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Beef Enchiladas with Green Sauce Recipe

A dish of beef enchiladas with homemade green enchilada sauce
Homemade Beef Enchiladas with Green Sauce

After a long week, Tex Mex is always my favorite comfort food, and these ground beef enchiladas with green sauce will liven up any home taco night and have the whole family cleaning their plates! I use our famous (and easy) green enchilada sauce on beef as well as chicken enchiladas, and this homemade beef enchilada filling is tender and fragrant, pleasing adults and kids alike!

Served with my easy crock-pit pinto beans, Mexican fried rice, or our mexi-corn salad, these enchiladas are a make-ahead dish that can be given to a family member or loved one for heating later, or savored at home for a special weeknight meal.

A glass dish full of ground beef enchilada filling.

How To Make Ground Beef Enchilada Filling:

I have found the best meat for beef enchiladas is 80/20 ground beef which provides just enough fat for a mild, creamy enchilada filling full of flavor. After browning well, we’ll add diced white onion and garlic which cooks down and makes the foundation of an authentic, Texas enchilada filling.

For flavor, I add Texas chili powder (such as Gebhardt’s or Mexene brand), onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. This spice blend gives the bold flavor of Tex Mex, without a taco meat seasoning package, which never tastes like the restaurants and comes out salty and overpowering.

A close up of enchiladas smothered in green tomatillo sauce.

To keep the filling from being dry and crumbly, I like to use just a small bit of tomato sauce which adds richness and holds the filling together nicely. If you don’t have tomato sauce just use a couple tablespoons of water with a squirt of ketchup–with the richness of the ground beef and bold spices you’ll never taste the ketchup and you’ll come out with a beefy filling, rich in flavor and easy to work with.

A corn tortilla frying in a cast iron skillet.

How to Prepare Corn Tortillas for Rolling Up into Enchiladas:

If you try and make enchiladas without preparing your corn tortillas first, you’ll quickly find that the tortillas break around the filling or become glued together while baking. There are several methods for preparing corn tortillas to roll into enchiladas, but I find the tried and true method remains my favorite.

In a small nonstick pan, pour in a little flavorless oil and place it over low-medium heat. Fry the tortillas 8-10 seconds on each side, and transfer to a plate. Repeat this method with all of the tortillas and keep them warm and covered before starting to fill and roll them. This method always delivers the best results without any tortillas breaking.

A stack of fried and softened corn tortillas on a paper towel.
A pile of freshly warmed and fried corn tortillas ready to be filled.

How Much Filling Should I Place Inside an Enchilada?

In a standard corn tortilla, 2-3 Tablespoons is perfect. This allows for easy handling of the cooked enchiladas and keeps the seams in place during cooking.

Some cooks like to place the beef inside and add a sprinkling of their favorite mexican cheese on top of the enchilada filling before rolling up. The melted cheese adds an ooey-gooey cheese factor and also acts as a kind of glue to hold the rolled tortillas in place.

A close up of filled corn tortillas with ground beef filling, prepped for sauce.
Rolled Corn Tortillas filled with our Beef Enchilada Filling

Cook the enchiladas at 350 degrees, smothered with homemade green enchilada sauce and topped with cheese. For an extra kick, pickled jalapenos and cilantro make a festive garnish.

Don’t forget to get the Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe here! I wrote a separate recipe with step-by-step pictures for ya!

If you would like to use canned green enchilada sauce, I recommend Las Palmas Green Enchilada Sauce available here, or Old El Paso Green Enchilada Sauce available here. They’re not quite as delicious as homemade but they’re great for busy people. 🙂

This green enchilada recipe is delicious with these recipes from the blog…

Ground beef enchiladas covered in green enchilada sauce, decorated with jalapenos and cilantro.

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Beef Enchiladas with Green Sauce Recipe
Yield: 8

Beef Enchiladas with Green Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes 20 seconds
Total Time: 55 minutes 20 seconds

These comforting, authentic ground beef enchiladas are smothered in green enchilada sauce and baked to cheesy tex mex goodness!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef, 80/20 blend
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 t. Texas chili powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 3 T. water
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce (4 oz. can)
  • 1 batch of Green Enchilada Sauce
  • 25-10 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 c. oil for heating the tortillas
  • 1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack or Quesadilla or Oaxaca cheese

Instructions

Prepare the Green Enchilada Sauce according to the instructions found here.

For the enchilada filling: Place the ground beef in a saute pan over medium-high heat and sprinkle with kosher salt. Sear the meat well, drain, and then add in the diced onion and garlic. Add the spices. Cook 2 minutes to soften the vegetables. Add in water and cook 5-10 minutes to a saucy consistency. The beef filling should be moist but not runny with water. Continue simmering if you need to evaporate excess water. Add the tomato sauce. Simmer 5 minutes or so and season to taste. Remove from the heat and cool.

In a saute pan, add a little oil and fry each corn tortilla for several seconds on both sides. Remove the tortilla to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with the remaining corn tortillas. This warms them for the filling and makes them rollable.

Place about 1/4 c. of green enchilada sauce in a large casserole dish. Lay a tortilla flat and fill with about 2-3 T. of filling. Roll up and place into the casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas until your casserole dish is full.

Pour the green enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and cover with cheese of your choice.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove and top with pickled jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, or your favorite toppings! Serve hot with beans and rice!

Did you make this recipe? Leave us a comment below and let us know how it went! Or share your photos in our Facebook Group, Texas Cooking and Recipes, with fellow cooking enthusiasts like you.

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Melinda Hofecker

Friday 25th of February 2022

PS it works well to heat the tortillas without oil, just pop them into a towel to keep warm, and they do well. We like things fairly spicy so I tripled the chili. Happy Eating!

Melinda Hofecker

Friday 25th of February 2022

Well I Guess you could say I made your recipe ;-). I had some leftover shredded beef that I needed to use, so I didn’t use hamburger. But the rest, I stayed true to the recipe, and it was delish! I didn’t see your request for a pic until after we’d consumed it.. but there will be other ops for pictures, as I WILL be making this again!

Sarah Penrod

Sunday 27th of February 2022

I'm so happy to hear that Melinda! :)

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