Cheesy Beef Enchiladas


So, I’ve never made genuinely homemade enchiladas.  Yes, I’ve put together a pan of these Mexican delights with a jar of store bought enchilada sauce but they are always just mediocre.  Homemade enchilada sauce always seemed so intimidating. So time consuming.  But after a little trustee old interweb research I finally found a super simple method that blows any store bought sauce out of the water.  Thank you, Emeril Lagasse.  From the bottom of my Mexican-food-loving heart.  

So most enchilada sauces involve a ton of simmering and  fresh peppers which, well, these days, I aint got no time for.  With a few tweaks of this recipe you would think this sauce has been given more attention than you have time for but it couldn’t be more simple and quick.  Tricky, I like it.


Your typical homemade enchilada sauce also involves a flour and oil combo to get the sauce started but I adjusted the recipe to leave that step out.  Its just not necessary here…this sauce is just the perfect thickness and consistency without it.


Another thing that deters me from preparing authentic enchiladas on a regular basis is all of that frying of the corn tortillas before rolling them up in order to keep them pliable and flavorful.  See, again, I aint got no time for that; what a mess.  So I took a risk in simply brushing the tortillas with oil and then throwing them in the oven for five minutes.  Success!  Total success.


So, basically, enchiladas have now become weeknight achievable.  And I’m not even going to get into how cheesy and rich these bad boys are.  The sauce is on point.  Smokey, acidic and rich.  Buddy that up with an overload of cheese and we are talking one of the most successful fiestas known to mankind, friends.


I doubled the sauce and threw half of it in the freezer…it will make the next time we have these an absolutely cinch to get on the table!

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas

sauce adapted from this recipe


For the Sauce

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Large Garlic Clove, chopped

1/4 Cup Chili Powder

1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 6-Ounce Cans Tomato Paste

2 2/3 Cups Chicken Stock

For the Beef Filling

1 Onion, diced

1 Pound Ground Beef

1/2 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Enchiladas

12 Corn Tortillas

1/3 Cup Sunflower Seed Oil or any higher heat tolerant cooking oil

1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

Chopped Cilantro, for topping

Sour Cream, for topping


For the Sauce

In a small saucepan heat butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.  Whisk in the chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt.  Whisk in the tomato paste and then the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 12-15 minutes, whisking occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly.  Set aside, refrigerate or freeze if using at a later date.

For the Beef Mixture

Brown onion and ground beef in a large skillet until beef is no longer pink.  Drain.  Stir in 1/2  cup of the prepared enchilada sauce, the 1/2 cup cheese, salt and pepper.  Set aside or refrigerate until ready to assemble the enchiladas.

For the Enchiladas

Preheat oven to 350.  Brush both sides of the tortillas with oil and lay flat on a baking sheet (it is okay if they overlap slightly).  Bake for 4 minutes or until very soft-make sure you do not allow them to crisp up.

Pour half of the remaining enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 or 2 8×8 baking dishes.  Lay each tortilla flat, fill with some of the beef mixture, roll up, and lay seam side down into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle on 1/2 Cup of the shredded cheese.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle again with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese and sauce are bubbly.  Serve enchiladas topped with cilantro and sour cream.  Serves 6

6 thoughts on “Cheesy Beef Enchiladas

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