Simple Enchiladas

by | Mar 2, 2022 | Main Dish, Recipe Box

These enchiladas are the perfect meal when your refrigerator is in need of a grocery run. While there are a few perishable items in the recipe; chances are you probably have them on hand. All of the pantry items are items that our family tries to keep on hand as staples. As soon as we use them, I buy them again to keep on the shelf, even if they aren’t on the meal plan. These are the ingredients needed for tacos, soup, hotdish, enchiladas, the list goes on and on. These simple enchiladas make the perfect meal for weeknights. You can prepare them the night before or earlier in the day then store in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. It is a great time saver on those busy weeknights. 

What you need: 

  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 package 8 inch flour tortillas
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 28 oz can Green Enchilada sauce (red will work too, we just prefer green)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese; divided (Mild cheddar or colby jack)
  • ½ cup dried minced onion (or fresh onion, chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • Non-stick cooking spray; we use olive oil


  • 1 tbsp. Chili powder
  • ½ tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper

When the beef is finished cooking, you can drain excess fat if you prefer. Return beef and onions to the pan. Stir in the seasoning mixture along with one cup of water. Stir until well combined. If you have a packet of taco seasoning, feel free to use that instead of my seasoning combination as it is a great shortcut! 

After the seasoning is well combined with the beef and water, add in the petite diced tomatoes and diced green chiles. Stir well. You will want to let the mixture simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes; or until most of the liquid has cooked down. 

While your beef mixture is simmering, go ahead and set up your workstation. I prefer to set items needed in the following order: tortilla shells, beef mixture, cheese, baking dish. Take the tortillas out of their bag for easy access and grate the cheese on a small cutting board. If you don’t grate your own cheese, grab this cheese grater and start! You will never go back. Be sure to spray your 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray so the enchiladas don’t stick to the bottom.

Open up the enchilada sauce and spread about 1/3 of it across the bottom of the 9×13 baking dish. Save the remainder of the enchilada sauce for topping before they go into the oven! 

Now that the liquid has cooked down, you are ready to assemble. This recipe makes 8-10 enchiladas. Use about 1/3 cup of mixture per enchilada and you will have just the right amount.. You can use a measuring cup, but once you get the hang of it you become good at eye-balling the amount. Once the beef mixture is on the tortilla, add in as much or as little cheese as you wish, then roll the enchilada. Place it in the baking dish seam down. If you have extra meat at the end you can either spoon it over the top of the enchiladas OR you can put it in the refrigerator for taco salad or nachos later on. 

If you are preparing these and plan to keep them in the refrigerator before cooking; stop here! Cover the enchiladas and place in the refrigerator. When you are ready to cook, start here and finish them up!

Now pour the green enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. You will want to use a rubber spatula to spread it around so it covers the entire surface. You might not use all of the sauce, that is okay. If they seem ‘saucy enough’ for you, go with that and discard or store the remainder of the enchilada sauce. 

Just before placing in the oven, top with the remaining cheese. Cover the pan with foil, be sure to tent the foil so it does not touch the cheese. Otherwise your cheese will stick to it as it melts. Cheese does not belong on the foil, it belongs on your enchiladas. 

Bake covered at 400* for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15-20 minutes longer. Keep a close eye on it so your cheese doesn’t burn. When the edges are bubbling and the cheese is browning along the sides, remove enchiladas from the oven.

Serve with Mexican rice and corn for a flavorful plate! I encourage you to get creative with the things you have available to you in your pantry or freezer! 



Simple Enchiladas


  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 package 8 inch tortillas
  • 14.5 oz can Petite diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz can Diced green chiles
  • 28 oz can Green enchilada sauce
  • 1.5 cups Shredded cheddar cheese Mild cheddar or colby jack
  • 1/2 cup Dried minced onion or 1/2 small fresh onion
  • 1 cup water
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper


  • Brown ground beef and minced onion in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add seasoning mixture and water to the cooked beef. Then mix in the petite diced tomato and diced green chiles. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until liquid cooks down.
  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan.
  • Assemble the enchiladas when the liquid has cooked down. Scoop about 1/3 cup of beef mixture to the middle of the tortilla, followed by cheese. Then, roll the enchilada up and place it seam down in the 9×13 pan. Continue until you have used up all of the beef mixture or you run out of room in your dish.
  • Pour the green enchilada sauce over all of the enchiladas. You will want to use a rubber spatula to spread it around so it covers the entire surface. Top with the remaining cheese; should be about ½ cup.
  • Cover your pan with foil. Tent the foil so it does not touch the cheese. Bake covered at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake for 15-20 more minutes or until bubbly and cheese begins to brown around the edges.


To make ahead of time; eliminate the enchilada sauce at the bottom of the baking dish and cover the prepared enchiladas with foil or lid and store in the refrigerator. When ready to cook; pour the sauce over the enchiladas and bake as stated above. 
Can substitute 1 package taco seasoning in place of custom seasoning.


Hi, I’m Emily! Minnesota Farmer, Farm Wife, and Mother.

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