Whenever I get the chance to dine at a good Mexican restaurant I have a hard time not ordering a combo with enchiladas. To me it is easily one of the most satisfying Mexican dishes and it mostly has to do with that distinct red sauce and the gooey melted cheese. These Easy Beef and Bean Enchiladas are just that, easy!
I’ve made a lot of enchiladas at home, too, and one of the easiest kind to make is beef and bean enchiladas. For a hearty and satisfying meal with flavor you can’t get enough of, this easy to follow recipe is for you. You will seriously want to have the whole enchilada.
What makes an Enchilada?
Simply put, it’s the sauce. Some definitions of enchilada merely mention serving a burrito with sauce. However, the most accepted interpretation is that it must be baked in the sauce. In either case, the sauce, which includes chili powder, is the most defining characteristic. what goes inside the wrapped tortilla is up for grabs. Usually, the choices are beef, chicken, or cheese, but you can fill your enchiladas with anything you want. The filling itself doesn’t make or break an enchilada. The fact that it is filled at all is what contributes to the overall definition of the food.
With that in mind, I’ve resolved not to settle for the either-or context in which enchiladas have been framed for so many years. I believe there is still room for a lot more interpretations of this cheesy and saucy food.
Since you bake an enchilada in the sauce, it’s easy to draw comparisons to lasagna. Although enchiladas aren’t layered in quite the same way, the tortilla interacts with the sauce much like the pasta does in lasagna. Despite these similarities, I recommend that you stick to wrapping the enchilada, not just because the true definition calls for it, but because a lasagna style enchilada would miss the essential balance between the filling and the tortilla wrap.
Why Make Beef and Bean Enchiladas?
Beef and bean enchiladas are not common, but they shouldn’t be unexpected. vegetarians enjoy black bean enchiladas, but they don’t have to be only for those who won’t eat meat. We’ve enjoyed beef and bean burritos for years. Why not have both in an enchilada? What I love about beef and bean enchiladas is the flavor, the balancing of animal and plant-based protein, and the way that it allows me to stretch out the meat and make more enchiladas with less money.
This beef and bean combo recipe leans on refried beans, which I feel is a staple in Mexican cuisine with good reason. If you prefer, you can substitute black beans for the refried beans. However, I personally love the way refried beans interact with the enchilada sauce and the cheese to make a velvety soft, and flavorful coat on the beef.
If you want to make your beef last, or if you want to be able to make more servings of enchiladas for less money, I recommend using the beans to cut the quantity of beef you would normally use for each individual serving. It’s also a good way to reduce your intake of animal protein if that concerns you without eliminating it entirely.
How to Make Great Enchilada Sauce
This easy enchiladas recipe calls for canned enchilada sauce, which makes preparation go much faster. Since enchilada sauce has potentially the most complications to it, having premade sauce is a win in the kitchen. It saves time not only making the sauce but also finding and buying all of the ingredients for it. However, we all know the benefits of homemade sauce. Making your own spaghetti sauce for example is far superior to using a canned spaghetti sauce. The same thing goes with enchiladas.
Buying canned sauce is an easy and cheap solution that allows us to prepare food at home faster and more efficiently. However, the flavor of homemade sauce is always going to turn heads because it will taste fresh and more vibrant than anything that comes from a processed facility and includes unnecessary preservatives.
Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce at Home
If you want to take your enchilada game to the next level and make your own enchilada sauce at home, you can. You may not even need to buy any of the necessary ingredients, but if you do, they are common enough ingredients, they are worth having in the pantry anyway. It all starts with tomato sauce which you can make from cooking down fresh tomatoes. Or you can cheat with an 8 oz can. Enchilada sauce doesn’t need to be complicated. It just takes simple pantry staples like vegetable oil, brown sugar, a little bit of flour to thicken and some additional flavoring like garlic, onion, cumin, and chili powder.
If you make the tomato sauce yourself, I recommend sautéing some minced onion and garlic before adding the tomatoes, but onion and garlic powder are also fine substitutes. It only takes a small amount, about ½ teaspoon each. Once you have the tomato sauce ready, heat and mix the oil, chili powder, and flour in a skillet until it is blended. Then slowly mix in the tomato sauce and reduce the heat. Get the full recipe here.
So Easy to Freeze!
One of the things I love most about making enchiladas at home is how easy they are to freeze and store for later. If you are like me, like to make enormous batches of my beef and bean enchiladas just for this purpose. I simply modify the recipe to allow for bulk ingredients. I just set up my own little assembly line to make them all up. You can even make them in disposable aluminum catering trays and cover them in foil and label them with a Sharpie. It’s perfect for freezing and you don’t have to lose a real baking dish. Frozen enchiladas last for at least 2 months in the freezer. They are very convenient to take out and reheat when you are ready for them. In the refrigerator, leftover enchiladas can last for 3-5 days.
Ingredients Needed to Make Easy Beef and Bean Enchiladas
- Ground Beef
- Chili Powder
- Slap Ya Mama
- Black Pepper
- Refried Beans
- Red Enchilada Sauce
- Flour Tortillas
- Cheddar Cheese
How to Make Easy Beef and Bean Enchiladas
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat oven to 375° and spray a 13×9 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Step 2 – Prepping the Meat
In a large skillet, brown ground beef and add seasonings. Drain grease and return to pan. Add refried beans and stir until meat and beans are fully combined.
Step 3 – Making the Enchiladas
Pour ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour ½ can of enchilada sauce on a large tray or plate. Coat each sides of tortillas in sauce. Place meat and bean mixture into the center of each tortilla and top with cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in casserole dish.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
Step 4 – Baking the Enchiladas
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Try These Delicious Quick and Easy Enchiladas Today
Here are a few more delicious recipe that can be found on the blog:
And here is a delicious Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla, from Great Grub, Delicious Treats, that you might enjoy as well.
Easy Beef and Bean Enchiladas
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon Slap Ya Mama
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 16 oz can refried beans
- 2 15 ounce cans red enchilada sauce
- 8 flour tortillas
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- Preheat oven to 375° and spray a 13×9 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, brown ground beef and add seasonings. Drain grease and return to pan.
- Add refried beans and stir until meat and beans are combined.
- Pour ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Pour ½ can of enchilada sauce onto a large tray or plate. One at a time, coat both sides of tortillas in sauce.
- Place meat and bean mixture into the center of tortilla and top with cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in the casserole dish.
- Continue dipping tortilla in sauce, filling with meat mixture, and cheese until meat is gone.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for saving to Pinterest.