Prepare for loads of savory Tex-Mex goodness! This easy Beef Enchilada Casserole recipe is made from scratch but won't take up all of your evening free time. Rather than dishing out a cookie cutter red enchilada sauce, our take features a crazy comforting Tex-Mex beef enchilada gravy your family will love!
Making this in casserole form is so much easier than rolling enchiladas and cuts way back on the prep time, making it perfect for busy weeknights and casual entertaining. Plus, the beefy enchilada sauce, taco-seasoned ground beef, and melty cheese make for an instant crowd pleaser.
Tex-Mex casseroles are really a league of their own! We absolutely love them around here and they make for the easiest, most satisfying dinners. If you too are team Tex-Mex casserole, bookmark our Mexican chicken casserole, ranchero turkey casserole, and chicken taco casserole for future use!
HOW TO MAKE BEEF ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
- Prep the casserole dish, tortillas, and cheese.
- Brown the ground beef.
- Make the enchilada sauce.
- Assemble the casserole.
- Bake and serve!
1. PREP CASSEROLE DISH, TORTILLAS, AND CHEESE
To kick off your Beef Enchilada Casserole, you will want to get a few prep items out of the way first! Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13" baking dish.
You also want to get some tortillas soaking! This Beef Enchilada Casserole features corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas for a much more authentic and far less soggy vibe.
For your corn tortillas to bake up moist and fork-tender, you'll need to get them soaking before you begin cooking your ground beef. To do this, place your tortillas in two stacks of five on a work surface and cut them into little triangles. You can cut as little as four or six triangles per tortilla.
Transfer your tortilla triangles to a shallow dish, such as an 8 x 8" baking dish or a pie dish, and cover with one cup of beef broth. Set the tortillas aside to soak while you move on to the cheese!
The classic Tex-Mex combo of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese is what will be used to spruce up this Beef Enchilada Casserole.
I highly recommend grating your cheese over using pre-shredded cheese. Grating the cheese yourself will result in better flavor and a multi-textured experience. I promise it is well worth the extra effort! Plus, you will need a total of 2 cups of cheese. It's not that much grating. You can do it!
Mix up your Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar in a small bowl and set it aside while moseying on over to the stovetop.
2. BROWN THE GROUND BEEF
Add oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and allow it to come to temperature. Then add in your diced onion and sauté until the onion is softened.
Next, you'll add in your ground beef, followed by an entire package of taco seasoning. This is part of what makes your Beef Enchilada Casserole so deliciously savory!
Break the beef apart with a wooden spoon and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the beef is entirely cooked through.
Remove your pan from the heat and transfer the meat to a bowl; set it aside, and make sure no oil drips are running down the side of your pan. If there are, carefully wipe away the oil with a paper towel. Then, return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat this time.
3. MAKE THE ENCHILADA SAUCE
It's officially time to make the most amazing homemade enchilada sauce you've ever had in your entire life! This sauce comes together just like gravy, and the first thing you'll do is add butter to the pan, allowing it to melt. Then sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk for about one minute.
Begin adding in the remaining 4 cups of beef broth one big splash at a time, whisking well until smooth after each addition. Once the broth has been added, stir in your salt, cumin, Chile Pepper, and black pepper and allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes more, just until thickened.
A NOTE ON BEEF BROTH
This is a broth-based sauce, so you'll want to be sure you grab the unsalted or low-sodium broth so you have complete control over the sodium level of your Beef Enchilada Casserole. If you already have regular beef broth on hand, you can still use it, but you'll need to cut the salt from this recipe and add it to taste instead.
4. ASSEMBLE THE CASSEROLE
Once your sauce is ready, it is officially assembly time! To assemble your Beef Enchilada Casserole, the first thing you'll do is add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of your prepared casserole dish. Next, lay down half of the tortillas in a single layer across the sauce, followed by half of the remaining sauce, and all of the ground beef mixture.
Next, sprinkle half of your cheese mix over the meat and finish with another layer of the remaining tortillas on top, followed by the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle over the last of the cheese and transfer to the oven.
5. BAKE AND SERVE
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Once the cheese looks perfectly melty, and the sauce is bubbling on the sides, your Beef Enchilada Casserole is ready! Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes, then top with sour cream, chopped cilantro, diced white onion, or your favorite enchilada toppers; serve and enjoy!
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also prep the dish in advance and bake it at another time, within the 3 days, if you know you'll be pressed for time on the day.
FREEZE BEEF ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
To freeze cooked Beef Enchilada Casserole, allow it to cool completely, place a sheet of freezer-proof foil over the top, then wrap the whole dish in plastic wrap twice.
You can also freeze the casserole in individual slices by cutting it into serving sizes and placing them in an airtight container, separated by wax paper. Alternatively, you could wrap the individual servings in wax paper and store them in a freezer-safe, zip-top bag, sealed tightly.
Beef Enchilada Casserole will stay good in the freezer for 2-3 months.
HOW TO REHEAT BEEF ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
To reheat this dish whole, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge 24 hours before you plan to reheat it. Once thawed, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Check it after 25 minutes and if the center is still not hot, add 10-20 minutes to the cook time.
To reheat individual servings, unwrap and place on a microwave-safe plate. Heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.
6 MORE MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Easy Taco Salad
- Shredded Beef Tacos
- Mexican Spaghetti
- Beef Empanadas
- Beef Chimichangas
- Stovetop Taco Soup
This Beef Enchilada Casserole is all things savory and comforting. Easier than rolling tortillas and perfect for busy weeknights!
- 10 corn tortillas
- 5 cups unsalted or low-sodium beef broth, separated
- 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese freshly grated
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon canola or avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons All-Purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare a 9x13” greased casserole dish.
On a work surface, stack the tortillas in groups of 5 and cut them into triangles. Transfer to a shallow dish and pour over 1 cup of beef broth to cover. Set them aside to soak until ready to use.
Mix together the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5-8 minutes until softened. Add ground beef along with the taco seasoning and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes, or until no more pink shows and completely cooked through. Remove from the heat and transfer the meat mixture to a bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Return the sauté pan to the stovetop over medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk for about 1 minute. Add the remaining beef broth in one big splash at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition until all of the broth has been incorporated. Season with salt, cumin, chili powder, and pepper. Cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing to thicken.
Add just enough sauce to the casserole dish to thinly cover the bottom. Followed by half of the tortillas and all of the meat. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the meat, followed by half of the cheese. Finish with another layer of tortillas, the remaining sauce and cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, uncovered. Allow to cool slightly, serve, and enjoy.
Do not use regular, full-sodium beef broth for this recipe. It will be too salty.