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A Fiesta in Every Bite: Classic Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

Calling all Tex-Mex lovers! These classic Beef and Cheese Enchiladas are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, bursting with flavor and perfect for feeding a hungry family or gathering.


  • The Build-Your-Own Adventure Base:

    • Corn tortillas - The number will depend on how many enchiladas you want to make. This recipe yields enough sauce for 3-4 dozen enchiladas, so adjust the tortillas accordingly.
    • Shredded cheddar cheese - A cheesy staple, use about 2 cups per dozen enchiladas for a delicious cheese pull.
  • The Flavorful Enchilada Sauce:

    • The Sauteing Symphony:

      • 2 tablespoons olive oil - Provides a base for sauteing the vegetables.
      • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced - Adds a pungent and aromatic flavor to the sauce.
      • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced - Diced onion adds sweetness and depth of flavor.
    • The Spice Blend:

      • 1 teaspoon oregano - Oregano adds a warm, earthy note to the sauce. Feel free to use Mexican oregano for a more traditional flavor, or regular oregano will work just fine.
      • 3 tablespoons chili powder - Chili powder is the backbone of the enchilada sauce, providing a smoky and slightly spicy flavor.
      • ½ teaspoon dried basil - A touch of basil adds a subtle herbal note.
      • 2 teaspoons cumin - Cumin adds a warm, earthy complexity to the sauce.
      • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper (optional) - Chipotle chili pepper adds a smoky and spicy kick. Adjust the amount to your desired spice level.
    • The Finishing Touches:

      • 2-3 teaspoons salt - Salt enhances all the other flavors in the sauce.
      • 1 teaspoon black pepper - Black pepper adds a touch of heat.
      • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce - Tomato sauce forms the base of the enchilada sauce and adds a touch of acidity.
      • 4-5 cups water, divided - Water helps thin the sauce to the desired consistency.
  • The Filling Versatility:

    • Meat of your choice - This recipe is incredibly versatile! You can use ground beef, shredded chicken, or any other protein you prefer.
  • The Toppings (Optional):

    • Diced onions - Sprinkling diced onions on top of the enchiladas before baking adds a fresh and flavorful touch.


  1. Sautéing the Flavor Base: Begin by placing a large saucepan over medium heat on your stovetop. Add the olive oil and let it heat up. Once hot, add the minced garlic and diced onions. Sauté them until they become aromatic and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. Building the Enchilada Sauce: Pour in 3 cups of water, the can of tomato sauce, and all the seasonings (oregano, chili powder, basil, cumin, chipotle chili pepper, salt, and black pepper). Stir everything well to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.

  3. Simmering to Perfection: Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer the enchilada sauce for 45 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and develop beautifully. Remove the sauce from the heat.

  4. Preparing the Baking Dish: Lightly grease a large baking pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

  5. Preheat for Melty Goodness: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

  6. Assembling the Enchiladas: One by one, take each corn tortilla and generously coat it with the enchilada sauce.

  7. Filling and Rolling: Spoon a generous amount of your chosen filling (shredded meat, etc.) and shredded cheese in the center of each tortilla. Carefully roll up the tortillas to create enchiladas.

  8. Arranging in the Pan: Place the rolled enchiladas seam-side down in the prepared baking pan.

  9. Adding More Sauce and Cheese: Pour about ½ cup of the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese and diced onions (if using) on top.

  10. Baking to Melty Perfection: Place the pan of enchiladas in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes. The cheese should be melted and bubbly, and the tortillas should be slightly golden brown.

  11. Serving Up a Fiesta! Carefully remove the enchiladas