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Memorable Green Chile Beef Enchiladas

Preview: These memorable Green Chile Beef Enchiladas are corn tortillas stuffed with ground beef, onions, and Monterrey Jack cheese, then covered with a creamy green chile sauce.

Whenever we have dinner guests, I always rack my brain for a memorable main dish. Are you the same way?

Early in our marriage, my sister-in-law invited my husband and me to their house for dinner one night and did just that. She served these creamy and mildly-spiced beef enchiladas that I’ve never forgotten over 40 years later.

I still remember thinking she was an excellent cook. Since then, she has never served a meal that changed my mind.

Green Chile Beef Enchiladas on a plate.

The secret to saucy enchiladas:

The enchiladas are uncomplicated and straightforward to assemble. You can even roll the tortillas ahead of time.

However, wait until you are almost ready to eat before pouring the sauce over the rolled tortillas. Corn tortillas can absorb liquid in a hurry, practically making the sauce disappear if they sit too long before heating and eating.

Don’t worry if you aren’t a spice-loving Tex-Mex lover. These enchiladas are relatively mild in my book, although this can vary with the level of spiciness naturally present in the green chilis.

On the other hand, if you want more spice, garnish the finished enchiladas with jalapeños for more kick.

Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • GROUND BEEF: If you have leftover roast beef, shred it and use it instead of ground beef. Try substituting chicken, ground turkey, or spinach and mushrooms. Go vegetarian and only use cheese and sautéed onions for the filling.
  • ONION: A medium onion is about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped onions. Frozen onions could be substituted.
  • GARLIC: Powdered or minced garlic can be substituted for fresh garlic.
  • CHILI POWDER AND CUMIN: These are classic Tex-Mex spices. Your enchiladas won’t be the same without both spices.
  • CORN TORTILLAS: Flour tortillas may be substituted for corn tortillas. Warm them slightly in the microwave before rolling to make them pliable.
  • MONTEREY JACK CHEESE: Monterey Jack is a mild white cheese often used in Tex-Mex recipes. If you want more spice, use Pepper Jack cheese. Cheddar cheese, either mild, medium, or sharp is another option.
  • GREEN CHILES: Find these in the aisle that displays traditionally Hispanic food.

FAQ about this Beef Enchilada Recipe

Are these enchiladas spicy?

I would classify them as mildly spicy. It depends somewhat on how hot the green chiles are.

If you want more spice, you could garnish the finished enchiladas with jalapeños for more kick.

Can I freeze enchiladas?

If you want to freeze this recipe, assemble the enchiladas, but don’t pour the sauce over them. Double-wrap and freeze. Make the sauce fresh and pour it over the top when ready to serve.

How to assemble Green Chile Enchiladas:

frying ground beef, vegetables, and spices in a skillet
First, brown the ground beef, onions, and garlic. Drain excess grease. Add seasonings and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover. Continue to cook on a low setting while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
frying corn tortillas before rolling
Heat ½ inch of oil in a small skillet and dip each tortilla in the oil to soften.
mashing the cooked ground beef
When ready to make the enchiladas, use a masher to ensure no large pieces of ground beef remain.
meat and cheese layered on a flat tortilla
Place meat mixture and cheese on each tortilla.
how to roll up a tortilla to make an enchilada
Roll up the tortilla and place it into a greased casserole dish with the seam on the underside.
using a whisk to finish the  green chile sauce on the stove
Finally, make sauce per instructions and pour over enchiladas before heating. The microwave process is pictured below. Instructions for the stove are in the recipe.

How to make the green chile sauce in the microwave:

I love to use the microwave anytime I can to save on dirty dishes and time. It might be my favorite secret for saving time in the kitchen. If you want more recipes with microwave shortcuts in them, check out my Easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, and Speedy Microwave Chocolate Cream Pie.

melted butter in a microwave-safe Pyrex pitcher
Melt butter in a microwave-safe Pyrex pitcher–about 1 minute on HIGH.
salt and flour added to the butter
Add flour and salt.
whisking the flour into the butter until smooth.
Whisk until smooth.
Whisking milk into the cream sauce
Add milk and continue whisking. Microwave on HIGH 4-7 minutes or until thick like a cream sauce. Whisk after the first 3 minutes and every minute after that.
adding green chilis to the microwaved cream sauce
Stir in the green chiles.
Pouring green chile sauce over the enchiladas
Pour prepared green chile sauce over the prepared enchiladas.
Heat until warmed through.

What can I serve with Green Chile Beef Enchiladas?

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

Green Chile Beef Enchiladas

Green Chile Beef Enchilada Recipe

Green Chile Enchiladas are corn tortillas stuffed with ground beef, onions, and Monterrey Jack cheese, then smothered in green chile sauce.
Paula Rhodes
4.45 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Beef
Servings 6 servings



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying tortillas
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded - 4 ounces


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 1 4-oz can chopped green chiles


Meat mixture

  • Brown ground beef along with onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drain excess grease.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes to bloom the spices.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet. Cover and let sit on LOW heat while you prepare the tortillas and cheese.
  • To soften tortillas, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil in a small skillet and dip each tortilla in the oil to soften.

Making sauce on the stove

  • Melt butter in a medium-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add flour and stir until bubbly.
  • Whisk in milk. Continue stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened. Add green chiles and remove the pan from heat.

Making sauce in the microwave

  • Place butter in a microwave-safe Pyrex pitcher. Melt in the microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Then whisk in milk until smooth.
  • Microwave for 4-7 minutes on HIGH. Stir after 3 minutes and every minute thereafter. Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture is thick like a medium cream sauce.
  • Stir in green chiles.

Assembling the enchiladas

  • Place a generous tablespoon of meat mixture onto a softened tortilla. Add a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Prepare remaining tortillas in the same manner. Any remaining meat or cheese may be sprinkled on top or sides of enchiladas.
  • Pour sauce over enchiladas and cover with foil. If you have any remaining cheese, sprinkle it over the top of the sauce-covered enchiladas.
  • Heat in a 350˚F oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.


Serving: 1/8 of recipeCalories: 486kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 27gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 665mgPotassium: 425mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 724IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 426mgIron: 2mg
Keyword dinner recipes, enchiladas, green chilies, supper, Tex-Mex entree
Cuisine Mexican
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe Rating

Jules @ Everyday Mommy

Tuesday 14th of December 2010

You mean you were in Kansas City and you didn't bring me any Lemon-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies? Pfffft.


Tuesday 19th of January 2010

I made these with my left over turkey from Thanksgiving ( I had the turkey in the freezer of course) Everyone was impressed with the way they looked and tasted. I had a little larger can of chili peppers than usual and just put in the whole can. My mother started coughing with the first bite and took a big drink of water. She mumbled something about too much pepper but then continued to finish them. We will make a Texan out of her yet. Bob loved them. Thanks so much for your blog.

Ann Hastings

Sunday 22nd of November 2009

Too cool, so glad you were able to meet Pioneer Woman :)


Friday 20th of November 2009

pioneer woman! reading this blog always makes me hungry. not sure if that's a good thing or not! :)

Linda Ashburn

Friday 20th of November 2009

Mary Sue passed on your website to me. Wishing you much success.

I love green chili enchiladas and am always looking for new recipes. Our daughter keeps us stocked with fresh green chilis from NM. Yum!