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.
Homemade enchilada sauce takes little to no time to make! The nice thing is you can customize the flavor if you like it spicier, tangier or saltier. This is our go-to Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe.
Sometimes it is nice to use store bought sauce for this enchilada casserole dish. 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 teaspoon salt, diced onion, and garlic. Saute until they are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in 3 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon 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.
Listen To The Recipe
You can listen to the full recipe on the podcast “Let’s Make Dinner”. Susie shares all the tips and tricks and side dish ideas. You can listen by using the audio player below.
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 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoon water
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro **OPTIONAL chopped
- 20 oz red enchilada sauce If you make your own red enchilada 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.1 lb ground beef
- Add the onions, garlic and salt saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are slightly softened. Stir in the 3 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin.1 medium yellow or white onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoon chili powder, 3 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon cumin
- If using the cilantro, stir it in now. Remove the pan from the heat.⅓ cup fresh cilantro **OPTIONAL
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.20 oz red enchilada sauce, 15 corn tortillas, 8 oz block of cheddar cheese, shredded
- 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.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.
Great recipe. Taste almost like my mom used to make it. Great for gatherings. Even better the next day.
I love it I don’t know I just go to recipes and it always let me know what to do abd can put my spent on it too, so I love it. Thank you.❤️
This is now one of our faves! My (flour) tortillas are bigger, so I just used 3 per layer. And I threw in some green chilis, rotel tomatoes, corn, and black beans to make it a full meal deal. The flavor is great!
Did not work with corn tortillas. They fell apart .
I read on line if you use corn tortillas to fry them in oil before you put them in your casserole. It worked. Also added a nice bit of crunch 😊
Love this for my new way of making enchiladas! I didn’t add much of the spices to the ground beef, just used a all-purpose seasoning on it and let the homemade enchilada sauce do its thing and it was really good. Loved the ease of this recipe and once it was set, super easy to feed the whole family. I prefer corn tortillas and this recipe made it so easy.
Very good! I added a can of Mexicorn to hamburger mixture and I had to use one can of red enchilada sauce and one green enchilada sauce. When I went to get the sauce, I realized I had picked up one of each, but I don’t think we could tell the difference! Quick & easy too, so I’ll definitely be making again!
I cut the recipe in half because it’s just me here. It was so easy and delicious. Next time I will add some sliced olives.
This is an easy and delicious recipe, we have this on rotation now. You can try different enchilada sauces for different taste, probably can even try diff types of cheese too.
We buy a 30 pack of corn tortilla so usually eat red sauce one week and then next week a green sauce and it taste very different but both yummy
Pretty good base, but 1 pound of ground beef and 20 ounces of sauce was not nearly enough for that many corn tortillas. If I do this recipe again I’ll use 2 pounds instead and maybe 30 ounces of sauce. I’m eating it right now and all I taste is tortilla.
I agree that the ratio of meat to tortillas was not enough for a 9×13″ pan. My fix was to cut out the middle layer of tortillas. Next time I’ll use a smaller pan since there are just 2 of us. Delicious.
I just made this for myself for my Birthday. I used 2lbs of ground beef and extra sauce and cheese. Cooked for 15 minutes longer. Came out perfect! Thank you!
This is wonderful and a new family favorite. I use your recipe for the homemade sauce and use up leftover pork or chicken. Thank you for posting this!