Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas

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Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas are a beloved dish in South Texas, where the fusion of Mexican and American cuisines creates a unique culinary experience. This flavorful delight consists of tortillas filled with seasoned ground beef, covered in a zesty and spicy sauce, and topped with a generous amount of melted cheese. If you’re a fan of Tex-Mex cuisine or simply love the combination of bold flavors, then this recipe is perfect for you. In this post, we will explore the meaning of beef enchiladas, the significance of the term “enchilada” in Spanish, the choice of tortillas, and a step-by-step guide to making these mouthwatering Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas.

What is the meaning of beef enchiladas?

Beef enchiladas are a type of food that originated in Mexico. They consist of a tortilla filled with meat, traditionally beef, and covered with a spicy sauce. The combination of tender beef, flavorful spices, and the tangy sauce makes this dish a true delight for the taste buds.

What does “enchilada” mean in Spanish?

The term “enchilada” comes from Mexican Spanish and is the past participle of the verb “enchilar,” which means “to season with chili.” Traditional enchilada sauce is tomato-based and heavily seasoned with chili, giving it its characteristic spiciness and rich flavor.

Are enchiladas made with corn or flour tortillas?

While some recipes use flour tortillas, corn tortillas are the traditional choice for enchiladas. Corn tortillas have a distinct flavor that plays a crucial part in the enchilada experience. Their slightly sweet and earthy taste complements the bold flavors of the filling and sauce, creating a harmonious combination of textures and flavors.

How to Roll Enchiladas?

Rolling enchiladas is a simple process that requires a bit of finesse. Follow these steps to achieve perfectly rolled enchiladas:

1. Place a warmed corn tortilla on a flat work surface.
2. Add approximately 2 heaping tablespoons of filling to the center of the tortilla.
3. Roll one side of the tortilla over the filling and tuck the flap under the filling, tightly rolling it over at the same time.
4. Place the rolled enchilada seam-side down in a casserole dish.
5. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas and filling until the dish is full.

How to Make Beef Enchilada Gravy?

The beef enchilada gravy is an essential component of this dish, providing a savory and rich flavor that enhances the overall taste. Follow these steps to make the beef enchilada gravy:

1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add finely diced onions and sauté until softened.
2. Add ground beef along with Tex-Mex seasoning or taco seasoning and cook until the beef is no longer pink and fully cooked. Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and set aside.
3. Return the sauté pan to the stovetop over medium heat. Add butter and allow it to melt. Sprinkle flour over the melted butter and whisk to form a roux. Cook the roux for 2-3 minutes.
4. Gradually add beef broth, whisking thoroughly after each addition until all of the broth has been incorporated.
5. Season the gravy with salt, cumin, chili powder, and pepper. Cook for an additional 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens.

Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas for beef enchiladas?

While some recipes use flour tortillas, corn tortillas are the traditional choice for beef enchiladas. The unique flavor and texture of corn tortillas add an authentic touch to this dish.

Can I make the beef enchilada gravy ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the beef enchilada gravy ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it before using it in the recipe.

What can I serve with Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas?

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas pair well with Mexican rice, refried beans, guacamole, and salsa. You can also serve them with a side salad or creamy coleslaw for a refreshing contrast.

Can I freeze leftover beef enchiladas?

Yes, you can freeze leftover beef enchiladas. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in a freezer-safe container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then bake them in the oven until heated through.

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas Recipe:

Now that we’ve explored the meaning and significance of beef enchiladas, let’s dive into the recipe for making these delicious Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas.

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons TAK’s Tex-Mex Blend or a packet of store-bought taco seasoning if desired
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons All-Purpose flour
  • 4 cups unsalted beef broth*
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 16-20 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese freshly grated
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese freshly grated


  • Preheat oven to 350° and have ready a 9×13” greased casserole dish.
  • Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5-8 minutes until softened. Add ground beef along with TAK’s Tex-Mex Blend, and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes, or until no more pink shows and completely cooked through. Remove from the heat and transfer the meat mixture to a bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Return sauté pan to stovetop over medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk to form a roux. Allow cooking for 2-3 minutes. Begin to add beef broth a splash at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition until all of the broth has been incorporated. Season with salt, cumin, chili powder, and pepper. Cook for an additional 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing to thicken.
  • Add just enough sauce to the casserole dish to thinly coat the bottom.
  • Add a ¼ cup of each Monterrey Jack and Cheddar to the beef mixture and stir to evenly distribute.
  • Dampen two paper towels and wrap half of the tortillas in the towels. Repeat additional paper towels and the remaining tortillas. Heat in a microwave for thirty seconds to 1 minute, until warmed and pliable.
  • One at a time, add 2 tbsp of beef filling to a tortilla and roll tightly. Place seam-side down in the dish. Continue to roll enchiladas, placing them side-by-side until you can no longer fit any more in the dish.
  • Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake, covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Allow to cool, serve and enjoy


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