Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

In 2012 I suffered from multiple health problems. At the suggestion of my general care physician, I tried a gluten-free diet despite allergy panels coming back negative for all food allergies. The result was an improvement in health beyond my scifi-loving expectations. I will post many recipes here which include gluten ingredients. Like this one, many will also include dairy, another food I have found my body cannot tolerate. Since changing my diet, I have learned to make my favorite recipes with and without gluten and dairy substitutes, so I will either make notations or post allergy-friendly alternative recipes when possible.

This recipe is a favorite of my friend, Megan. Her beautiful family of seven swaps chicken for beef. This is an excellent dish for larger groups. While this recipe serves four, it is easy to double, triple or freeze and bake later. You can also put this in your slow cooker on Low for four hours, then broil it in the oven if you like that crispy top. Now, for the recipe itself.

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

These enchiladas are straightforward and inexpensive. They bake in 35 minutes, and it only takes 15 minutes to put together.

Serves 4 with a side of Mexican Rice or Salad


1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1 can red enchilada sauce*
2 cups Mexican blend grated cheese
1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)
8-10 corn tortillas*


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


A photo from the original posting of this recipe. That dish met its end years ago.

Soften the onions in olive oil on a medium heat. Add the beef and cook until brown. Drain thoroughly.

Pour about 2 tbsp enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish. Fill a tortilla with 1 tbsp beef and onions and 1-2 tbsp cheese. Place in pan folded side down. Repeat until pan is filled or all tortillas are used. The tortillas will probably break, but don’t worry about it. It will all hold together as it cooks.

Top enchiladas with remaining cheese and beef and onions. Pour over remaining enchilada sauce and top with black olives.

Bake for 35 minutes and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

For a Mediterranean twist: Use mozzarella cheese and 2 tbsp fresh oregano in place of cheese blend.

*If you are making this dish #glutenfree, be sure to check starred items for wheat ingredients.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

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