Beef and olive enchilada casserole

Enchilada_Casserole_Fork

Beef and olive enchilada casserole is a family favorite around the Smith household. It started with my original beef and olive enchilada recipe and I when I realized you could make the enchiladas into a casserole, I went back and added the instructions to the original blog.

We’ve gotten to where we rarely make the enchiladas unless we’re making (sponsored) Cheesy Pork and Green Chile Enchiladas because we love making the beef enchilada casserole so much! It’s perfect for potlucks or to take to a friend’s house if they are sick. And if you’re not into olives, no problem. Just leave them out.

At the risk of sounding braggy, my husband’s coworkers request I make this every time they have a potluck at work. There have been times that it gets eaten before my husband even reaches the casserole!

Every time I mention on Facebook that we’re making this enchilada casserole I get asked for the recipe. I usually share that old blog post but decided the casserole deserves its own post. So, here you go. As is my usual method, I share all the words of the recipe then share the steps in pictures. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (80/20 is my preference)
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion (or fresh equivalent)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 small (2.25 ounces) of sliced olives (sliced works better than chopped)
  • 19 ounce can (or the equivalent, can be slightly more) of red enchilada sauce
  • 6-8 flour tortillas (taco size)
  • 3-4 cups of finely shredded Mexican/fiesta blend cheese (I usually split the difference)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix in the pepper, minced onion and garlic powder into the ground beef as you brown it on medium heat.
  3. Before you drain the meat, add the olives, including the juice. Stir it all together. This lets some of the olive flavor infuse into the meat.
  4. Drain all the liquid into an approved container.
  5. Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the meat mixture
  6. Mix in about 1 cup of the shredded cheese into the meat mixture.
  7. Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce in a 11×9 (or similar) baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray (but not greased). Make sure the sauce is fairly evenly spread along the bottom.
  8. Place two tortillas side by side on top of the sauce (they will overlap a bit. That’s perfect).
  9. Spread about 1/3 to almost half the meat mixture over the tortillas. It doesn’t have to cover them entirely.
  10. Cover the meat mixture with two more tortillas.
  11. Spread about 1/3 of the meat mixture over these tortillas (this layer will have a bit less of the meat than the first layer).
  12. Cover that with two more tortillas.
  13. Sprinkle the remaining meat mixture over the tortillas.
  14. Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of cheese over the entire casserole.
  15. Drizzle the remaining 1/3 can of the enchilada sauce over the cheese
  16. Bake on the center rack for 30-40 minutes. I usually take it out when the edges are starting to look lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.
  17. Let cool a little bit before trying to cut (think how it is to cut a lasagna when it’s hot).

Picture tutorial

I like using all dried ingredients because it takes less time and it's stuff I always have on hand. You can easily substitute the fresh equivalent for the garlic and onion.
I like using all dried ingredients because it takes less time and it’s stuff I always have on hand. You can easily substitute the fresh equivalent for the garlic and onion. I usually brown the meat in a 12-inch skillet to make room for all that I add to it. 

 

Weird tip: I like to add the olives with the juice before I drain the meat. This means you only have to drain something once and I'm convinced this infuses more flavor into the meat.
Weird tip: I like to add the olives with the juice before I drain the meat. This means you only have to drain something once and I’m convinced this infuses more flavor into the meat.

 

Add about 1/3 of your enchilada sauce to the meat mixture.
Add about 1/3 of your enchilada sauce to the meat mixture.

 

Mix in about 1 cup of the finely shredded cheese. I prefer finely shredded because to me it creates less grease. But using regular shredded cheese is totally acceptable.
Mix in about 1 cup of the finely shredded cheese. I prefer finely shredded because to me it creates less grease. But using regular shredded cheese is totally acceptable.

 

Use a little bit of cooking spray then pour about 1/3 of your sauce in the bottom of the pan, making sure it's pretty evenly spread.
Use a little bit of cooking spray then pour about 1/3 of your sauce in the bottom of the pan, making sure it’s pretty evenly spread.

 

Place two tortillas along the bottom of your dish. They will overlap. If you make a bigger recipe or use a bigger dish than this for some reason, you might need to tear an extra tortilla in half to make sure the bottom is fairly well covered.
Place two tortillas along the bottom of your dish. They will overlap. If you make a bigger recipe or use a bigger dish than this for some reason, you might need to tear an extra tortilla in half to make sure the bottom is fairly well covered.

 

Put about 1/3 to 1/2 your meat mixture over the tortillas. It will not cover it entirely.
Put about 1/3 to 1/2 your meat mixture over the tortillas. It will not cover it entirely.

 

Repeat the process but with the second layer or meat you will only put about 1/3 of the mixture on top of the second layer of tortillas.
Repeat the process but with the second layer or meat you will only put about 1/3 of the mixture on top of the second layer of tortillas.
I'm covering several steps with this picture. Cover the second layer of meat with two more tortillas then sprinkle the remaining meat mixture on top of that. finally, sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese evenly over the entire dish.
I’m covering several steps with this picture. Cover the second layer of meat with two more tortillas then sprinkle the remaining meat mixture on top of that. finally, sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese evenly over the entire dish.

 

Drizzle the remaining 1/3 can of enchilada sauce over the entire casserole.
Drizzle the remaining 1/3 can of enchilada sauce over the entire casserole.

 

Bake about 30-40 minutes at 375. I usually take it out when the cheese is starting look almost crispy in spots and the sauce is bubbly. The meat was precooked so if your family likes it cooked a little less it should still be safe.
Bake about 30-40 minutes at 375. I usually take it out when the cheese is starting look almost crispy in spots and the sauce is bubbly. The meat was precooked so if your family likes it cooked a little less it should still be safe.

 

This beef and olive red enchilada casserole is amazingly delicious!
This beef and olive red enchilada casserole is amazingly delicious!

What’s your favorite enchilada recipe? What sides do you like with you enchilada casserole?

 

 

 

 

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