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Easy Enchilada Casserole

It’s time for a meal that’s boldly flavorful and and easy like this foolproof Easy Enchilada Casserole.  No need to roll tortillas one at a time; just layer up all the good stuff!

Easy enchilada casserole plated and garnished.
This Easy Enchilada Casserole is a busy weeknight life-saver bursting with all our favorite Mexican flavors.

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

This Easy Enchilada Casserole is right up there with our favorite Sloppy Joes Recipe. Here’s why this recipe works:

  • Easier than Enchiladas: There’s no rolling required for this recipe – just layer all the ingredients in a casserole dish and you’re ready to bake!
  • Prep Ahead/Meal Prep: One thing we love about easy casserole recipes is that they can usually be assembled ahead of time for simple make-ahead dinners.
  • My Family Devours This: This is one of those recipes that everyone devours. Even the pickiest of eaters approve of it.
  • Add What You Like: Enchilada casserole is super versatile. If there’s something you don’t like or don’t have on hand, just get creative!
  • Feeds a Crowd: This all-in-one dish is one of our favorite Mexican and Tex Mex recipes to pass around for Cinco de Mayo or any festive gathering!

Key Recipe Ingredients

  • Ground Beef – You can also use ground turkey for a lighter version of this recipe. Use 85-95% lean ground beef or turkey,.
  • Chunky Salsa – The thicker salsa you can get, the better. This adds tons of flavor to the casserole and can be adjusted based on your preferred spice level.
  • Refried Beans – Not only do refried beans add amazing flavor, they also act as a binder, helping to hold our layers together.
  • Enchilada Sauce – Using your favorite pre-made, store-bought enchilada sauce is a huge time-saver here.
  • Corn Tortillas – We like using corn tortillas for this recipe, but flour torillas would work just as well.
  • Shredded Cheese – We recommend pre-shredded cheese to save time. Mexican blend works great here.

Substitutions And Variations

Here are some of our favorite ways to change up this Easy Enchilada Casserole.

  • Swap the Meat: Feel free to substitute the ground meat in this recipe for shredded rotisserie chicken like we do in our recipe for Healthier Chicken Enchilada Casserole. We also think ground or shredded Mexican pork/carnitas or chorizo would go amazingly in this dish.
  • Make It Meatless: You could also completely omit the meat and replace it with more beans and veggies or use a vegetarian meat substitute.
  • Add Rice: While this recipe is already gluten-free using corn tortillas, another option would be to substitute the tortillas for rice like we do in this Gluten-Free Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
  • Add Veggies: To keep this recipe as easy as possible we don’t add any veggies besides the onion. However, feel free to add bell peppers, zucchini, or diced tomatoes.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Sauté onion and garlic with olive oil for 1 minute.  Add ground meat and cook until browned.  
  2. Stir in salsa, refried beans, enchilada sauce, and olives. Simmer and stir for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  1. Layer half of the corn tortillas on bottom of greased baking dish.  Cover with half of the meat sauce.  Sprinkle on half of the cheese.  Repeat.
  2. Cover with foil, and bake at 375F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes.  Garnish as desired. Enjoy!

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

This recipe is great for meal prep! Here are some key tips for making this in advance:

  • Refrigerate Unbaked Casserole: Completely assemble the casserole up until baking it. Then, tightly wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight. The next evening, all you have to do is pull the casserole out of the fridge and bake. You may need to add a bit more bake time if casserole starts out cold.
  • Freeze Unbaked Casserole: Another way to keep your unbaked casserole fresh is to freeze it airtight. Your casserole will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can bake it directly from frozen, but add more bake time.
  • Refrigerate or Freeze Baked Casserole: Another option is to bake your casserole and let it cool completely before storing the slices in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply reheat in the microwave or oven until the cheese melts and gets bubbly.
easy enchilada casserole slice on a plate with avocado on top.

What To Serve With Easy Enchilada Casserole


  • We love serving this restaurant-style Easy Mexican Rice beside this dish. It never fails to impress.
  • Chipotle-inspired Cilantro Lime Rice is another one of our favorite rice sides for Mexican and Tex Mex meals.


  • Serve a big scoop of The Best Guacamole over your enchilada casserole for a major burst of color and flavor.
  • Another veggie side we love with this dish is our Perfect Air Fryer Broccoli. It comes together so quickly and easily.


Commonly Asked Questions

Is this enchilada casserole gluten-free?

If you use corn tortillas and make sure your enchilada sauce doesn’t contain gluten, yes, this enchilada casserole is gluten-free.

How can I make this recipe spicier?

There are a few ways to make your enchilada casserole spicy. First, use hot salsa. You can use a spicy enchilada sauce. Or, add 1/4 tsp of Cayenne pepper to the mixture of ground beef, salsa, and enchilada sauce.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Yes! Simply substitute vegan meat, beans, or extra veggies for the ground beef and replace the cheese with vegan cheese or omit it completely. The salsa, enchilada sauce, and refried beans already give this dish so much flavor that you won’t even miss the meat!

I’m making this for Cinco de Mayo. What are some good drinks to serve with this?

We love a good margarita on Cinco de Mayo! Check out our recipes for Big Batch Pineapple Margaritas, Watermelon Margaritas, and 3-Ingredient Lemonade Margaritas.

Why do I need to cover the casserole with foil while it bakes?

Covering your casserole with foil will prevent it from drying out and getting too crispy while it bakes. It will also help seal in moisture. We take off the foil only for the last few minutes of baking to allow the cheese to get nice and bubbly.

Can I use flour tortillas?

You can definitely use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas if you prefer.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Easy enchilada casserole plated and garnished.

Easy Enchilada Casserole

5 from 45 ratings
It's almost Cinco de Mayo – time for something festive, delicious, and easy like this foolproof Easy Enchilada Casserole.  No need to roll tortillas one at a time; just layer up all the good stuff.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (9×13 pan)
Author: Amy Dong


  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, or ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chunky salsa, thicker the better
  • 16 oz refried beans
  • 1 ½ cups enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup sliced olives
  • 18 whole corn tortillas, 6-inch size, sliced in half
  • 4 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • Garnishes: chopped green onions or chives, diced avocado, salsa, or sour cream.


For the Sauce

  • In large, heavy skillet, sauté onion and garlic with olive oil for one minute.  Add ground meat and cook until browned.  Drain if needed.  
  • Stir in salsa, refried beans, enchilada sauce, and olives.  Bring to a boil, and immediately reduce to simmer.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

To Assemble

  • Layer half of the corn tortillas on bottom of a greased 13×9 baking dish.  Cover with half of the meat sauce.  Sprinkle on half of the cheese.  Repeat layers.  
  • Cover tightly with foil, and bake 20 minutes at 375F.  Remove cover and bake another 5 minutes until cheese is nicely melted.  Garnish as desired and serve hot.


  • Serve with crispy tortilla chips and homemade guacamole on the side. Pico de Gallo is fantastic as well. 
  • Feel free to assemble enchilada casserole the night before. Cover, refrigerate, and bake wen you’re ready. You may need to add a bit of bake time if casserole is cold from the start. If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you! 
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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 780mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1054IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 707mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican American, Tex-Mex
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Bake

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