Bringing the Rich Flavors of My Heritage to Your Table
Growing up, the aroma of my Abuelito's cooking was a symphony of flavors that lingered in the air and hearts of everyone lucky enough to enjoy his meals. With roots deep in the Rio Grande region, my family's recipes have stood the test of time. My grandfather's famous meat sauce, passed down through generations, is a tribute to his culinary genius. Today, I'm thrilled to share this cherished recipe with you, transporting you to a table filled with warmth and tradition. Prepare to savor the taste of authentic Texas meets Northern Mexican cuisine, and let my Abuelito's legacy enrich your culinary journey.
These homemade cheese enchiladas, covered in a delicious Mexican meat sauce, come together easily, but the steps can be time consuming. I promise its worth it for the best enchiladas. I think your whole family will love these homemade easy ground beef enchiladas, especially if they are already big fans of Mexican food. Do forget to print the recipe card, so you can make them again. When you do make these, please post a photo and tag us @thewholerevolution ! We'd also love to hear from you, so please don't forget to drop a comment if you make this recipe.
You can also take the meat sauce only and use it for tacos, burritos, taco pasta, taco salads, stuffed zucchini, and much more. Grab the recipe for the taco seasoning meat sauce here: Abuelito's Taco Seasoning. My grandfathers recipes were simple, but filled with love.
- Ground beef (substitute with any ground meat or plant-based alternatives like Impossible Meat)
- Black pepper
- Ground cumin
- Fine sea salt
- Garlic granules or powder
- Chili powder
- Cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- Shredded cheese (cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or queso quesadilla)
- White onion, diced
- Filtered water, beef broth or, chicken broth
- Corn tortillas
- Wesson Canola oil (I use Avocado Oil)
1. Cook the Lean Ground Beef: In a large frying pan, brown ground beef over medium-high heat until browned and no pink remains. Turn stove down to medium heat.
2. Prepare the Homemade Taco Seasoning: In a small bowl, combine black pepper, cumin, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder.
3. Season the Ground Beef Mixture: Add the seasoning mixture to the browned meat and toast the spices for about 1 minute while incorporating them into the meat mixture.
4. Create the Meat Sauce: Add 3 cups of water to the beef filling and simmer on low until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Fry the Tortillas: Heat about one cup of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until it reaches 350˚F. Fry each tortilla until softened (30 seconds to 1 minute) and set aside on a plate, stacking them on top of each other.
6. Assemble the Enchiladas: Sprinkle two tablespoons of cheese and one teaspoon of diced onion onto the center of the tortilla. Roll them into cigar shapes.
7. Arrange in Baking Pan: Set the rolled tortillas on a bed of ½ cup of enchilada sauce in a large baking pan.
8. Add Sauce and Cheese: Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with a layer of cheese and finely diced onion.
9. Bake: Bake the enchiladas at 350˚F for 30 minutes.
10. Serve and Enjoy: Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Ground Beef: Feel free to use any ground meat of your choice or opt for plant-based alternatives like Impossible Meat. Black beans also work here, use two cans, rinsed
- Shredded Cheese: Choose between cheddar, Monterey Jack, or queso quesadilla, or explore other cheese options that suit your taste.
- Type of Tortilla: you can substitute flour tortillas in this dish, including Siete almond flour tortillas but instead of frying the tortilla you will want to steam it to soften and make it pliable. Do this by placing tortillas in a damp paper towel. Cook at 30 second intervals until the tortillas have softened
- Vegetarian Twist: For vegetarian enchiladas swap the ground beef with textured vegetable protein (TVP) or Impossible Meat.
- Flavor Infusion: Experiment with different spices and herbs to create a unique twist on the traditional flavors.
- Favorite Toppings: sour cream, green chiles, green onions, finely diced red onion, fresh cilantro, Mexican cheese (queso fresco), black olives, fresh avocado, and pickled jalapenos.
- Large skillet
- Small Bowl
- Whisk or Mixing Spoon
- Baking Pan or casserole dish
Refrigerate any leftover enchiladas in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They can be reheated in the oven or microwave for a delicious meal later.
You can also freeze enchiladas for up to 3 months. To reheat: place frozen enchiladas in an oven preheated to 375. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove foil for last 15 minutes.
To enhance the depth of flavors in Abuelito's Ground Beef Enchiladas, consider preparing the meat sauce ahead of time and allowing it to sit overnight. This allows the spices and seasonings to meld together, resulting in a richer and more complex taste when you assemble and bake the enchiladas. The extra time invested in letting the flavors develop will be well worth it when you savor the delicious outcome.
Absolutely! While the original recipe calls for ground beef, you can easily substitute it with ground chicken, turkey, pork, or even plant-based options like Impossible Meat for a vegetarian version.
Yes, you have control over the spiciness. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of chili powder, black pepper, and hot peppers like serrano. For an extra kick, you can increase the amount of these ingredients according to your taste.
Absolutely! Once you've rolled and assembled the enchiladas in the baking pan, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. You can freeze the unbaked enchiladas for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the baking instructions. Keep in mind that freezing may alter the texture slightly, but the flavors will remain delicious.
Abuelito's Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas - His Restaurant Recipe
- 2 Stovetop, bake
- 2 lbs ground beef any ground meat is good, Impossible Meat is also a fantastic option
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic granules or powder
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1.5 lbs shredded cheese cheddar, Monterey Jack, or queso quesadilla
- 1 cup white onion diced
- 3 cups water
- 2 dozen tortillas
- Wesson oil I use avocado oil
- ¼ cup white onion finely diced
- ½ cup shredded cheese cheddar, Monterey Jack, or queso quesadilla
- In a large frying pan, add the ground meat over medium-high heat and cook until browned and no pink is remaining.
- In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, cumin, salt, garlic, chili, cornstarch, or arrowroot. Add to the browned meat and toast the spices for about 1 minute while mixing the seasoning into the meat. Add the 3 cups of water and simmer on low until meat sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add about one cup of oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 350˚F. Fry each tortilla until softened, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside on a plate. Once all tortillas have been cooked, add two tablespoons of cheese and one teaspoon of onion to each tortilla. Roll into a cigar shape. Set the rolled tortilla on a ½ cup of sauce bed in a large baking pan. Continue until all tortillas have been rolled and placed into the baking pan. Spread the remaining sauce over the tortillas. Cover with a layer of cheese and onion. Bake for 30 minutes at 350˚F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
We sometimes take for a granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when cooking with a gas stove