Just as I have all my ingredients for Enchiladas in Green Sauce ready to go, my husband looks and me and says, “Could we make beef enchiladas in red sauce too?” Now we are really heading for a Cinco de Mayo party!
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Enchiladas From My Pantry
I head back to the pantry to see what ingredients we have on hand. There is ground beef in the freezer; this is a staple in our house. Chili con Carne and my Homemade Spaghetti Sauce are menu favorites all year long.
Looking for what other items I can use, there is a can of diced tomatoes and way in the back of the cupboard, a can of Red Sauce. From the fridge, I grab an onion, orange and red peppers, and some grated cheddar cheese. I think we are good to go… Enchiladas in Red Sauce, here we come!
Why Limit Your Ingredients?
If you read my post on Enchiladas in Green Sauce, you know I’m making this dinner during the “Shelter-in-Place of 2020.” The unfortunate “Covid-19 Pandemic” has everyone staying home more. Shopping less is why I am pulling things from the pantry and not shopping at the grocery store for more authentic ingredients
My enchiladas aren’t genuine Mexican cuisine. But the experience I have from living most of my life in California and Arizona, eating and cooking a lot of “Mexican Food,” helps me understand the flavor profile.
Also, the trips we took recently to Mexico provide great inspiration. We’d heard of San Miguel de Allende with its significant reputation for art and food and were not disappointed. In July we were in Cancun, for a wedding. The food at Dreams Rivera was terrific.
Enchiladas Make a Great Main Dish
This dish may take a bit of time to prepare but feeds many. Enchiladas in Red Sauce are an excellent choice if you are called on to make a main for the potluck. If your household is just two people like mine, then you have leftovers. These leftovers can be packaged up, labeled, and placed in the freezer for when you don’t want to cook!
I like to serve enchiladas with choices of toppings. Chopped green onions, cilantro, sliced radishes, crema (or sour cream) allow each person to individualize their plate. A large green salad makes a tasty side dish.
Enchiladas in Red Sauce
- 9" x 13" baking dish
- 10" skillet
- Large saute pan
- medium sheet pan with a cooling rack to use for a drip pan
- 1.25 lbs ground beef (I used 93% lean beef)
- 12 oz cheddar cheese grated
- 1.5 cups brown onion chopped
- 1.5 cups red and orange bell peppers chopped
- 15 oz diced tomatoes (one can)
- 1 tbsp Ancho chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 6" corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup canola oil (or other high temperature oil for frying , using more oil as needed)
- non-stick cooking spray
- 1 28 oz can red enchilada sauce (I used Las Palmas)
Preparing the Ground Beef Filling
- Add 2 tbsp of oil to large saute pan bring to medium heat
- Add onions,and peppers to oil and saute until onions are translucent,
- Remove onions mixture from saute pan and set aside
- Using the same saute pan brown the ground beef
- When the ground beef is browned, add the onion mixture back to the pan along with the canned tomatoes, ancho chile powder, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook the ground beef mixture over a low heat for 10 minutes or so to combine flavors.
- Remove the ground beef mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to handling temperature.
- When the ground beef mixture is cool, add 8 oz of the grated cheddar cheese to the mixture (set aside the remaining cheese to top the enchiladas toward the end of cooking)
Frying the Tortillas
- While the ground beef mixture is cooling begin frying your corn tortillas.
- In a 10 " skillet, bring the canola oil up to high temperature
- Add one tortilla at a time to the skillet. Cook the tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side. The tortilla should be soft and flexible at this time. Do not cook the tortilla too long or you will not be able to roll the enchilada.
- As each tortilla is done cooking, place it on the drip pan.
- When all tortillas are fried, you can begin assembling your enchiladas
Assemble the Enchiladas
- Preheat your oven to 350*
- Prepare the baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray
- Place a thin layer of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Taking one tortilla at a time, fill the tortilla with about 1 tbsp of the ground beef mixture. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place seam side down in the baking dish. Continue this process until all tortillas are rolled and placed in the baking dish.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas in the baking dish. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
- When the enchiladas have baked for 20 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of cheese ove the top of the enchiladas. Return the enchiladas to the oven and cook until the cheese is brown and bubbly