This Easy Enchilada Skillet is a one-pot meal that features from-scratch flavors. (Yup, there’s no canned enchilada sauce in this one)! Loaded up with ground beef, beans, and corn tortilla strips; smothered in sauce and cheese; broiled until melty; and topped with tangy pickled onions and radishes, this dinner recipe has it all.
Someone needs to pry the taco seasonings from my hands because I’ve eaten Mexican food (or at least Mexican-inspired food) for dinner every single day for the past four… er, five days? Six?
You know, this is what happens when someone whispers the words “Cinco de Mayo” in my presence. You get me thinking about burritos and taquitos and enchiladas, and I can’t stop until every cell in my body is disgusted by the idea of ingesting one more tortilla-wrapped recipe. Honestly, I’m nowhere near that point yet. I’m riding the taco train ’til it breaks down, baby.
EASY ENCHILADA SKILLET
I think my favorite thing about Mexican food is that, while a lot of the authentic (and complexly flavored) versions do require some TLC, long-simmered sauces, and slowly braised meats, it’s also one of those cuisines that lends itself beautifully to quick-and-easy spinoffs that– while perhaps not traditional– are delicious solutions to a busy weeknight. This Easy Enchilada Skillet is one of those recipes– the kinds that everyone gets excited to eat but requires surprisingly little effort.
There’s no fussing with multiple pots and pans, blending sauces, roasting ingredients, and rolling up fillings, but there’s also no peeling back the plastic film on the microwavable meal and feeling defeated by the workweek. You can make this Easy Enchilada Skillet and feel proud of yourself while your kids (or friends or spouse or very satisfied tastebuds) cheer on your dinnertime victory.
All you need is ground beef, tortillas, red onion, a poblano pepper, and some pantry essentials (we’re talking spices, canned tomato sauce, and canned beans) to get started. Oh, and cheese. Did I mention cheese? The best enchiladas have lots of it.
TO BEEF OR NOT TO BEEF?
Not a big fan of beef (or just not in the mood for it)? No worries, feel free to swap out the beef for other ground meats such as ground turkey or ground chicken. You also can press the water out of tofu and crumble it to serve as your protein, or similarly go meatless with extra veggies or beans instead.
In fact, I have another enchilada skillet recipe from way back when that is vegetarian-friendly. Feel free to check it out!
EASY ENCHILADA SKILLET VIDEO
- 1 red onion, halved (one side chopped, the other side thinly sliced)
- 3 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 2 pounds lean ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups beer, broth, or water
- 15 ounces canned pinto or black beans (optional), drained and rinsed
- 10 small corn tortillas, cut into small strips, divided
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded queso quesadilla cheese, divided
- Fresh cilantro, chopped, to top (optional)
- Avocado, sliced, to top (optional)
- Start by preparing the quick pickled onions and radishes. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sliced red onion (reserving the chopped onion for later), radishes, apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Mix well and set aside, tossing occasionally.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining red onion, the poblano pepper, and the ground meat. Cook, breaking up the meat as you go, until browned all over. Drain off any excess grease and return to heat.
- Add cornstarch, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground cumin, black pepper, dried oregano, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Pour in the tomato sauce and beer (or broth, or water) and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the beef is fully cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler to high. Stir in the beans, tortilla strips, and half of the cheese. Top with the remaining cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is just beginning to turn golden in spots, about 2 minutes.
- Top with the quick-pickled onions and radishes, fresh cilantro, and sliced avocado. Serve warm.