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  • Writer's pictureLaverne Banderk

Simple, Healthy Beef Enchiladas

We love Mexican food so much around here - tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos - you name it, we'll eat it. We even have a Christmas Eve tradition of enjoying a homemade Mexican dinner before the stockings are hung and the cookies are left out for Santa. I'm sure many of you know how hard it is to find a meal or type of food that EVERYONE in a family of four loves and could eat 2 to 3 times per week. So, when you find it, you find as many different ways as you can to make it a healthy meal for everyone.

This year, our fall schedule has been very busy with after school activities that occur right at my usual dinner prep time, so I've been trying to find ways to still enjoy some of our favourite Mexican meals in between chauffeuring kids around, and one of our favourites lately is Beef Enchiladas. This is a quick, simple, healthy meal that can be prepped on the weekend or just a couple of hours before and refrigerated until you're ready to pop it in the oven as you run out the door with the kids. You just need to set the delayed start and cook time on your oven, and you'll come home to an amazing smelling kitchen and a dinner that is ready to be served.

So, how can you make these enchiladas healthier than your typical enchilada recipe?

  • use extra lean ground beef to reduce the fat content.

  • add black beans for extra fibre , folate (vitamin B9), thiamine (vitamin B1), iron and magnesium.

  • if your family will eat veggies in their enchiladas, add in some shredded carrots and/or some chopped bell peppers for added fibre, vitamins and minerals.

  • use 100% whole wheat tortilla shells to up your daily intake of whole grains.

Healthy, Simple, Beef Enchiladas:

Prep. time: 15 mins.

Cook time: 30 mins.

Total time: 45 mins.

Servings: 4 (2-3 enchiladas per person)

Difficulty level: easy


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 - 1/3 cup finely diced onion

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1.5 tbsp cumin

  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

  • 1 cup black beans

  • 12 oz enchilada sauce

  • 8-10 tortilla shells

  • 1.5 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, monterey jack, etc.)

  • optional garnishes: green onions, cilantro, avocado, jalapeños, sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Or, set oven for delayed start, if putting these in the oven to bake while you are out.

  • Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat.

  • Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.

  • Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.

  • Add ground beef and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring and breaking up meat as it browns.

  • Add cumin, chilli powder, paprika, salt, lime juice, cilantro, black beans and mix well.

  • Add 1/2 of the enchilada sauce to the meat mixture and stir until combined. Remove from heat.

  • Add 2-3 tbsp of the remaining enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 13"x9" casserole dish and spread around entire dish.

  • To assemble the enchiladas, add about 1/3 cup of meat mixture to the centre of each tortilla shell and top with 1-2 tbsp of cheese. Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in the casserole dish.

  • Top the enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.

  • Bake the enchiladas for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted.

  • Remove from oven, garnish as desired and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and please let me know if you try it!

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