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August 23, 2023

Enchilada Casserole

Layers of corn tortilla, cheese, and a tasty bean and beef filling get the royal homemade enchilada sauce treatment in this easy enchilada casserole recipe.

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enchilada casserole in a baking dish made with ground beef, black beans, corn, peppers, onions, chiles and cheese
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Easy Enchilada Casserole

Instead of Taco Tuesday, we’re going for Enchilada Everyday. Once you bake up this rich and cheesy enchilada casserole you’ll want to eat it every day, too. Enchilada casserole is an opportunity to lay out all of the toppings and sides. We recommend serving Pickled Onions, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Restaurant Style Salsa, and Mexican Rice because this is really a maximalist meal.

ingredients for enchilada casserole in prep bowls: ground beef, spices, onion, pepper, chiles, black beans and corn

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Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Homemade Enchilada Casserole

  • Enchilada sauce – We call for our Homemade Enchilada Sauce, but store-bought will work, see note below on amount.

  • Onion, bell pepper, garlic, green chiles – This is what gives the enchilada filling flavor.

  • Ground beef – We call for ground beef, but vegetarian and chicken versions are tasty too!

  • Canned black beans – No need to cook beans from scratch unless you have Instant Pot Black Beans you need to use!

  • Canned or frozen corn – Either works perfectly!

  • Cheese – This is the foundation upon which this great layered enchilada casserole is built. What enchilada dreams are made of. Don’t hold back.

oil, flour, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste in a pot to make enchilada sauce
chicken broth being added to a pot with oil, flour, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano & tomato paste
enchilada sauce in a pot spiced with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano & tomato paste
enchilada sauce being poured over ground beef, onion, peppers, chiles, corn and black beans in a skillet

How to Make The Best Enchilada Casserole

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.

  • Brown the ground beef.

  • Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

  • Stir in the green chiles, beans, corn and enchilada sauce and cook until warmed through.

  • Build the casserole layers. Dip half of the tortillas in the enchilada sauce, then arrange in a single layer on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Top with half of the beef filling and half of the pepper jack and cheddar. Dip the remaining tortillas in the remaining enchilada sauce and arrange in a single layer on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining filling and remaining cheese.

  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and uncover. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

corn tortillas being dipped in homemade enchilada sauce
corn tortillas dipped in homemade enchilada sauce laid in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish
corn tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce topped with ground beef enchilada mixture in a casserole dish
enchilada casserole topped with shredded cheese in a casserole dish read to be baked

How to Store Beef Enchilada Casserole + Tips + Variations

  • Make ahead enchilada casserole: Before baking, cover and seal in a freezer safe casserole for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, cover with foil and bake it at 350 for 90 minutes, or until warmed through. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

  • Make a vegetarian enchilada casserole! Just double down on your veggies or add mushrooms in their place. Or substituting Shredded Chicken for ground beef is also a great option.

  • If you’re looking to keep it light, only use half the amount of cheese for the top layer.

  • Homemade is always best, but if you're short on time, store bought enchilada sauce is great in a pinch! Just use two cups. Add your personal touch to this recipe with homemade Enchilada Sauce and Homemade Corn Tortillas.

enchilada casserole in a baking dish made with ground beef, black beans, corn, peppers, onions, chiles and cheese
enchilada casserole in a baking dish made with ground beef, black beans, corn, peppers, onions, chiles and cheese

A Few Great Enchilada Recipes From The Modern Proper

homemade enchilada casserole in a baking dish topped with pico de gallo and pickled onions
enchilada casserole served on top of mexican rice topped with pico de gallo and pickled onions on a plate with a fork

Enchilada Casseroles Make Everyone Happy (Trust Us On This One)

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Enchilada Casserole

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr
  • Calories: 499

Ingredients

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 pound 90/10 ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (7-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups corn (canned or frozen)
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1½ cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • Pico de gallo, for serving (optional)
  • Pickled onions, for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Make the enchilada sauce. Place the oil and flour in a medium saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat until smooth, about 6 minutes. Once bubbling, whisk in the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste. Once combined, slowly whisk in chicken stock and salt and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

  3. Meanwhile, make the casserole. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in the green chiles, beans, corn and ½ of the enchilada sauce and cook until warmed through, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Dip half of the tortillas in the enchilada sauce, then arrange in a single layer on the bottom of a 9-x13-inch baking dish. Top with half of the beef filling and half of the pepper jack and cheddar. Dip the remaining tortillas in the remaining enchilada sauce and arrange in a single layer on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining filling and remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and uncover. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

  5. Serve with pico de gallo, pickled onions, and sour cream if using.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories499
  • Protein29 g
  • Carbohydrates42 g
  • Total Fat25 g
  • Dietary Fiber7 g
  • Cholesterol76 mg
  • sodium637 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Enchilada Casserole

Questions & Reviews

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  • Meg Swearingen

    If you don’t care for pepperJack cheese what can you substitute it for?

    Colby Jack, cheddar or Mexican Blend will all work great. Use what you like!

  • Kathy Wiser

    Can this be frozen unbaked?

    Yep! Hope you enjoy Kathy! Just let it thaw before baking.

  • Christina

    I have made this once and it instantly became a favorite. I would have never thought of the pickled onions but they really add something great to the flavor!

    I’d like to make this ahead for a friend as a freezer meal for when she has her baby but I wondered if you had any recommendations for making it ahead of time? Is it ok to refrigerate or freeze at the point just before baking? Thanks!

    Yes you can do either refrigerate or freeze then bake when ready. We haven't baked it straight from frozen so we recommend letting it thaw before baking then following the baking instructions.

  • Betty

    What’s the best way to make this vegetarian? Add an additional type of bean? I do not like tofu or any fake meat. Thanks!

    Sure, you could try adding more black beans, in place of it or add some cooked zucchini and squash instead of the meat. We also have a Vegetarian Enchilada Skillet recipe on our site if you want to take a look at the one, just as simple and delicious! Hope you enjoy Betty.

  • Gretchen

    Very good - I haven’t made enchilada sauce before, so grateful to have that in my back pocket. The whole fam gave it their approval.

    YAY! So glad you all loved it Gretchen!

  • Christina

    Made this for a dinner party with friends and EVERYONE asked for the recipe. I’ve adjusted to use olive oil and a little less cheese like some others have said without sacrificing the flavor and loved it! I also thought it was so cool to make the enchilada sauce from scratch!

    Thanks Christina, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Rosalva Dean

    I love the simplicity of this dish. I sometimes substitute leftover chicken, and it still comes out wonderful. It’s a family favorite.

    Thanks Rosalva, we are so happy that you love it!

  • Shannon Bennett

    This was a great recipe! I used olive oil but otherwise followed recipe exactly and it was delicious. Whole family likes it.

    Thank you Shannon! We are so happy your whole family loves it! It's honestly the best to find those recipes!

  • Natalie Clements

    This was SO good and the ultimate comfort food. Definitely make the homemade enchilada sauce! I ended up using ground turkey instead of beef and about 1/8th the cheese and it was still decedent and a hit with everyone! Appreciated it wasn’t too spicy and still very flavorful

    Thanks Natalie, we are so happy that you loved it!