At some point we all find ourselves in that place of being strapped for cash – but you still gotta eat, right? This can be especially tricky when you have a larger family, so you have to have a few go to recipes that will be sure to fill everyone up without breaking the bank. And this recipe for Beef & Bean Budget Enchiladas is perfect for a weeknight dinner situation like this. It uses a lot of pantry staples that you probably already have and stretches your protein options.
By using both ground beef and pinto beans you can get a whole meal for six people out of one pound of ground beef. We almost always need two pounds of meat for any dinner, so this one is a real great combination. The beans pack enough substance and protein that no one feels hungry afterwards. And given that the price of a pound of ground beef is significantly more than the price of a can of beans, you are already cutting your budget. Be sure that you are using whole canned pinto beans and not refried beans.
By making the enchilada sauce yourself you win two times. One – you save on the purchase, as you probably have all the spices in your cabinet already. And two, you don’t get that weird tin flavor that most canned enchilada sauces inevitably have. It really is simple to get a great depth of flavor. If you don’t have chicken stock, you can actually use water. My son has also used water and a packet of seasoning from instant ramen.
The last time I served this, I just made Mexican rice with it. Another simple budget friendly dish. The secret to delicious Mexican rice is that you have to really – really – toast the rice, almost to burnt, before you add in the tomato sauce and water (or broth). That’s how you get the rice to split open while it cooks. I just toast some garlic, and minced dried onion in some oil along with the two cups of rice. Then add one 15oz can of tomato sauce, one table spoon each of chili powder and cumin and four cups of water (or broth). Bring to boil, reduce to medium and cover. Cook 25 minutes.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Beef & Bean Budget Enchiladas
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning see recipe below
- 1 29oz can Pinto Beans drained
- 12 Fajita Sized Flour Tortillas
- 2 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 1 tsp Parsley
For the Enchilada Sauce
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Cornstarch
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 3 cups Chicken Broth
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add ground beef and taco seasoning. Cook and crumble until no longer pink. Add drained beans and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, add butter and seasonings for enchilada sauce. Once melted add cornstarch, whisk together and let cook about 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth until sauce is smooth. Reduce heat and simmer. Sauce will thicken.
- Preheat oven to 350degF.
- Put a thin layer of sauce in bottom of 13×9 baking dish. Add a portion of meat and bean mixture to tortilla and roll up. Line up in baking dish until all are filled. Ladle remaining enchilada sauce evenly over top of rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let cool in baking dish for 5 minutes before serving.
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Estelle Forrest self-published this cookbook after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
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