So good and seriously easy to throw together. This Beef Enchilada Casserole is the best! This is packed with all our favorite Mexican flavors of creamy refried beans, layered beef, corn tortillas, and lots of melted cheese in a mouthwatering enchilada sauce.
I am obsessed with Tex-Mex recipes. I especially love the beef enchilada recipe. And making it into a casserole is huge! Casseroles are easy to make, they are packed with flavor and make an amazing dinner option. No doubt why this homemade beef enchilada casserole has quickly become my family’s favorite!
Taste all the wonderful authentic Mexican spices and make things simple by simply layering all the ingredients in a casserole dish instead of rolling them in flour tortillas. The layers of soft corn tortillas, creamy refried beans, ground beef, corn, and black beans are covered in shredded cheese, then baked in a scrumptious red enchilada sauce.
Why I Love This Recipe
- The ingredients you need to make this recipe are readily available, most of which you can find in your pantry.
- You can assemble the casserole in advance and bake it later.
- This beef enchilada casserole also freezes beautifully.
What You Need To Make This Beef Enchilada Casserole
Corn Tortillas: For best results, use small (8-inch) soft corn shells. Although, flour tortillas can also be used.
Refried beans: This serves as the base of the casserole. Simply spread them out onto each corn tortilla.
Ground beef: This gives the casserole loads of flavor and protein. If desired, you can substitute it with ground turkey or ground chicken.
Enchilada sauce: You can use canned (I love Old El Paso) or homemade.
Black beans: Adds texture to the casserole. Black beans are high in fiber and protein.
Diced tomatoes: Goes well with the red enchilada sauce.
Corn: Adds a little freshness and sweetness to the casserole.
Shredded cheese: For that bubbly goodness, I use a Mexican cheese blend in the layers. I also place this on top of the casserole.
Garlic powder: For a milder taste, I use the powder form instead of fresh garlic.
How To Make Beef Enchilada Casserole
Step 1: Start by browning the ground beef.
Step 2: Into a baking dish, pour half of the (canned or homemade) enchilada sauce.
Step 3: To make the filling, place the other half of the enchilada sauce with corn, black beans, ground beef, a can of undrained tomatoes, salt, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Mix using a large spoon.
Step 4: Onto 6 soft corn tortillas, evenly spread half of a can of refried beans.
Step 5: On top of the enchilada sauce, place the tortillas. They can overlap if needed.
Step 6: On top of the corn tortillas, evenly layer the enchilada beef mixture, then spread the refried beans on top and sprinkle with 1 c. of shredded cheese. Repeat the layers 6 more times (soft corn tortillas, refried beans, and beef mixture).
Step 7: Top it all off with the remaining shredded cheese.
Step 8: Bake the casserole in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. Before slicing it into pieces, allow the casserole to cool first for 5 to 10 minutes.
It’s time to enjoy the beef enchilada casserole! Serve it with some fresh diced tomatoes, green chiles, fresh cilantro, and avocado.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Or transfer the casserole to a large Tupperware and refrigerate.
- To freeze uncooked: To a freezer-safe container, place the ground beef along with the other layers and top with cheese. Tent it using an aluminum foil or lid and freeze.
- To freeze the baked casserole: Freeze the individual pieces in freeze-safe containers, covered.
- To reheat: Defrost the frozen casserole in the fridge overnight. Then, bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees F until the middle is hot and the edges are bubbly.
- If reheating individual pieces, place them in the microwave or oven.
Can flour tortillas be used in place of corn tortillas?
Absolutely! Use 8-inch flour tortillas.
Can I use green enchilada sauce instead of red enchilada sauce?
Yes! You can either use both mild or hot green enchilada sauce.
Can I substitute black beans with pinto beans?
Beef Enchilada Casserole
- 1 can refried beans 16 oz.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 package of frozen whole kernel corn or canned corn, drained 12 oz.
- 12 soft corn tortillas street taco size/individual taco size
- 1 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce or make homemade enchilada sauce
- 1 15 oz. can of black beans drained and rinsed
- 3 c. shredded cheese I recommend the Mexican blend
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 14.5 oz. petite diced tomatoes undrained
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp cumin ground
- ½ tsp oregano dried
- 2.5 tsp chili powder
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp basil dried
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp parsley dried
- 1.5 c. water
- ¼ c. salsa
- 6 oz. tomato sauce
Beef Enchilada Casserole:
- Set the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brown the ground beef.
- At the bottom of the dish, spread half of the enchilada sauce.
- Cook the corn in the microwave according to the package directions.
- On 6 corn tortillas, spread half of the refried beans. Over the sauce, arrange the tortillas, bean-side up, overlapping them to fit.
- Combine the remaining enchilada sauce, corn, black beans, spices, salt, ground beef, and undrained tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined.
- Spread half of the meat enchilada mixture over the corn tortillas. On another 6 corn tortillas, spread the remaining refried beans and layer them in the 13 x 9-inch baking dish. On top, layer the enchilada mixture and the rest of the shredded cheese.
- Bake in 350 degrees oven for 35 minutes until the casserole is hot in the center and bubbly around the edges. Remove from the oven when done and allow the casserole to sit for 5 minutes before slicing it into 8 to 12 pieces.
- Before serving, top with your preferred toppings like shredded lettuce, sour cream, avocado, etc.
Gluten-Free Red Enchilada Sauce:
- In hot oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oregano, chili powder, basil, salt, pepper, cumin, parsley, tomato sauce, salsa, and crushed black pepper. Mix well, then whisk in the water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, adjust the heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more.