Shredded Beef Enchiladas

When I think of traditional and tasty Mexican recipes for a crowd, I think of these shredded beef enchiladas. They're wrapped in a corn tortilla, stuffed with tender beef, and covered in cheese and red sauce. It's an easy dinner idea that's oozing with an authentic southwestern flavor. 

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours 20 mins

Serves: 6


Shredded Beef 

  • 2-3 lb chuck roast cut into 3-inch pieces 
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika 
  • 3 teaspoons cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons EACH: chili powder and dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder 
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion sliced 
  • 5 cloves garlic minced 
  • 2 ½ cups beef broth 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 
  • 2-3 limes 
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought enchilada sauce divided (Note 2) 
  • 12-15 corn or flour tortillas 
  • 6-7 inch size (Note 3) 
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese 
  • Toppings: sour cream, avocado, cilantro, shredded lettuce, jalapeño, cotija cheese, chopped onions, pico de gallo, black olives, guacamole, chopped cilantro


Make the Shredded Beef 

  1. Mix together the spice seasoning in a medium bowl. Pat the beef try and use your fingers to rub the spice mix evenly into all sides of the beef. 
  2. Add the oil to the bottom of a dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, work in 2 batches to sear each side of the beef until it’s crisp, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a cutting board or place. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sliced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. 
  4. Pour in the beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze the pan. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. 
  5. Place the meat back into the pot in a single layer. The meat should sit just above liquid line. For a good braise, you don't want it fully immersed in the liquid. Bring it to a boil over high heat then turn the heat down low and simmer, covered for 3 - 3 ½ hours. The meat should gently fall apart with a fork when it’s done. See recipe notes for putting it in the slow cooker. 
  6. Open the lid and carefully shred the beef with 2 fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Taste and season with more salt as needed.

Fill and Bake Enchiladas 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non stick spray and spread ½ cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom. Set aside. 
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet or another dry skillet over medium-high heat and warm each tortilla for 30 seconds on each side then stack them on a plate. Alternatively, warm them all in the microwave or fry them in oil (Note 4). 
  3. To assemble the enchiladas, lay the tortilla flat on a clean work surface. Fill each tortilla evenly with the shredded beef and 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese. Roll the tortillas tightly and place in the baking dish, seam side down. 
  4. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with the remaining shredded cheese. 
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve warm with desired toppings.

  • Note 1. Slow Cooker Mexican Beef. Follow the instructions to season and sear the beef. Mix the beef broth with the tomato paste and tomato sauce in the Crock Pot. Add the beef and slow cook on low heat for 8-10 hours. 
  • Note 1. Instant Pot. Follow the instructions to sear the beef on the saute setting. Add the cooking liquid. Close the lid, make sure the vent is in the sealing position, and pressure cook on high for 50 minutes then natural release for 15 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. 
  • Note 2. Enchilada Sauce. Homemade enchilada sauce tends to be a bit thicker and this gluten-free enchilada sauce is delicious and easy to make with pantry spices. We tested this with both and the homemade enchilada sauce was so much better. You could use Siete enchilada sauce for a store-bought one with clean ingredients. 
  • Note 3. Tortillas. We tested this with flour and corn tortillas. We prefer corn tortillas because they're naturally gluten-free and more authentic in flavor and texture. Flour tortillas are a bit larger, so you may need less of them. 
  • Note 4. Heating Tortillas. There are a few options when it comes to heating tortillas for enchiladas. If you're short on time, warm the tortillas in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. You can also fry them in a bit of oil for 30 seconds on each side.  
  • Dairy-Free: swap the shredded cheese for a batch of vegan cashew queso. 
  • Freezer Enchiladas: To freeze before baking, assemble the enchiladas, cover them tightly, or wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake according to directions. Alternatively, bake the enchiladas all the way through, let the pan cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container or with a tight lid for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake until heated