This amazing dish, inspired by Hispanic cooking, brings the amazing flavors of enchiladas in an easy-to-make layered casserole. It is simple to put together, full of nutritious veggies and beans enhanced by herbs, spices, and cheese. Everyone will love it!
Making Beef Enchilada Bake
The overall process is so simple. First up, cook your ground beef, then season it and add the beans. You are building flavor in the food right from the beginning!
Saute your veggies in the same pan to take advantage of any flavorful bits left from the ground beef. It’s all about layering those flavors.
Once all the elements are cooked, you begin the layering. Tortillas – Veg – Tortillas – Beef and Beans – Cheese – Tortillas – Veg – Tortillas – Cheese. Enchilada Sauce is poured in at the bottom and throughout to flavor everything and keep the tortillas soft.
Bake until everything is warmed through, then enjoy with additional cheese, avocado, and cilantro. It’s so, so good!
Some Ingredient Notes
- Enchilada Sauce – We are using canned enchilada sauce here for ease of preparation and layering. But you can also make your own! It’s so easy. Here’s an enchilada sauce recipe from Cookie + Kate that we have used and love.
- Corn Tortillas – Flour tortillas are delicious, but not great in this recipe. You really need the corn tortillas here. We purchased these, too, but just like with the sauce, you can make your own if you like. The store-bought ones do hold up a bit better in this dish, but homemade are delicious and fun to make. This recipe and technique from Rick Bayless is fantastic!
- Chili Powder – Chili powders vary in heat and flavor, so try different brands to see what you like best. The very best we’ve tasted came from grinding a variety of dried chilies ourselves in a spice grinder. It’s a great way to customize your own blend. Our favorite store-bought version is this one from Penzey’s.
Serving Beef Enchilada Bake
This Beef Enchilada Bake doesn’t require anything else to make it a well-rounded meal, but we like to serve some tortilla chips on the side.
And, of course, add some dessert! Here are some can’t-go-wrong options:
- Chocolate Mug Cake
- Soft Cinnamon Almond Cookies
- Strawberry Marshmallow Cookies
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie
Beef Enchilada Bake
For the Bake:
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil divided
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 15-ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup diced yellow onion about 1 small onion
- 1 cup diced zucchini about 1 medium zucchini
- 1/2 cup diced red pepper about 1 small pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced jalapeno about 1 large jalapeno
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes drained
- 12-15 corn tortillas street taco size
- 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 28-ounce can red enchilada sauce
- Diced Avocado
- Chopped Cilantro
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil.
- Cook the Beef: Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When the beef is no longer pink, drain any grease, then add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook for another minute before adding the beans. Place the mixture in a large bowl and set aside.
- Cook the Veggies: Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and add the onion, zucchini, red pepper, and jalapeno. Sprinkle with a little salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the drained tomatoes and remove from the heat.
- Layer 1: Spread a light layer of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of your dish. Place a single layer of tortillas over the sauce, being careful not to overlap. Break apart another tortilla to fill in the spaces and complete the tortilla layer. Top with half of the vegetable mixture, then with about 1 cup of the enchilada sauce.
- Layer 2: Add another single layer of the tortillas, filling in the gaps as before. Add all of the meat and bean mixture in an even layer, then top with 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
- Layer 3: Next, add another layer of tortillas, the rest of the vegetable mixture, and another cup of enchilada sauce. Top with one more layer of tortillas, then pour the remaining sauce over the top so that all of the tortillas are coated.
- Bake: Bake in your preheated oven for 25 minutes, then top with the remaining cup of shredded cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until it is bubbly and the cheese is fully melted and browning at the edges.
- Serve: Serve immediately topped with diced avocado and chopped cilantro.