These Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas are a tasty Mexican favorite that crosses between a sancho and a beef enchilada smothered in enchilada sauce and topped with cheese.
This simple sancho recipe is an easy ground beef meal you can have on the table in just minutes.
Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas Recipe
We go to a special little Mexican and Tex-Mex 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!
Sancho vs Burrito vs Sanchilada
A sancho is a beef burrito with cheese and lettuce smothered in cheese sauce.
A burrito is a popular Mexican dish that typically consists of a tortilla wrapped around various fillings. A beef and cheese version of this is part of a Sancho.
A sanchilada is part beef and cheese burrito with all the extra saucy love of enchiladas, including the enchilada sauce!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper
Sanchiladas are very basic beef and cheese Mexican fare. If you’ve got picky eaters in your family, not to worry! All of my picky eaters devour these sanchiladas.
You can dress up these sanchiladas any way you’d like.
My family prefers just beef, cheese, and the sour cream topping. I love to add cilantro, scallions, tomatoes, and fresh pico de gallo on top.
- Lean ground beef
- Granulated onion
- Granulated garlic
- Mild red enchilada sauce
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Iceberg lettuce
- Sour cream
- Flour tortilas
- Chopped cilantro and scallions, if desired for garnish
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.
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.
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.
How to Make Beef and Cheese Sanchiladas
Brown the ground beef in a skillet along with the spices. Drain any fats that accumulate.
Stir in the enchilada sauce.
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.
Top the beef sanchilada filling with cheese, as desired; top the cheese with chopped lettuce.
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.)
Roll the tortilla around the filling. Then place the sanchilada into a shallow serving dish or onto a plate.
Top the sanchilada with more enchilada sauce and cheese.
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.
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. 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, you may prefer a 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven with a lid.
More Mexican and Tex Mex-Inspired Favorites to Enjoy
It’s no secret that we are big fans of all foods that are Mexican and Tex Mex at our house. We love Crispy Milanesa Steaks, Walking Taco Pull-Apart Bread, One Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Orzo Pasta, Tex Mex Cowboy Casserole, Chili Cheese Tamale Dip and Crispy Burrito Baskets!
Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas
- 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
- 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.
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.