Cook/ Weekend Feasting

Mexican Chili Beef Enchiladas

March 31, 2019

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Time to heat things up with these Mexican Chili Beef Enchiladas! Made from scratch with a homemade enchilada sauce and spicy beef, this dish is packed full of flavor! Too good not to try!

Top down shot of enchiladas served with sour cream and guacamole

For those eagle eyed lot amongst you, this is my first post for just over a week.  I’ve been trying be more consistent with sharing my recipes with you, posting twice a week, but I fell off the rails a little bit recently.  Between managing to lock myself out of my editing software, cramming in work with clients and the feeling of fighting off a bug, things slipped a little.  I nearly didn’t post today, but sometimes you just have to get something out there to get back on track!

I made this recipe a few weeks back and it went down a storm!  I’ve been craving Mexican lately, and enchiladas were the way to go.

Beef Enchiladas with Chili Sauce

A few years back, when Slow The Cook Down was a baby blog, I made a couple of spicy beef dishes and I thought it was time to revisit my awesome Mexican inspired ground beef recipe that was the basis for those.  We love enchiladas, and instead of buying the jarred sauce, I made a from scratch roasted veggie sauce with a chili kick, and my god was it good?!  If you love this recipe, be sure to check out these other recipes that use the chili beef!

Chili Beef Nachos

Spicy Beef and Cheese Brunch

Mexican Layer Cake

An enchilada on a white plate with sour cream

How to make enchiladas from scratch

There are a few steps to this recipe, but nothing super complicated, and it results in a fresh tasting dish that’s full of flavour.  To get a tonne of spice into the ground beef, rather than frying it, the spices are mixed into the beef and then it is roasted.  At the same time, roast the tomatoes, peppers and chilis – roasting really brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and it’s so much better than just boiling them to a pulp!

Process collage. Chili beef and vegetables before being roasted.

Once the beef and veggies have roasted, you can then make the sauce. Soften some red onion and garlic in a large pot, then add in the roasted tomatoes, deseeded peppers and stock.  Bring to the boil for 10 minutes then blend.

Then it’s time to build the enchiladas.  Pour half the sauce into a casserole dish. In each tortilla, place some refried beans, spicy beef, slices of pepper and onion and top with cheese. Roll the tortillas tightly and lay on top off the sauce. Once they are all in, pour over the rest of the sauce, add cheese and bake!

Process collage. Enchiladas in a casserole bowl before and after sauce is added

Chili Beef Enchiladas can be made ahead of time

If you are planning on making these enchiladas for a crowd, you can easily make them ahead of time.  You can either make the components (sauce and beef) and just store in the fridge until you are ready to assemble, or, you can make the whole dish and either keep warm or reheat when you are ready to serve.  Did I also mention that the leftovers are amazing?!

Homemade enchilada sauce

This recipe take a little bit of time to prep, albeit most of that time is idle, just waiting for those veggies to roast, and trust me, it’s worth the wait! If you are really in a hurry, of course you can use the jarred stuff, but this homemade enchilada sauce is SOOOOOOO good!  You can control the amount of spice you add (I MAY have added one too many chilis, but it was still delicious!) and there’s not a tonne of preservatives and added salt and sugar.

Close up of a Mexican Chili Beef enchilada on a white plate

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas

Is this an authentic Mexican recipe for Enchiladas?  Of course not! But is it cheesy, spicy and delicious? Absolutley! Melted cheese, spicy beef, a bit of crunch from bell peppers and red onions and all smothered in a tasty and rich sauce.  This, my friends, is pure comfort food!

What to serve with Chili Beef Enchiladas?

Because the enchiladas are on the spicy side, I like to serve a fresh salad on the side to help cool things down.  You can’t go wrong with some classic iceberg lettuce. As with any Mexican side, you need to be serving these bad boys with a side of sour cream and guacamole – my Roasted Jalapeno Guacamole would work super well!


Close up of a Mexican Chili Beef enchilada on a white plate

Mexican Chili Beef Enchiladas

Made from scratch with a homemade enchilada sauce and spicy beef, this dish is packed full of flavor! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Calories: 981kcal


Spicy Beef

  • 17.5 ounces minced beef (500g)
  • 1 tbsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tbsp of onion salt
  • 1 tbsp of garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp of mixed herbs
  • pinch of black pepper

Enchilada Sauce

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 6 oz heirloom baby tomatoes / cherry tomatoes (180g)
  • 8 ounces small sweet peppers (or red bell if you can't find these) (225g)
  • 3 red hot chili peppers (use less if you don't want it too spicy!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • .125 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (700ml)
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp sugar

To build the dish

  • 6 to 8 corn or flour tortillas (I used large ones and trimmed to size)
  • 14 oz refried beans (400g)
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper sliced in strips
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • 10 oz grated cheese (I used a mozzarella and cheddar mix) (300g)


  • Preheat the oven to 360ºf / 180ºc
  • Place the ground beef in a small oven tray and loosen the strands with your fingers so it's not one huge chunk!  Add the spices for the beef and mix well.
  • Chop all the tomatoes in half, and add to a separate baking tray lined with foil. Place the sweet peppers and chili peppers on the tray. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • Put the beef and vegetables into the oven.  
  • Stir the beef after about 10 minutes. Once the beef is crispy and cooked through (around 25-30 minutes) remove and set to one side.  
  • Roast the vegetables for around 40minutes until they have coloured. Set to one side.  
  • Heat a little oil in a large pot.
  • Finely chop a large red onion and the garlic cloves and add to the pot with some salt and pepper and the oregano.  Cook until the onions have softened. Add in the chicken stock, tomato puree and sugar.
  • Add in the roasted tomatoes, then cut the tops off of the roasted peppers and chilis and deseed them.  Add to the pot.  Bring the pot to boil, and simmer for around 10 minutes.
  • Using a hand or stand blender (if you are using a stand blender, you may want to blend in batches), and the tomato sauce and blend until smooth.
  • Pour half of the sauce into an oven proof dish / casserole.
  • On each tortilla, down the middle, spread the refried beans.  Add some of the beef on top, a few strips of pepper and red onion, and top with some shredded cheese. (I like to lay all the tortillas out and build them at the same time so they are evenly filled)
  • Roll a tortilla up and place on top of the sauce.  Repeat with the rest.
  • Once all the tortillas are in, pour over the rest of the sauce and top with cheese.
  • Place the dish into the preheated oven at 360ºf / 180ºc and cook for around 15-20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted.


Nutritional value based on 1 of 4 servings


Calories: 981kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 5727mg | Potassium: 1428mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 7335IU | Vitamin C: 152.5mg | Calcium: 707mg | Iron: 8.4mg
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Jane Saunders
    August 22, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    5 stars
    I knew that I would love this dish as soon as you mentioned seasoning the beef before cooking and roasting those veggies. Absolutely delicious – a real winner.

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