This beef enchilada casserole is layers of corn tortilla, cooked ground beef and veggies, and enchilada sauce baked to ooey-gooey golden perfection! It's an easy and hearty weeknight meal for the whole family!
Easy Beef Enchilada Casserole
My family absolutely adores Mexican food, or I should say Tex-Mex. Living in Texas, we are spoiled by the most out of this world tacos, burritos, and enchiladas!
And so I don't cook these dishes at home very much, but one night I made this enchilada casserole with some frozen ground beef, which I always have on hand, and my then 4-year-old son asked if I could make this every day. And that's when I knew this would become a regular weeknight meal for us.
While I couldn’t fulfill his wish, we do enjoy this casserole at least once a month. And I like to mix it up with different vegetables and protein sources as I share below.
It's also foolproof. Rather than rolling the tortillas, you're going to layer everything in a casserole dish and voila! An easy, filling, and incredibly satisfying dinner for the whole family.
And here is a master list of easy and healthy toddler meals that the adults will love too. Say “no more” to cooking two separate meals!
- Lean ground beef: I recommend using 85-90% lean beef for best flavor. We personally love and trust ButcherBox's commitment to delivering high-quality grass-fed, grass-finished beef straight to our door. You can just taste the difference and that's why we've been their loyal customer for over 3 years now. Some months I just order a box of ground beef to keep in our freezer, because it's so versatile and easy to throw into all kinds of weeknight meals!
- Corn tortillas - while you can use flour tortillas, corn tortillas will hold up better
- Vegetables - I love to use frozen carrots, peas, and green beans medley for convenience and because they compliment the dish really well
- Cheese - I love using the Mexican blend or cheddar cheese. Colby jack or monterey jack cheese will also be delicious. While freshly grated cheese always tastes and melts better, sometimes convenience is everything! You have full control over how much you want to add
You can use your favorite store-bought enchilada sauce (look for one with the lowest amount of sodium) or go homemade as I've shown you here! It's so easy to make and delicious!
I do recommend preparing this low-sodium enchilada sauce ahead of time so that it's one less thing to do on the day of making the casserole.
If you've been following me for a while now and are used to my one pot meals, reading all these steps may seem daunting, especially if you’ve got little ones attached to your hip.
But I promise it will come together easily once you get started. You can also make the enchilada sauce and/or the filling the night before, after putting the kids down to bed.
Make the Enchilada Sauce
In a medium skillet over medium heat, whisk together oil, flour, and no salt taco seasoning blend for about a minute. Gradually pour in the stock and tomato sauce, whisking constantly to combine.
Allow the sauce to come to a simmer then cook for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
If using store-bought enchilada sauce, you will need 2 ½ cups total.
For the beef filling
While the sauce is simmering, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and onion and cook, breaking it up into crumbles.
Add beans and vegetables. Reserve ½ cup of the enchilada sauce and add the rest to the meat mixture. Stir until well combined.
- Spread ½ cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with tortillas.
- Spread ⅓ of the beef mixture. Repeat.
- Finish with the last layer of tortillas, remaining beef mixture, and top with cheese.
- Cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes, until the casserole is heated through. I like to use my baking mat. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Protein - feel free to use ground turkey or ground chicken. You can also swap black beans with pinto beans or refried beans. Here's the ultimate guide to beans for babies.
- Vegetarian enchiladas -Try cooking extra firm tofu with onion, crumbling it as you go and/or add some cooked quinoa or lentils. And for the enchilada sauce, you can use vegetable stock.
- Vegetables - add any of our favorites! Zucchini, sweet potatoes, spinach, butternut squash, broccoli, peas, bell peppers...
- Favorite toppings - tomatoes, fresh cilantro, green onions, fresh lime juice, avocado, salsa, sour cream, Greek yogurt
Add a small portion of ground beef enchiladas to baby's bowl or plate ( this spoon and the bowl with the most powerful suction ever are a MUST!). Using your kitchen shears, chop tortilla and the filling into small pieces.
Cut into bite-sized pieces to make it easier to eat.
Make Ahead Tips
You can fully assemble, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Note that the longer the casserole is refrigerated, the softer the tortillas will become.
When ready to enjoy, add an additional 10 minutes to cooking time (covered. so will be 35 minutes instead of 25 minutes), until heated through.
Enchilada sauce and Beef Filling
Make the sauce and/or cook the ground beef mixture and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet until warmed through and proceed with assembling. You may need to add a splash of broth or water to thin out the beef mixture.
How to Store Leftovers
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also place the entire baking dish in the refrigerator covered.
To reheat, microwave individual servings until heated through. Or you can cover the pan and cook in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or so, depending on how much is left.
To freeze before cooking - fully assemble in a freezer safe container. Cover with foil or lid and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.
To freeze after cooking - slice into individual pieces (make sure they are fully cooled) and place in a freezer safe bag or container. Note that the tortillas will become pretty soft once thawed. Still tasty though.
More Casseroles to Try
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Beef Enchilada Casserole
Enchilada Sauce (see note)
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning blend
- 15 ounce no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
For the Filling
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 15 ounce no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen vegetable medley, thawed (see note)
- 15 corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Mexican Blend cheese, or more if you wish
- chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, fresh lime juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and set aside.
- Make the enchilada sauce. In a medium skillet over medium heat, whisk together oil, flour, and taco seasoning blend for about a minute. Gradually pour in the stock and tomato sauce, whisking constantly to combine. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer then cook for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Make the filling. While the sauce is simmering, heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add beef and onion and cook, breaking it up into crumbles. Add beans and vegetables. Reserve ½ cup of the enchilada sauce and add the rest to the beef mixture. Stir until well combined.
- Assemble. Spread ½ cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 5 tortillas (cut last one in half and place at the end of the pan), then spread ⅓ of the beef mixture. Repeat. Finish with the last layer of tortillas, remaining beef mixture, and top with cheese. Cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes, until the casserole is heated through. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy with toppings of choice!
- If using store-bought enchilada sauce, you will need 2 ½ cups
- I like to use frozen corn, peas, green beans medley for convenience but feel free to use whatever vegetables you wish, fresh or frozen
- You can make the enchilada sauce and/or the filling the day before
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months