Cole and I started dating when we were both in high school, but we lived in separate towns 45 minutes apart. This meant I only got to visit him on the weekends. However, one of the huge perks of weekend visits was that his step-dad always cooked large family meals, and he usually was inventive with new recipes. A favorite at his house was chicken enchiladas, a dish which I quickly asked for the recipe.
Nowadays, with grocery prices getting quite high, I am trying to find ways to use leftovers to make other meals. This year, when my wing of the high school was in charge of staff potluck, we chose to do a taco bar. In typical Courtney fashion, I made waaaaaay too much for a staff of 35 people and was left with a ton of leftover beef taco meat. Cole is not always a fan of meals with beef instead of turkey or chicken, so I knew if I was going to use this meat, I would need to mix it in with other flavors. In a moment of inspiration, I looked over Joe’s chicken enchilada recipe and decided to use it as a base and make a spin off of my own. I changed quite a few things, but the white creamy inside mix is all based on Joe’s original recipe. This dish is now a staple in my house whenever we have leftover taco meat. I highly recommend taking leftover taco meat to whip up some easy Cheesy Beef Enchiladas in the future.
1 ½ lbs Beef Taco Meat (any taco recipe will work)
15 oz Canned Pinto Beans (rinsed and strained)
4.5 oz Canned Green Chiles
2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (divided)
16 oz Sour Cream
10 oz Cream of Onion Soup
12 Flour Taco Shells
10 oz Red Enchilada Sauce
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the taco meat, strained pinto beans, green chiles, and 1 cup of the sharp cheddar cheese.
2. Heat the soup and sour cream together over medium heat on the stove until the sauce becomes thinner and warm.
3. Grease a 9×13 pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Fill each taco shell with 3 tbsp of the taco mix and about 2 tbps of the cream sauce. I don’t typically measure out these scoops of meat and sauce, but be cautious that the more used in each shell will cause less enchiladas to be made overall. Roll the shells in an enchilada fashion and place side-by-side in the pan.
Kitchen Tip: The enchiladas will need to be squeezed pretty tightly together to fit all twelve in the pan. You can divide them up among two smaller pans if you would prefer.
5. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
6. Pour the can of red enchilada sauce on top of the baked enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melty.
While this dish may have a couple more canned ingredients than I typically use in my recipes, it is a favorite in my house. It is such a great way to use up leftover taco meat without having regular tacos multiple nights in a row. Cole and I have found that two enchiladas is a comfortable serving portion, and we typically pair it with steamed corn for a side. As a bean lover though, I would never object to pairing this with Slow Cooker Jalapeno Black Beans.