Try These Easy Beef Enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo or Mexican Night at Home

Mexican night at home is something happening almost weekly at our house. From Taco Tuesday to a big pot of barbacoa beef for some killer burrito bowls, I have so many ways of bringing our favorite cuisine into our very own dining room. No matter how many recipes I find to satisfy our Mexican cravings, these super easy enchiladas I've been making since my teenager was little remain a favorite—both for how delicious they are and because they require so little effort on my part!

I add a side of fluffy rice and some chips with salsa and we have a restaurant-quality meal whenever we want. Bonus: My easy beef enchilada recipe has a short ingredient list and can be on the table in under one hour.

Related: 40 Crock Pot Recipes For Cinco de Mayo

This short-cut version of a classic dish combines ground beef with a jarred picante sauce and cheese for a flavorful filling that comes together in almost no time. One reason why this recipe appealed to me all those years ago was the use of the picante sauce instead of a red enchilada sauce, which I'm not the biggest fan of. Plus, one jar of sauce is used both in the filling and poured over the top, so it is more bang for my buck. It also gives the dish extra flavor since it contains onions, garlic and peppers.

Related: 30 Best Recipes With Rotel

An enchilada is a corn tortilla rolled around a flavorful filling and covered in a savory sauce. The beef variety is typically made with seasoned ground beef, beans and cheese. Enchiladas can be topped with either red or green sauce and garnished with sour cream, avocado, olives, cilantro or salsa.

We prefer flour tortillas for this recipe, but corn would work as well. I always buy the soft taco size because they hold enough filling and fit perfectly in a 9x13 baking dish. While I don't fry the tortillas, they are warmed in the oven for easier rolling.

Traditionally the best way to avoid soggy enchiladas is in fact to fry the tortillas for a few minutes in very hot oil. This created a bit of a barrier so the tortillas don't soak up too much moisture and start to fall apart. That being said, I think this recipe works so well without the added step because they aren't overfilled and they aren't sitting in as much sauce as a normal enchilada recipe.

Most enchilada recipes call for them to be covered with foil while baked until heated through. Then they are uncovered, topped it shredded cheese and baked for a few more minutes. Once again, my express version is baked uncovered the whole time just enough to get the insides warm and the cheese browned on top.

  • Flour tortillas

  • Ground beef

  • Picante sauce

  • Shredded Mexican-style cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Green onions

  • Salt and pepper

Krista Marshal
Krista Marshal
  • Large skillet

  • Wooden spoon

  • 9x13 baking dish

  • Measuring cup

  • 1 Tbsp measuring spoon

  • Aluminum foil

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place them directly on the middle rack. Warm for 5-7 minutes. Remove and increase heat to 350°F. Brown beef in a large skillet until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Add 1/2 cup Picante sauce and 1 cup cheese to the beef. Mix well to combine.

Krista Marshal
Krista Marshal

2. Pour 1/2 cup picante sauce into the bottom of the 9x13 baking dish. Spread evenly. Place about 2 tablespoons of beef mixture in the center of each tortilla. Carefully roll and place it seam-side down in the baking dish.

Krista Marshal
Krista Marshal

3. Top enchiladas evenly with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Krista Marshal
Krista Marshal

4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and green onions if desired

Krista Marshal
Krista Marshal

These easy beef enchiladas are sure to become a tasty addition to your weekly meal rotation. Once you master the base recipe you can add filling and toppings your family loves to create your own Mexican night special. They are inexpensive, quick and always a winner!

  • Feel free to use corn tortillas in place of flour.

  • Soft taco-size tortillas work best.

  • 8 enchiladas fit perfectly in a 9x13 pan. If doubling the recipe use 2 pans.

  • Be sure to warm tortillas before for the best rolling results.

  • Don't overfill each enchilada. About 2 tablespoons of mixture work best.

  • Do not cover enchiladas for cooking.

  • Add refried or black beans for a thicker filling.

  • These would be delicious with shredded chicken or pork too.

  • Ground turkey or chicken could be swapped for beef.

  • If you like things spicier, add some diced jalapeños or green chilies to the filling. You could also use a hot Picante sauce.

  • Additional topping suggestions: Pickled or fresh jalapeños, avocado, cilantro, queso cheese sauce, chopped tomato, sliced black olives.

  • 8 flour tortillas, soft taco size

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 (16-oz) jar picante sauce , divided

  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

  • sour cream, for garnish

  • green onions, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

  2. Wrap tortillas in foil.

  3. Place on oven rack and warm for 5-7 minutes.

  4. Remove and increase heat to 350°F.

  5. In a large skillet, brown beef seasoned with salt and pepper, until no longer pink.

  6. Drain if necessary.

  7. Add ½ cup picante sauce and 1 cup cheese.

  8. Mix well and cook until combined, just a few minutes.

  9. Spread ½ cup picante sauce in bottom of 9x13 pan.

  10. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of beef mixture down center of each tortilla.

  11. Roll and place seam side down in pan.

  12. Top with remaining picante sauce and cheese.

  13. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until heated through and cheese melts.

  14. Top with sour cream and green onions, if desired.