The key to a perfect Tex-Mex Beef Enchilada is a combination of multiple factors: A good authentic enchilada gravy, a flavorful ground beef filling, and melty cheese. Today we’ll cover how to easily get a superior version of this Tex-Mex classic on your table, as well as how to make a perfect, foolproof enchilada gravy, the key to the most flavorful beef enchilada filling, plus, fun ideas for what to serve alongside your enchiladas!
Down here in Texas, we know our way around a good authentic Tex-Mex enchilada, and this recipe is no exception. This recipe was developed with high expectations and seasoned taste buds, and it never disappoints.
BEEF ENCHILADA RECIPE OVERVIEW
- Cook ground beef filling on the stovetop.
- Make the enchilada gravy.
- Heat tortillas in microwave so they are pliable.
- Roll the enchiladas with ground beef and cheese.
- Add sauce to the casserole dish and line with enchiladas.
- Cover with remaining sauce and cheese.
THE FILLING IS NO TIME TO SKIMP ON FLAVOR
The filling is no time to skimp out on flavor, and if you like a good cheesy beef enchilada, this is the recipe for you. The enchilada filling begins with a finely diced onion, followed by the browning of some seasoned ground beef.
Once the beef is ready, it is transferred over to a mixing bowl, along with some freshly grated Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese — Cheddar for flavor, Monterrey Jack for creaminess.
The filling will be tightly rolled in warmed corn tortillas (tips on that to come), transferred to a casserole dish, and completely smothered with the Tex-Mex beef enchilada gravy.
TIPS FOR FILLING AND ROLLING ENCHILADAS
Rolling enchiladas is not difficult work and once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself flying through the process. For best results, here are a few pro tips for working with tortillas and enchilada filling.
FOOLPROOF HACK FOR WORKING WITH CORN TORTILLAS
From time to time, corn tortillas can give us a little trouble when rolling enchiladas. If they’re too dry, they may break or tear, allowing that precious beef enchilada filling to spill out. Now we can’t have that, can we?
To make corn tortillas more pliable, wrap a stack of six corn tortillas in damp paper towels. Then, place them on a microwaveable plate and microwave for 1 minute. When you pull the tortillas out, they will be steaming (so be careful), but they will also be bendy and perfectly pliable for stuffing.
FILLING THE ENCHILADAS
As much as we all want to slam each corn tortilla from edge-to-edge with beef and cheese, take care not to overstuff the enchiladas. This will make them difficult to roll closed, and it will likely spill out before you even make it to the casserole dish.
If a little spills out in the casserole dish, there’s no reason to fret, it’s all going to the same place, but we wouldn’t want to leave any of that goodness behind on the prep table. A couple of heaping tablespoons is the perfect amount of filling per tortilla.
Not only does this keep us from wasting the filling, but it also allows more of the flavor for the corn tortilla to come through, which, in combination with the filling and the gravy, is one heck of a perfect bite.
HOW TO ROLL ENCHILADAS
- Place warmed corn tortilla on flat work surface.
- Add 2 heaping tablespoons of filling to the center of a tortilla.
- Roll one side the tortilla over the filling, and tuck the flap under the filling, tightly rolling it over at the same time.
- Place seam-side down in casserole dish.
HOW TO MAKE BEEF ENCHILADA GRAVY
This is an easy beef enchilada gravy that begins like all other gravies: with oil and flour (also known as a roux — but don’t let that scare you, it’s super easy). After the roux is ready, beef broth is slowly added, and the mixture is then seasoned with dried spices like cumin and chili powder.
The gravy bubbles and thickens, and the end result is that savory and addictively delicious beefy enchilada sauce, perfect for smothering enchiladas, spreading onto rice and beans and scooping up with tortilla chips.
For an uber cheesy beef enchilada, the dish is finally topped with a more of the cheese mixture and baked.
This is an excellent dish for entertaining as it can be made ahead up until the point of baking and refrigerated until ready to cook. Plus, this particular recipe feeds a crowd.
I’ve served these up on countless occasions, and the feedback is unanimous — these enchiladas are positively stellar and very likely, the best enchiladas you’ve ever had. Please, enjoy!
5 MORE TEX-MEX FAVORITES YOU’LL LOVE
- Homemade Beef Chimichangas are loaded with a savory ground beef filling and topped with a quick and easy stovetop queso! Tips for frying to perfection and more!
- Baked Chicken and Ranchero Sauce is a healthy take on a Mexican classic. Perfectly baked chicken featuring a topping of Ranchero sauce and Monterey Jack cheese. Slice it up and serve it with tortillas and sliced avocados.
- Verde Chicken Enchiladas is a gluten-free dinner recipe featuring shredded chicken, Monterrey Jack cheese, corn tortillas, and a tangy green sauce accented with sour cream!
- King Ranch Casserole may be a Texas-born casserole, but it’s most definitely earned its ranking amongst Mexican food favorites. A stacked enchilada casserole featuring shredded chicken, corn tortillas, hearty vegetables, cheese, and a creamy Tex-Mex sauce to bring it all together. This recipe feeds a crowd and is guaranteed to be a new dinnertime favorite!
- Easy Taco Soup is a quick fix dinner perfect for chilly weather. This family-friendly soup features taco-seasoned ground beef, kidney beans, fire roasted tomatoes, corn and more!
SERVE BEEF ENCHILADAS WITH:
Authentic Tex-Mex beef enchiladas featuring ground beef, a homemade beef gravy, and a freshly grated cheese blend.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- 4 tablespoons TAK's Tex-Mex Blend or a packet of store-bought taco seasoning, if desired
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons All-Purpose flour
- 4 cups unsalted beef broth*
- 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of black pepper
- 16-20 corn tortillas
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese freshly grated
- 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese freshly grated
Preheat oven to 350° and have ready a 9x13” greased casserole dish.
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 TAK’s Tex-Mex Blend, 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 meat mixture to a bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Return sauté pan to stovetop over medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk to form a roux. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Begin to add beef broth a 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 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing to thicken.
Add just enough sauce to the casserole dish to thinly coat the bottom.
Add a ¼ cup each Monterrey Jack and Cheddar to the beef mixture and stir to evenly distribute.
Dampen two paper towels and wrap half of the tortillas in the towels. Repeat additional paper towels and the remaining tortillas. Heat in a microwave for thirty seconds to 1 minute, until warmed and pliable.
One at a time, add 2 tbsp of beef filling to a tortilla and roll tightly. Place seam-side down in the dish. Continue to roll enchiladas, placing them side-by-side until you can no longer fit any more in the dish.
Pour remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake, covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Allow to cool, serve and enjoy.
*It is extremely important that you use Unsalted Beef Broth for this recipe. Otherwise, the salt content will be overwhelming.
MAKES 16 ENCHILADAS.