This Dutch oven enchilada casserole is such a cheesy, hearty, and delicious dish that is perfect for camping, enjoying in the backyard, or even at home in your kitchen!
Last Monday I gave Nate two options for what we could have for dinner and he immediately chose this one. Dutch oven beef enchilada casserole. Although the name is a bit of a mouthful, you won’t mind filling your mouth with this dish. This has become one of our favorite meals since I first made it. And with a few minor tweaks, I have made this dish even better.
It’s no secret that I love Mexican food. Tacos, nachos, and fajitas are a few of our go to dinner ideas when we need something quick, and easy that the whole family will love. And these dutch oven enchiladas are another one to add to the mix.
A simple dinner idea that takes hardly any active time, but you end up with the perfect mix of red enchilada sauce, melted cheese, seasoned beef, and soft tortillas.
Instead of traditional enchiladas, this dutch oven enchiladas has a few minor differences – it’s made in a dutch oven of course – and the second is that it’s a layered enchilada casserole, or enchilada stack instead of your typical rolled enchiladas. This makes the dish extra perfect for a crowd!
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Dutch Oven Beef Enchilada recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- Olive Oil
- Ground Beef – you can substitute ground turkey, or ground chicken
- Yellow Onion – diced up and sauteed to add a little flavor
- Salt and Pepper
- Taco Seasoning
- Enchilada Sauce – red or green works, even a homemade enchilada sauce will work
- Tomato Soup
- Tortillas – you can use flour, or corn tortillas, just use the small tortillas about 6 inches in size.
- Cheddar Cheese – use your favorite cheese, you can use cheddar, colby jack, or a Mexican blend, etc.
How to make Dutch Oven Enchiladas?
If you’re making this on charcoal briquettes outside, then you’ll want to heat up 24 briquettes for this recipe. I recommend a charcoal chimney starter to help with this process. If you’re baking it in the oven, then you’ll of course need to pre-heat your oven.
- If you’re using briquettes, cook the onions and ground beef in the dutch heat until the onion is soft and the ground beef is cooked through. (If you’re cooking it inside, do this in a skillet over medium high heat, if you don’t have a stove safe dutch oven). Add the taco seasoning, salt, and pepper to the meat and stir it to coat. Then remove the meat mixture from the pan and drain out the excess grease.
- Stir together the red enchilada sauce and the tomato soup in a medium sized bowl.
- Spoon a half cup enchilada sauce mixture over the bottom of dutch oven. Then spread a layer of tortillas evenly over the sauce. Break up the tortillas as needed into halves to cover as much of the bottom of the pan as you can, it’s okay if the tortillas overlap.
- Spoon some of the meat mixture over the tortillas. Then top it with more enchilada sauce.
- Sprinkle a good handful of cheese over the saucy meat. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, meat, sauce, and a layer of cheese. Then another layer of each. Add the final layer of tortillas, the last of the enchilada sauce, and a final layer of cheese.
- Cover with the lid of the Dutch oven, and place it over the hot coals with about 8 of them on the bottom, and 16 on top of the lid. Or place it into the preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is melted on top. You can take the lid off and bake for a few more minutes in the oven if you want the cheese to get more golden.
Let the casserole sit for a few minutes before slicing and scooping, especially if you want the casserole to hold its shape, it is much more likely to do this if it sits for a few.
Here are some of my favorite toppings for these dutch oven beef enchiladas. Pick whichever you enjoy the most.
- diced tomatoes
- diced green onion
- sliced black olives
- minced jalapenos
- sliced avocado
- cotija cheese
- sour cream
- pico de gallo
- fresh cilantro
- lime wedges for juice
Tips and Tricks:
- Add additional veggies when cooking the onions. Some good options would be bell pepper, zucchini, or mushroom.
- This enchilada casserole can use flour tortillas or white corn tortillas. If you buy flour tortillas buy the smaller soft taco sized tortillas, about 6 inches in size.
- Add some refried beans or black beans to your ground beef layer if you want to bulk it up.
- Sub the cheddar cheese for whatever your favorite variety of cheese is. You can use colby jack, pepper jack, mozzarella, or a mix of any of them.
- Try subbing green enchilada sauce for a yummy twist. You can skip the tomato soup if you feel like that flavor wouldn’t mesh and just use cans of green enchilada sauce.
- Add diced green chiles to the enchilada sauce for a yummy flavor, and slight kick.
How to store leftovers?
While it can be a bit sloppy for storing, you can transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Place the enchiladas in an oven safe dish and reheat them in the oven heated to 350 F for about 15 to 20 minutes or until hot throughout. Add more cheese on top if your enchiladas start to dry out.
This is such a great meal for your next camping trip. These campfire enchiladas have such a great taste, with lots of flavor. And who can say no to a delicious hot meal with lots of meat, sauce, and cheese? Definitely not me! Everyone will love this delicious meal whether eaten at home, or around the fire!
More Mexican inspired dishes:
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Dutch Oven Enchilada Casserole
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 TBS taco seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (to taste)
- 20 oz red enchilada sauce
- 10 oz tomato soup
- 10 small tortillas
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Prepare 24 charcoal briquettes if using your dutch oven outside/while camping. Or preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add olive oil to the bottom of the dutch oven over the briquettes, or over medium high heat on the stove.
- Add in the onion, stirring regularly until the onions start to soften and get translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef to the bottom of the pan and continue to cook until thoroughly cooked through.
- Add your taco seasoning, salt, and pepper, and stir it to coat the meat.
- Remove the meat from the dutch oven and drain out any excess grease.
- Combine enchilada sauce and tomato soup in a medium sized bowl.
- Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of the dutch oven and spread it evenly over the bottom.
- Spread an even layer of tortillas over the bottom of the dutch oven, breaking some in half to fill any gaps.
- Scoop about 1/3 of your meat mixture onto the tortillas.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce over the meat.
- Then top with 2/3 cup of the cheese.
- Spread another layer of tortillas evenly over the cheese covering it completely.
- Repeat with another 1/3 of the meat, more enchilada sauce, more cheese, and more tortillas. .
- Spread remaining meat, enchilada sauce, and then cheese over the tortilla, ending with lots of cheese.
- Cover the pan with it's lid.
- Place 8 briquettes below dutch oven, and 16 on top of the lid.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until everything is hot and the cheese on top is golden.
- Remove the lid and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes if baking in the oven.
- Serve with your choice of toppings, and enjoy hot.
This dutch oven enchilada casserole was first posted on April 29, 2012. The photos and text were updated on January 20, 2023.