Enchiladas Con Carne (The Best Paleo Beef Enchiladas)

February 13, 2020 Updated: February 13, 2020
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Enchiladas Con Carne

Enchiladas always take me back to my childhood and, to be perfectly honest, both of my pregnancies! Seriously, all I wanted to do when I was pregnant with my girls was head to the closest Tex-Mex restaurant and chow down on a big platter of enchiladas. They always tasted great, but I always regretted it afterwards because I knew they weren’t the most nutritious option I could have gone for. But hey, when you’re pregnant, it’s hard to make clear decisions sometimes. The cravings tend to win!

Now that I am not pregnant and don’t have the “excuse” to just chow down on a platter of enchiladas on the regular, I had to make my own wholesome—but just as indulgent—version in my own kitchen. These enchiladas are the real deal. I know because, well, I’ve eaten a lot of enchiladas in my lifetime! And when I make them for friends and family (see Note), I’m told they’re even better than the Tex-Mex restaurants in town. Heck yeah!

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serves 4

For the enchilada sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth

For the enchiladas:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 85 percent lean
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chiles
  • 1 cup finely diced white onion (1/2 medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 (8-inch) grain-free tortillas (I use Siete cassava or coconut tortillas)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese mixture (omit for dairy-free, paleo)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For serving:

  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Make the enchilada sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the arrowroot and whisk just until combined. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine. Continue whisking as the spices toast to prevent them from burning, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the tomato paste, then slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups of the broth. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, 4–5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and salt. Whisk the sauce until smooth, remove from heat, and set aside.

Make the enchiladas: Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add the ground beef, green chiles, onion, salt, and pepper. Use a wooden spoon or the end of a spatula to break the meat up into small pieces and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Carefully drain the excess fat from the pan and discard. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the ground beef mixture and toss to coat.

Pour another 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce into a wide bowl. Dip each tortilla individually into the sauce to coat both sides, then shake off excess. Fill each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture and carefully roll it up. Place the rolled tortillas in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish seam-side down. Repeat until all of the tortillas are filled, rolled, and in the casserole dish.

Pour the remaining meat mixture across the top of the enchiladas, followed by the remaining enchilada sauce. The enchiladas should be completely covered in sauce. Top with the shredded cheese if desired. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.

To serve, top with sliced avocado and cilantro.

Note: This is a great make-ahead dish to take to someone in need of a home-cooked meal. I love taking a batch to new parents, someone who lost a loved one, or a dear friend who is a little down. I don’t bake it off, but cover it with foil and pop a note on top with directions to bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes.  They’ll be so happy to have a healthy and comforting meal that is made with love.

Excerpted from “The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes” copyright 2019 by Alex Snodgrass. Photography copyright 2019 by Kristen Kilpatrick. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.