Beef Enchilada Casserole is a wonderful one pan dinner that bakes in just 30 minutes. It has layers of red enchilada sauce, seasoned ground beef, corn tortillas, and cheese.
This recipe is made to mimic traditional beef enchiladas without the hassle of frying, soaking or heating the corn tortillas. There are no beans, rice or veggies added to the mix. Just authentic enchilada ingredients.
On a busy week we will have this with just chips and salsa. But if you want to serve a more traditional Mexican dinner you can add some refried beans, Mexican rice, and homemade salsa with chips. Don’t forget the margaritas and tequila!
If you are looking for a different type of enchilada, I have a few options:
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Veggie Enchiladas with Chili Lime Crema
- Enchilada Zucchini Boats
- Creamy Verde Enchiladas
I obviously love enchiladas- LOL!
Corn Tortillas vs. Flour Tortillas
Corn tortillas are definitely more traditional for enchiladas. They have great flavor, however, they are very delicate. If they are not soaked, fried or heated properly before rolling they will tear and crumble, so frustrating.
That is one reason I use flour tortillas in my Chicken Enchilada recipe.
But in this Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole recipe you do not have to roll the tortilla. So there is no need to heat, fry or soak the corn tortillas. Everything is layered flat, making this a super easy dinner recipe!
If you are not a fan of corn tortillas you can sub flour tortillas. However I have not tested it with flour.
I definitely like to use store bought sauce for this enchilada casserole dish. If you have a favorite recipe you can certainly use that, you will need a little over 2 cups of sauce. But if you want a strong and tangy red enchilada sauce, Target has a great one! It is my go-to.
How to Make Beef Enchilada Casserole
I will take you through step by step how to make this easy beef enchilada casserole. See the photos for step by step how to layer the casserole.
Start by preheating the oven to 350.
In a skillet brown and crumble the ground beef. Drain any excess grease. Add the 1 tsp salt, diced onion, and garlic. Saute until they are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in 3 tbsp water, 2 tsp chili powder, and 1 tsp cumin. Remove it from the heat, it’s time to assemble the casserole.
Layer the Casserole
Time to layer everything up and get it in the oven. Start by adding ⅓ cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 casserole pan. Layer 5 corn tortillas on top of that- see the photo how I cut the 5th tortilla in half to fit the end of the pan.
Layer half the seasoned ground beef across the tortillas. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce and then a heaping ½ cup of cheese on top.
Next add another layer of 5 tortillas, all the remaining ground beef, ¾ cup enchilada sauce, and a heaping ½ cup of cheese.
To finish add another layer of 5 corn tortillas, the remaining enchilada sauce, and all the remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Let the casserole cool for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
Storing and Reheating
Store any leftover enchilada casserole in the fridge, covered, or in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
To reheat simply place each portion in the microwave and heat for a minute or two until it is warmed through.
Reheating tip: As the casserole is refrigerated the tortillas will absorb the sauce, so if you have extra sauce pour it over each portion before reheating.
Beef Enchilada Casserole Recipe
Beef Enchilada Casserole
- 1 lb ground beef prefer 85/15 for flavor and less grease
- 1 medium yellow or white onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp water
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro **OPTIONAL chopped
- 2 10 oz cans red enchilada sauce If you make your own sauce you will need about 2 ¼ cups.
- 15 corn tortillas
- 8 oz block of cheddar cheese, shredded If you use pre-shredded you will need about 2 ¼ cups. You could also use pepper jack or monterey jack
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- In a large skillet brown and crumble the ground beef, drain any excess grease.
- Add the onions, garlic and salt saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are slightly softened. Stir in the 3 tbsp water, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin.
- If using the cilantro, stir it in now. Remove the pan from the heat.
Layer the Enchilada Casserole
- In a large 9×13 casserole dish pour ⅓ cup enchilada sauce across the bottom, spread it so it coats the bottom of the dish.
- 5 tortillas (the last one split in half at the end of the pan (see photo)Top with half the beef Pour ¾ cups enchilada sauce over topSprinkle with a heaping ½ cup cheese5 tortillasremaining beef¾ cups enchilada sauceheaping ½ cup cheese5 tortillas Remaining enchilada sauceRemaining cheese
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Let the casserole cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.