Beef Enchiladas (with Beef Barbacoa!)

Beef Enchiladas bursting with unbelievably tender, flavorful, beef barbacoa, loaded with cheese and smothered in rich, tangy shortcut enchilada sauce!

 These shredded Beef Enchiladas are out of this world delicious and come together super quickly by using Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa.  You can make the beef ahead of time and even assemble the enchiladas completely ahead of time and refrigerate for an easy make-ahead dinner that everyone will LOVE! 

BEEF BARBACOA RECIPE VIDEO

side shot of cheesy Beef Enchiladas in a white baking dish

I am slightly obsessed with my Beef Barbacoa Recipe. I love it more than my Carnitas, Carne Asada, Mexican Chicken and Chipotle Pork. It is hands down my favorite Mexican meat/chicken and so I knew it belonged as the star in these easy Beef Enchiladas – because after all Beef Enchiladas are only as good as the beef- so it better be goooooooood!

cheesy Beef Enchiladas in a white baking dish

How to Make Shredded Beef for easy Beef Enchiladas

What I especially love about Beef Barbacoa is that the shredded beef makes your beef enchiladas not only unbelievably delicious but SO easy!   You can even make the beef days in advance and warm it with the beans and enchilada sauce or dump and run to let it braise all day while your home fills with the chipotle aroma.

To make the shredded Beef Barbacoa, simply sear the meat to create the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor, then add ½ cup mild enchilada sauce, chopped green chilies, minced chipotles in adobo sauce, lime juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worchestershire sauce, liquid smoke and our bevy of handpicked fiestalicious spices and then let the meat cruise to flavor exploding tenderness.

One thing to note is to use a 10 oz. can enchilada sauce in your Beef Barbacoa recipe because although you only use ½ cup in the slow cooker, we will use the remaining approximately ¾ cup in our Enchilada Sauce.

showing how to make filling for beef enchiladas by mixing beef, black beans and enchilada sauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon

How to Make Easy Enchilada Sauce

This Enchilada Sauce couldn’t be any easier – or more flavorful.  It only uses 4 ingredients:

  • remaining enchilada sauce from the 10 oz. can used in Beef Barbacoa (as previously mentioned above)
  • one 15 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • ½ cup juices from slow cooker after the Beef Barbacoa is cooked
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Whisk the ingredients together in a small saucepan, simmer for a few minutes and that’s it lusciously rich and tangy Enchilada Sauce!

If you have a homemade Enchilada Sauce you love, feel free to use that and consider replacing some of the chicken broth with the slow cooker juices.

up close of cheesy Beef Enchiladas in a white baking dish

Tips and Tricks for Beef Enchiladas

  • Cook your beef until it is fall apart tender. If it isn’t tender, your beef just needs to cook longer.  Even an hour can make the difference between tough meat and melt-in-your-mouth beef.
  • You can use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas although I find corn tortillas fall apart more easily.
  • If you make your beef in advance and refrigerate it, then add it to the skillet at the same time as your black beans so it can reheat.
  • Black beans are optional.  If you omit the black beans then add 1 cup additional shredded beef.
  • By nature, Barbacoa is quite tangy.  For less tangy Enchilada Sauce, replace part or all of the Barbacoa slow cooker juice with enchilada Sauce.
  • Garnish! Garnish! Garnish!  These Best Beef Enchiladas are rich so I loooooove them with lettuce and sour cream to cut through and balance the richness.

Now whip up some Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice and if you’re feeling extra fun and flirty then blend up some Salsa Verde and/or Homemade Salsa, Pico de Gallo or guacamole then open wide for epic Barbacoa Beef Enchiladas AKA Mexican comfort food at its most obsessive worthy.

Looking for more Enchilada Recipes?

two best Beef Enchiladas on a white plate with a golden spoon garnished with tomatoes, avocado and cilantro

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up close of cheesy Beef Enchiladas in a white baking dish

Barbacoa Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas bursting with unbelievably tender, flavorful, Beef barbacoa, loaded with cheese and smothered in rich, tangy shortcut enchilada sauce! These shredded Beef Enchiladas are out of this world delicious and come together super quickly by using Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa.  You can make the beef ahead of time and even assemble the enchiladas completely ahead of time and refrigerate for an easy make-ahead dinner that everyone will LOVE! 
Servings: 6 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Enchilada Filling

  • 3 cups Beef Barbacoa (Slow Cooker)
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 8-10 flour tortillas

Tangy Enchilada Sauce

Garnish (your favs!)

