Beef enchiladas with an extra tasty, saucy filling, smothered with a homemade enchilada sauce. My time-saving trick is to use one base enchilada spice mix for both the sauce and filling!
I love that there are so many variations of beef enchiladas in this big, wide world. Simple ones, filled with a plain cooked beef filling then topped with enchilada sauce and (lots of) cheese. Fancy ones with the addition of chilis, beans, corn, and even olives, sometimes even bacon. Hidden vegetable versions (don't ever try that on me; I can pick them a mile away). Shredded beef enchiladas, short rib ones.
And today I'm sharing mine.
Regular readers won't be surprised when I say that this is a little different to most recipes you come across. The main difference being the beef filling which I like to make a bit saucy with the addition of refried beans (seriously, it's so good!!!!) and extra flavorful by adding spices and a splash of homemade enchilada sauce.
I also like to add black beans to fill it out a bit and add a different texture to the filling. Diced vegetables are great to add too — especially red peppers / capsicum.
I make my enchiladas with a homemade enchilada sauce. Hand on heart, I have purchased bottled enchilada sauce once in my life — and that was only to taste test it. I am not a snob (remember I've professed a secret love of KFC Popcorn Chicken!), but buying enchilada sauce is something that never crosses my mind because it is just so easy and fast to make at home and the flavor is just countless times better than what you get in a jar!
Plus, here's my little time-saving tip: one spice mix to flavor both the beef filling AND the enchilada sauce. Paprika, cumin, oregano, onion, and/or garlic powder and an optional hit of extra heat from cayenne pepper.
How many of those spices have you already got in your pantry? All of them?
Ahhh. These beef enchiladas. I really hate using the words "these are the BEST!" for any of my recipes because we all have different palettes, and what I may think is the "best" might not be to someone else's taste.
But truly, to me, to this day, even after having consumed more than my fair share of enchiladas at Tex-Mex restaurants across America, I still think these are better. Way, WAY better than the mainstream chain restaurants!
Hope you had a great weekend! — Nagi x
These beef enchiladas are made extra tasty with a saucy filling made with beef, refried beans, and a homemade enchilada spice mix. This spice mix also forms the basis of a super tasty homemade enchilada sauce.
- You can just use all onion or garlic powder if you only have one of them. Fresh garlic is not the same; however, as a last-resort substitution, you can use 3 garlic cloves, minced, instead of onion & garlic powder. Sauté in the heated oil before proceeding with the recipe.
- Tomato passata is a puree of plain tomatoes that is not seasoned. Unlike crushed tomatoes, it is thick and smooth, like a thick tomato soup. In Australia it can be purchased in a bottle in the pasta aisle of major supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths). You can make your own simply by using a blender to puree canned tomatoes.
America: If you can't find passata in the US (it is available at Walmart, Costco), a great substitute is US canned tomato puree. The next best alternative is tomato sauce. I used Hunts brand (yes, I'm such a food nerd I brought back cans to do recipe testing with!).
- Black beans are commonly used in Mexican & Tex-Mex cooking. It's becoming more widely available in Australia. It can be purchased in the Mexican or canned beans aisle in most major supermarkets, as well as Harris Farms and Thomas Dux. You can substitute with red kidney beans or another type of beans if you prefer.
- The refried beans should loosen as it heats and stir through easily. If not, add a splash of water.
- To bake covered, I just pop a baking tray on top on the baking dish. Otherwise, cover with foil.
- Spice Mix
1 teaspoon each onion & garlic powder (Note 1)
1 tablespoon each cumin powder, paprika and dried oregano
1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Enchilada Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups chicken stock/broth
1 1/2 cups tomato passata (Note 2)
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Beef Filling
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely chopped (~1 cup)
1 lb / 500g ground beef (mince)
1 can (14oz/400g) refried beans (I use Old El Paso)
1 can (14oz/400g) black beans, drained (Note 3)
8 tortillas (or burrito wraps)
1 cup+ grated melting cheese (I like Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese)
Cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
- Mix together spice mix ingredients. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mix to combine into a paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, whisk straight away then it will turn into a thick smooth paste quite quickly.
- Add remaining chicken broth, passata, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of SPICE MIX. Whisk, and increase heat slightly to medium high. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking occasionally at the beginning then constantly towards the end, until the sauce thickens to the consistency of thick syrup. Remove from stove.
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add beef and cook for 2 minutes, breaking it up as you go. Add remaining Spice Mix. Cook for a further 2 minutes or until completely brown.
- Add refried beans, black beans, about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix (Note 4) and cook for 2 minutes then remove from stove.
- Smear a bit of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
- Place filling on the lower third of a tortilla. Roll up then place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas.
- Pour sauce over the enchiladas, top with cheese, bake for 10 minutes covered (Note 5) then 10 minutes uncovered. Serve hot!
- Main Dishes, Beef
- 4 servings
- Total Time
- 34 minutes, 59 seconds