Beef 'n' Rice Enchiladas Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Beef and Rice Enchiladas

Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
This recipe for easy beef and rice enchiladas is perfect for meal planning or a quick-and-easy weeknight dinner.

Updated: Jan. 02, 2024

Looking for something simple that you can make with a handful of pantry staples? This recipe for easy beef and rice enchiladas is it. The beefy tortilla bundles are packed full of flavor and perfect for an easy dinner to feed the whole family. Here’s our easy, beefy enchilada recipe.

Ingredients for Beef and Rice Enchiladas

  • Spanish rice mix: While you could certainly make all of the ingredients from scratch, we use packaged Spanish rice as a shortcut.
  • Enchilada sauce: This recipe was written and tested with store-bought enchilada sauce, but if you have time, homemade enchilada sauce would be just as delicious.
  • Diced tomatoes: These add extra flavor and texture to the beef and rice filling.
  • Ground beef: We recommend 90/10 ground beef. It’s ground from lean sirloin, so it won’t release as much fat and grease as it cooks.
  • Tortillas: Corn tortillas are the traditional standard for enchiladas, but we find them difficult to work with. If they’re not treated correctly, they can fall apart or become soggy in the sauce. We recommend using the more pliable, easier-to-work-with flour tortillas. (Unless you’re gluten-free, of course!)
  • Cheddar cheese: A layer of shredded cheddar makes these beef enchiladas irresistible. Find out which shredded cheddar brand our Test Kitchen likes best.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the filling

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Start by preparing the rice mix according to the package directions.

While the rice is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the beef until it’s no longer pink. Drain any excess grease, then add 1-1/4 cups of the enchilada sauce and the cooked rice mix.

Step 2: Fill and top the tortillas

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Place tortillas on a clean work surface. Spoon about 2/3 cup of the beef mixture down the center of each tortilla. Add 1 tablespoon cheese to each, and roll the tortillas closed. Tuck the filled tortillas, seam side down, into a 13×9-inch baking dish. The enchiladas will be nestled right next to each other, and that’s OK.

Editor’s Tip: To keep the enchiladas from sticking to the baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom before you add the filled tortillas. The sauce will act as cooking spray.

Step 3: Top and bake

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When all the tortillas are filled and placed in the dish, pour just enough of the remaining sauce to coat the enchiladas without spilling over on the sides. This will keep them from getting soggy. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

Bake the enchiladas, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Let the enchiladas cool for at least five minutes before dishing them out with a spatula.

Beef and Rice Enchilada Recipe Variations

  • Green enchiladas: Make easy green enchiladas, or enchiladas verdes, by using ground chicken or pork instead of ground beef and switching from red to green enchilada sauce. You can also use chopped canned tomatillos instead of diced tomatoes.
  • Turkey enchiladas: Replace the ground beef in this recipe with lean ground turkey, or experiment with a mix of ground meats to switch up the flavors (or use up what’s in the freezer!).
  • Lower-carb enchiladas: To reduce the carbohydrates, swap in cauliflower rice and keto tortillas.

How to Freeze Beef and Rice Enchiladas

The best way to store leftover enchiladas is in the freezer. When the enchiladas are completely cooled, scoop the enchiladas into a freezer-safe food storage container. Cover the container with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. To freeze individual enchiladas, freeze the sauce on the side and wrap each enchilada tightly in plastic wrap before wrapping them in aluminum foil. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the enchiladas in the refrigerator overnight and bake them in the oven.

How to Reheat Beef and Rice Enchiladas

Leftover enchiladas taste great, although they can get a little soggy as the tortillas continue to soak in moisture in the refrigerator. It’s best to reheat them in a 350° oven or a toaster oven to help crisp up the edges. A microwave will certainly work in a pinch, but the reheated enchiladas will definitely be very soft.

What to Serve with Enchiladas

Since these enchiladas are stuffed with beef and rice, they’re perfectly filling as-is. You really don’t need any side dishes, but we usually make one anyway.

Try whipping up some vegetable side dishes, like this one-pan Mexican Street Corn Bake. We also love serving cheesy enchiladas with light salads, like a No-Fuss Avocado Onion Salad. If you find yourself missing the beans in this dish, you can heat up a can of black beans or try making your own with a batch of our Cantina Pinto Beans.

Beef and Rice Enchilada Tips

How do I prevent tortillas from getting soggy?

The best way to keep your enchiladas from becoming soggy is to avoid coating tortillas with too much sauce. We like to sauce our enchiladas by coating the bottom of the casserole dish with a layer of enchilada sauce and putting the sauce inside the rolled tortillas. To finish, we pour just enough sauce just over the top of the enchiladas to coat the tortillas.

How do I substitute corn tortillas in this recipe?

It’s important to fry the tortillas before filling them. Heat an inch of fryer oil in a large skillet. When it’s hot enough to bubble, add one tortilla at a time. Cook them for 10 seconds on each side before transferring them to a paper towel to drain and cool. The oil will protect the delicate corn from absorbing too much sauce. When they’re all heated, fill and roll as normal.

What garnishes go with enchiladas?

You can’t go wrong with sour cream, avocado, chopped green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, pickled jalapenos, salsa or sliced black olives.

How do I make the best enchilada sauce?

Store-bought sauce makes it easy to put dinner on the table in a flash, but homemade enchilada sauce is surprisingly easy to make. We like to whip up a batch on the weekend and store it in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.

Red enchilada sauce starts with rehydrating dried chilies. Place four stemmed and seeded guajillo chilies in a saucepan with two cups of chicken stock. Water will also work, but chicken stock is more flavorful. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove the pot from the heat. Cover the pot and let it sit for 15 minutes to let the chilies soften. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside.

Then, pull out the blender. Add the softened chilies, a couple of cloves of peeled garlic, a 28-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and a pinch of ground cumin and kosher salt. Puree the mixture until it’s really smooth, adding some of the soaking liquid if you need to get things going.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan and cook it over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until it’s as thick as tomato paste. Then, add the strained soaking liquid and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. If it needs it, add a pinch of sugar at the end to amp up the sweetness.

Watch how to Make Beef ‘n’ Rice Enchiladas

Beef and Rice Enchiladas

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 10 enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (6.8 ounces) Spanish rice and pasta mix
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) enchilada sauce, divided
  • 10 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • 1-2/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Optional: Chopped fresh cilantro and sour cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare rice mix according to package directions using butter, water and diced tomatoes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; crumble meat; drain. Stir in Spanish rice and 1-1/4 cups enchilada sauce.
  2. Spoon about 2/3 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese; roll up.
  3. Place in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake, uncovered until the cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes. If desired, serve with cilantro and sour cream.

Nutrition Facts

1 enchilada: 415 calories, 17g fat (8g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 1141mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 20g protein.

With a toddler in the house, I look for foods that are a snap to make. Loaded with beef, cheese and a flavorful rice mix, these enchiladas come together without a fuss. But they’re so good that guests think I spent hours in the kitchen. —Jennifer Smith, Colona, Illinois