Cooking Economically, Here's What's Cooking, Main Dish, Recipes

Restaurant-Quality Garlic Beef Enchiladas

When we went down to a single income a few years back (so I could stay home with our kids), one of the first things to be cut from our budget was eating out. Before, Friday night was our “night on the town,” and I used to love looking forward to a hot, delicious meal that I didn’t have to cook myself.

I’ll admit, it was a hard adjustment for quite a long time. It’s never comfortable feeling like you never quite have enough money to just live a little, and there were many nights I felt a little sorry for myself as I looked through our pantry, trying to come up with a decent meal (yet again).

Then, after months and months of basically making almost every single meal we ate, a funny thing happened–

My cooking was getting noticeably better.

Now, I’ve never been a BAD cook. Not even a little. But all of a sudden, I was finding the right recipes (you can click here to find some of my favorite resources), I was experimenting a lot more in the kitchen (my 100 Hours in the Kitchen project helped a lot), and our mealtimes were, I don’t know—elevated, if that makes sense. Then, when money wasn’t *quite* so tight and we started going out about once a month instead of never, I was shocked to realize something—

For the most part, my cooking was as good (and sometimes better than) anything we were getting from a restaurant.

I don’t tell you this to brag, nor to claim that I’m some kind of amazing home cook (because I think, in a lot of ways, I’m pretty average). I’m telling you this because I realized, with the right recipe and fresh ingredients and a little extra attention to detail, I could make some pretty killer stuff.

At first glance, this recipe looks complicated and like it requires a lot of fancy ingredients. But I actually didn’t have to buy anything to make this–I already had everything on hand. And even though it took a little bit longer to make than I normally would like (about an hour and fifteen minutes, from start to finish), it was TOTALLY worth it. It’s been ages since I’ve had an enchilada that I was so smitten by–I’d have to say the last time was at The Red Iguana in Salt Lake (which is fabulous, by the way).

So, if you’re looking for a recipe that will up your enchilada game and make you miss eating out a little bit less, give this one a try!

Garlic Beef Enchiladas

(adapted from Taste of Home’s Prize-Winning Recipes 2007)

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed OR diced tomatoes

4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 – 8 flour tortillas
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Optional Toppings: sour cream, chopped cilantro, avocado

In a saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink: drain. Stir in the flour and seasonings until blended. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, saute garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings; heat through.

Pour about 1-1/2 cups sauce into an ungreased 13 x 9 baking dish. Spread about 1/3 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla; top with 1-2 tablespoons cheese. Roll up tightly; place seam side down over sauce. Top with the remaining sauce.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 10-15 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Yield: 6-8 enchiladas, depending on how much meat mixture you pack into each tortilla

So delicious! You won’t regret trying it out 🙂

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