Instructions

  • Prepare Beef Barbacoa according to directions, using a 10 oz. can enchilada sauce in Barbacoa Recipe – you will use the rest for our Tangy Enchilada Sauce. Reserve ½ cup of the juices from the slow cooker after the Barbacoa is cooked, also for the Enchilada Sauce.
  • Whisk together the Tangy Enchilada Sauce ingredients. Simmer until thickened.
  • Heat black beans with ¼ cup Tangy Enchilada Sauce. Stir in 3 cups Beef Barbacoa.
  • Spread ½ cup Tangy Enchilada Sauce on the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish (layer will be very thin). Add the enchilada filling to the center of each tortilla, top with cheese (approximately 2 cups total) roll up tightly and line (seam side down) in baking dish. Top enchiladas evenly with remaining Tangy Enchilada Sauce and remaining cheese (approximately one cup).
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and center is hot. Broil until cheese is golden (optional). Top or serve with desired garnishes.

Notes

  • You will only use 3 cups Beef Barbacoa for this recipe.
  • Cook your beef until it is fall apart tender. If it isn’t tender, your beef just needs to cook longer.  Even an hour can make the difference between tough meat and melt-in-your-mouth beef.
  • You can use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas although I find corn tortillas fall apart more easily.
  • If you make your beef in advance and refrigerate it, then add it to the skillet at the same time as your black beans so it can reheat.
  • By nature, Barbacoa is quite tangy (which I love).  For less tangy Enchilada Sauce, replace part or all of the Barbacoa slow cooker juice with enchilada Sauce.
  • Black beans are optional.  If you omit the black beans then add 1 cup additional shredded beef.
  • Garnish! Garnish! Garnish!  These Best Beef Enchiladas are rich so I loooooove them with lettuce and sour cream to cut through and balance the richness.
 

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18 Comments

  1. Mona Recipes says

    A very simple recipe to eat with my family. Thanks, I really enjoy visiting on your site.

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your kind words Mona! I hope your family loves these enchiladas!

  2. Kate says

    I am obsessed with your beef Barbacoa! I can’t wait to make this and it is sooo easy!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m so happy you love the Barbacoa as much as me! I am pretty sure you will love these enchiladas just as much! Thanks Kate!

  3. Jeannine says

    Just made them tonight. They were so delicious. The family has decided they like this recipe better than the standard enchilada, and i’m to make this one from now on! Yum!

    • Jen says

      That is awesome you made them already and I’m thrilled they were such a hit with your family! Thank you Jeannine!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Anna! The amazing Barbacoa makes these soooooo good!

  4. Lindsay Sink says

    Just made beef barbacoa yesterday and it is my favorite Mexican beef dish ever. Made a stacked galletta as I don’t care for soft flour tortillas and it came out melt in your mouth delicious. And, so easy to make as the slow cooker does all the work. Awesome, versatile dish. Wife and I are empty nesters so one roast makes at least three frozen future dinners. Thanks so much for all your great recipes.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Lindsay, I’m thrilled you love the Barbacoa – you have great taste as it is my favorite meat too! Your stacked galletta is a fabulous idea and definitely a suggestion I need to add to the recipe!

      • Lindsay Sink says

        For your My galletta starts with a corn tortilla with refried beans, another tortilla loaded with beef barbacoa, another tortilla then topped with enchilada sauce and melted chess. It is garnished with pico de gallo. The barbacoa used like this makes a wonderful meal joined with just a salad.

  5. Stephanie says

    Made these enchiladas last night after letting the slow cooker make your barbaoca meat. The house smelled amazing and the flavor was incredible. I used 5lbs of meat & thought it might get watered down, but like all your slow cooker meat recipes, there is so much flavor & spice packed into it, the meat comes out incredible. I made your homemade enchilada sauce first (because I will never, ever buy canned again, it’s that good), so I could add the 1/2 c. to the meat mixture as it cooked then simply poured the rest over the top of the enchiladas. I’ve made all of your enchilada recipes now for the family and can’t say there is a favorite because they are all incredibly delicious. My young daughter went into the slow cooker with a fork to taste the meat and said the meat was so amazing she didn’t want it in enchiladas, just wanted me to serve the meat straight up the way it was in a bowl. Haha. i still made the enchiladas but next time will make barbcoa bowls.

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m so happy the Beef Barbacoa and the enchiladas were a new favorite! I am right there with you – so hard to pick a favorite, but I’m honored you’ve tried and love them all! i hope you love the Barbacoa bowls – the hash browns are a fun twist!

  6. Susan says

    What size tortillas should be used?

    • Jen says

      Hi Susan, you will want to use taco or fajita size – 7-8 inches. Enjoy!

  7. Susan says

    Awesome meal. We made the enchilada sauce, too. Such wonderful and deep flavours. Everyone was thrilled with the meal. Better enchiladas than any restaurant. Meat was incredibly tender. This will be a regular favourite to our repertoire.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for the awesome review Susan, I’m so pleased this barbacoa will be on repeat!