Beef Enchiladas

Close up of beef enchiladas in a baking dish, fresh out of the oven

Beef Enchiladas with an extra tasty, saucy filling, smothered with a homemade Enchilada Sauce. My time saving trick is to use one base Enchilada spice mix for both the sauce and filling!

Close up of beef enchiladas in a baking dish, fresh out of the oven

Beef Enchiladas

I love that there are so many variations of Beef Enchiladas in this big-wide-world.

Simple ones, filled with a plain cooked beef filling then topped with enchilada sauce and (lots of) cheese. Fancy ones with the addition of chillies, beans, corn and even olives, sometimes even bacon. Hidden vegetable versions (don’t ever try that on me, I can pick them a mile away).

Shredded beef enchiladas, short rib ones.

And today I’m sharing mine. 🙂 It’s made with:

  • A simple homemade Enchilada sauce which is quick to make and so, SO much better than store bought;
  • A flavour loaded beef and bean filling which is made with ground beef (mince), a load of Tex-Mex spices, refried beans AND black beans. Bean overload? Definitely not! The refried beans add bulk while keeping the filling nice and juicy so we can have nice, big, plump enchiladas!

The filling of these beef enchiladas have extra oomph with the addition a refried beans, a good hit of spices and splash of Enchilada sauce!

Overhead photo of Beef Enchiladas, fresh out of the oven

I doubled this recipe and my family of 5 devoured it! Massive hit, will make again and again. That beef filling - best I've ever had.

Preparation of beef and bean enchiladas

What you need for Beef Enchiladas

Here’s what goes in my beef enchiladas.

Ingredients in Beef Enchiladas

Just a note on a few of the ingredients:

  • Refried beans – the “secret ingredient” that really fills out the beef mixture so you can big, plump, generously stuffed enchiladas that are nice and juicy.
  • Black beans  – to fill it out a bit and add a different texture to the filling. Diced vegetables are great to add too – especially red peppers / capsicum.
  • Homemade Enchilada Sauce – made with either tomato passata or canned tomato sauce (US, I like Hunts), plus a good hit of Tex-Mex spices.
  • Beef – This is a recipe for beef enchiladas so it’s made with ground beef. But it can be substituted with pork, chicken or turkey!

Making beef enchiladas

Here’s my little time saving trick: one spice mix to flavour both the beef filling AND the Enchilada Sauce.

How to make Beef Enchiladas

There’s a good back of Tex-Mex spices in this! Some of it is used for the homemade Enchilada Sauce, and the rest is used to flavour the Beef and Bean Filling.

How to make beef Enchiladas

Ahhh. These Beef Enchiladas. I really hate using the words “these are the BEST!” for any of my recipes because we all have different palettes, and what I may think is the “best” might not be to someone elses’ taste.

But truly, to me, to this day, even after having consumed more than my fair share of Enchiladas at Tex-Mex restaurants across America, I still think these are better. Way, WAY better than the mainstream chain restaurants!

Hope you had a great weekend! – Nagi x

Try these on the side

  • Corn Salad with Avocado
  • Grilled Corn or try this Mexican Corn
  • Everyday Cabbage Salad
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Pico de Gallo (Authentic Mexican Salsa)

Close up of Beef and Bean Enchiladas on a plate, ready to be eaten

Watch how to make it

Beef Enchiladas

Recipe video above. Moreishly delish! These beef enchiladas are made extra tasty with a juicy filling made with beef, refried beans and a homemade Enchilada spice mix. The refried beans are excellent here – fills it out, makes the Filling juicy and adds flavour! 

Spice Mix

  • 1 tsp each onion & garlic powder ((Note 1))
  • 1 tbsp each cumin powder, paprika and dried oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper ((optional, spiciness))

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour (, plain/all purpose)
  • 2 cups chicken stock / broth (, low sodium)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) tomato passata OR US 1 can (8 oz) canned tomato sauce (eg Hunts) ((Note 2))
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
  • 1 onion (, finely chopped (~1 cup))
  • 1 lb / 500g ground beef ((mince))
  • 400g / 14oz refried beans ((1 can, I use Old El Paso))
  • 400g / 14oz black beans, drained ((1 can, Note 3))


  • 8 tortillas ((or burrito wraps))
  • 1.5 cups (150g) grated melting cheese, or more ((I like Monterey Jack, tasty or cheddar cheese))
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves (, roughly chopped (optional garnish))
  1. Mix together Spice Mix ingredients. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mix to combine into a paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, whisk straight away then it will turn into a thick smooth paste quite quickly.
  3. Add remaining chicken broth, passata, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of SPICE MIX. Whisk

  4. Increase heat slightly to medium high. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking regularly, until the sauce thickens to the consistency of thick syrup (see video). Remove from stove.


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add beef and cook for 2 minutes, breaking it up as you go. Add remaining Spice Mix. Cook for a further 2 minutes or until completely brown.
  4. Add refried beans, black beans, about 1/4 cup of Enchilada Sauce + salt & pepper. Mix (Note 4) and cook for 2 minutes then remove from stove (see video).


  1. Smear a bit of Sauce on the bottom of a baking dish (stops sliding).

  2. Place filling on the lower third of a tortilla. Roll up then place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining Filling & Tortillas.
  3. Pour Sauce over the Enchiladas, top with cheese, bake for 10 minutes covered (Note 5) then 10 minutes uncovered. Serve hot!

1. You can just use all onion or garlic powder, if you only have one of them. Fresh garlic is not the same, however, as a last resort substitution, you can use 3 garlic cloves, minced, instead of onion & garlic powder. Saute in the heated oil before proceeding with the recipe.

2. Tomato passata is pureed plain tomatoes that is not seasoned. Unlike crushed tomatoes, it is thick and smooth, like a thick tomato soup. In Australia it can be purchased in a bottle in the pasta aisle of major supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths). You can make your own simply by using a blender to puree canned tomatoes.

America: If you can’t find passata in the US (it is available at Walmart, Costco), a great substitute is US canned tomato sauce eg Hunts (yes, I’m such a food nerd I brought back cans to use for this recipe and it’s a near perfect substitute).

3. Black beans are commonly used in Mexican & Tex Mex cooking. It’s becoming more widely available in Australia. It can be purchased in the Mexican or canned beans aisle in most major supermarkets, as well as Harris Farms and Thomas Dux. You can substitute with red kidney beans or another type of beans if you prefer.

4. The refried beans should loosen as it heats and stir through easily. If not, add a splash of water.

5. To bake covered, I just pop a baking tray on top on the baking dish. Otherwise, cover with foil.

6. To make ahead, roll up enchiladas and place in casserole dish (can smear with sauce underneath). Keep sauce separate and top just before baking.

7. Nutrition per serving, assuming you use lean beef mince (this is a great recipe for using lean beef, you would never know!).

Beef Enchiladas_Nutrition

Originally published June 2016. Updated August 2019 with new photos, new video, new process photos and refreshed writing – no change to recipe, I wouldn’t dare!

Life of Dozer

Rain, hail or shine, Dozer blasts through the dog door out into the backyard to chase rabbits and bark at birds.

Luckily, he has a raincoat to help keep him dry(ish) on wet days!

Dozer the golden retriever in a rain coat, looking up at rain clouds



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