pepper is an obvious choice, but do not discount ground chilli pepper, crushed chilli flakes, or a classic taco spice mix either as they will all work well as a beef enchilada seasoning.

If you enjoy smoky flavours in addition to heat, try using smoky chipotle pepper or ground cayenne pepper. On the other hand, if you would prefer your quick beef enchiladas to be less spicy, you can serve them with ice-cold, velvety sour cream or creamy, homemade guacamole.