Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas

sanchilada with enchilada sauce, cheese, and tortilla chips.

Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas

You may be asking “What in the heck is a sanchilada??” It’s a tasty Mexican favorite that’s a cross between a sancho and a beef enchilada smothered in enchilada sauce and topped with cheese.

single beef sanchilada with tortilla chips and ground beef

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It’s no secret that we are big fans of all foods that are Mexican and Tex Mex at our house. We love Walking Taco Pull-Apart Bread, One Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Orzo Pasta, Tex Mex Cowboy Casserole, Chili Cheese Tamale Dip… on and on goes the list!

We go to a special little taco joint that serves sanchiladas and it’s my absolute favorite dish on their menu. It recently dawned on me that I needed to figure out how to make sanchiladas at home…..so I did.

My recipe isn’t exactly how my little taco joint makes their sanchiladas, but it’s close, and my boys are super excited to get to eat this Mexican dish as any meal. I get excited because it’s basic, cheesy, and fast Mexican food!

Why This Recipe is a Keeper

Sanchiladas are very basic beef and cheese Mexican fare so if you’ve got picky eaters in your family, not to worry! All of my picky eaters devour these sanchiladas.

And remember this – you can dress up these sanchiladas any way you’d like. My family prefers just beef, cheese, and the sour cream topping, but I love to add cilantro, scallions, tomatoes, and fresh pico de gallo on top. Everybody’s happy….including Mamma, and that’s a very good thing if you ask me.

How to Customize Sanchiladas

My family prefers ground beef in this recipe, but you can certainly use any type of ground meat – ground turkey, ground chicken, even ground venison is delicious.

Change up the shredded cheese to any type that you prefer. The recipe calls for shredded cheddar, but you could use Pepper Jack or Colby Jack – whatever your family likes best.

I almost always make these sanchiladas with mild red enchilada sauce, but I know without a doubt that you could sure substitute green enchilada sauce, if preferred, and they will be absolutely delicious. Sometimes we have to use what’s already in our pantry – right?

Mexican sanchilada with sauce and tortilla chips

How to Make Beef and Cheese Sanchiladas

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet along with the spices; drain any fats that accumulate, then stir in the enchilada sauce.
  2. Place one-fourth of the prepared ground beef mixture in the center of a warm flour tortilla, spreading it in a 2-inch row across the tortilla.
  3. Top the beef sanchilada filling with cheese, as desired; top the cheese with chopped lettuce.
  4. Place the sour cream into a sandwich bag, snipping the corner from the bag. Squeeze the sour cream through the hole in the bag and onto the sanchilada filling over the top of the lettuce, the length of the filling and back. (Two stripes of sour cream.)
  5. Roll the tortilla around the filling, then place the sanchilada into a shallow serving dish or onto a plate.
  6. Top the sanchilada with more enchilada sauce and cheese, then microwave the sanchilada for a few seconds until nicely hot throughout. Serve with tortilla chips stacked on each side of the sanchilada.

What Single Kitchen Tool Is Super Helpful for Making Mexican Sanchiladas?

Whenever I’m browning ground beef or putting a good sear on a steak, nothing works better than a good cast iron skillet. Cast iron skillets come in lots of different different shapes and sizes; I use my 12-inch cast iron skillet more than any other piece of cast iron I own.

Cast iron is super functional because it can go from stove top to oven to grill and back again without even blinking an eye. Cast iron cooks very evenly and holds the heat well – it’s a superior cooking vessel.

If you need a cast iron pot that is deeper (say to keep the hot fat from splattering on your stove as you brown off roasts or steaks etc), you may prefer a 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven with a lid. This is also a handy vessel for making soups and stews, or even for baking bread!

I also use my cast iron skillet for making Tex Mex Beef and Rice Casserole (with Chipotle Creama!), Loaded Skillet Fries with Shredded Beef and Bacon, and one of our TOP FAVS – Asian Beef Bowls.

Quick Tips for Making Mexican Sanchiladas

  • Warming the tortillas in the microwave before you roll them around the filling makes them much easier to work with.
  • We prefer beef for sanchiladas, but you could actually use any ground meat, such as ground turkey, ground pork, or even ground venison.
  • If you prefer, you can substitute green enchilada sauce for the red enchilada sauce for a new twist on your sanchiladas.
  • We use mild red enchilada sauce but if you prefer a more spicy sauce and experience, opt for the hot red enchilada sauce, or stir a bit of red pepper flakes into the mild enchilada sauce.
a fork and a mexican sanchilada

Other Mexican and Tex Mex Favorites to Enjoy –

sanchilada with enchilada sauce, cheese, and tortilla chips.

Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas

It's no secret that we are big fans of all foods that are Mexican and Tex Mex at our house. We go to a little Mexican joint near to where we live and they make Sanchiladas that I adore, so had to recreate this recipe – I love how it turned out….beefy, cheesy, and easy to make.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 sanchiladas
Calories: 424kcal
Author: Chef Alli

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 – 10 oz. cans mild red enchilada sauce
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas, warmed
  • tortilla chips, for serving alongside the sanchiladas
  • chopped cilantro and scallions, for garnishing, if desired

Instructions

  • In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef with the spices until cooked throughout and no pink remains (160-165 degrees F.); drain any fats that accumulate as the beef cooks.
  • Stir one can of the enchilada sauce into the ground beef, continuing to cook over medium heat until the sanchilada mixture is hot throughout; remove from the heat.
  • Place a warm tortilla onto a work surface; place one-fourth of the prepared beef mixture across the center of the tortilla in a 2-inch strip; top with cheese and lettuce, as desired.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sour cream with 1/4 cup of red enchilada sauce, stirring to combine. Place the prepared sour cream mixture into a sandwich bag, snipping away the corner of the bag.
  • Press the sour cream mixture through the hole in the corner of the bag, onto the beef mixture over the top of the cheese and the lettuce, making two strips of sour cream the length of the beef mixture, or as desired.
  • Roll the flour tortilla around the beef filling, placing the sanchilada into a greased elongated and shallow glass baking dish for one, or create all four sanchiladas, placing them side-by-side into a larger baking dish.
  • Pour enchilada sauce, as desired, over the top of the sanchiladas, then top with more shredded cheese; garnish with scallions or cilantro.
  • Heat the prepared sanchilada for a few seconds in the microwave until heated throughout; stack tortilla chips alongside the sanchilada and serve at once.

Notes

Tips for Making the Best Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas

  • Warming the tortillas in the microwave before you roll them around the filling makes them much easier to work with.
  • We prefer beef for sanchiladas, but you could actually use any ground meat, such as ground turkey, ground pork, or even ground venison.
  • If you prefer, you can substitute green enchilada sauce for the red enchilada sauce for a new twist on your sanchiladas.
  • We use mild red enchilada sauce but if you prefer a more spicy sauce and experience, opt for the hot red enchilada sauce, or stir a bit of red pepper flakes into the mild enchilada sauce.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef, enchiladas, mexican, sanchos

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 358IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 4mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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