Cheesy Meat Enchiladas are made with beef, a homemade red sauce, olives and green chilies. Serve with sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro!

melted cheese on baked enchiladas

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Are you looking for a super simple weeknight dinner idea with a “from scratch” red sauce? Then you’re going to love these Cheesy Meat Enchiladas recipe. Not only are they packed full of cheese but they’re also super tasty, too.

Cheesy Meat Enchiladas

You can make them with your favorite protein (ground or shredded beef, pork, chicken, or even black beans).

Now it’s time to introduce a new dish to the family! Oh, and here’s a Cheesy Enchilada Dip recipe to serve on the side with your favorite chips!

enchiladas with red sauce

Ingredients for Cheesy Meat Enchiladas

I grew up enjoying this recipe as a kid, as my friend Karen’s mom made it for us quite often. Plus, there’s nothing quite like a homemade sauce, right? We love this weeknight meal. It’s packed with meat, cheese, olives and green chilies, with red sauce!

  • Ground beef or ground turkey
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Chopped olives
  • Diced chilies
  • Onion
  • Flour tortillas
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Chili powder
  • Tomato sauce
  • Water + sugar (gives it an extra sweet taste)
  • Sour cream (optional)

Make your own refried beans

We absolutely love delicious childhood recipe ! It’s so easy! You can even add additional canned corn and a little extra cheese or even refried beans. This gives it a nice creamy texture and adds some extra flavor! Oh, and have you tried making your own refried beans [Homemade Refried Pinto Beans]? The process is very simple, and the flavor is out of this world.

What do you put inside enchiladas?

These are not enchiladas that are over-filled. No, these are basic enchiladas with a lot of cheese! But don’t worry, you can always fill them up with extra ingredients:

  • Protein (beef, chicken, pork, seafood)
  • Rice
  • Refried beans
  • Black beans
  • Diced jalapeños or diced green chiles
  • Onion + garlic
  • Green bell pepper

Okay, Friends, enjoy these comforting and hearty enchildas. Serve with a side salad and a Mexican rice and you’ve got a great meal!

making and rolling up Cheesy Meat Enchiladas with homemade sauce

It’s still one of my favorites, and I think it’s because the sauce is so good. I sometimes will add an “Equal” packet or two, for a little sweetness, but that is optional.

What kind of cheese do Mexican restaurants use in enchiladas?

Queso blanco is the true Mexican cheese, but we love, love, love the flavor of Sharp cheddar in this recipe!

Queso is slightly salty and very popular for cooking and snacking. It’s often used as a topping for enchiladas and as a filling for chicken breasts, stuffed peppers, burritos and enchiladas.

How to make your own enchilada sauce

Enchilada sauce is actually fairly easy to make, but your favorite can or jar works fine when you’re in a hurry. You’ll need about two cups of sauce to cover all of these, and make sure that every bit of tortilla is covered so everything gets soft in the oven. (Enchiladas is one place where you don’t really need crispy edges.)

This recipe is sweeter (with a kick), and tastier than store bought.

The secret is to dip the large flour tortillas in the sauce before filling with the meat mixture.

a pan of cheesy enchiladas with red sauce

A little more cheese on top and it’s time for the oven to take over. The enchiladas emerge surrounded in bubbly zesty red sauce and covered in a hefty blanket of ooey-gooey cheddar. Every bite is beefy and cheesy and simply delicious.

Sometimes you don’t need to get fancy or creative to get a meal on the table that everyone will love. Sometimes, it’s just easy peasy, and cheesy.

More enchilada recipes:

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Pasta [RE]

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup [RE]

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Bean Enchiladas [RE]

Chicken Enchilada Sliders [Real Housemoms]

pan of Cheesy Meat Enchiladas with homemade sauce
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Cheesy Meat Enchiladas

Cheesy, meaty, delicious enchiladas with homemade sauce, from Cora Barnes.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6
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  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 lb. Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cans chopped olives, drained
  • 1 cans diced chilies, drained
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Flour tortillas
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 2 cans tomato sauce, 6 oz cans
  • 2 cans water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar, optional, if you like a sweeter sauce
  • Sour cream and chopped cilantro, garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, add chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes/ Add the hamburger; cook until browned.  Add the olives and chilies to meat.
  • Melt 2 T. butter in a sauce pan. Add 1 T. flour and 1 T. chili powder.  Cook until bubbly.
  • Add tomato sauce and water.  Bring to a boil.
  • Dip flour tortillas in sauce, then put in pan and fill with meat mixture and cheese and roll up.  Pour sauce on top and then more cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly. Serve!
  •  Serve with sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro!
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Main Course
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cheesy meat enchiladas with red sauce