Healthy Enchilada Recipe – Ready in 40 Minutes!

Enchiladas are undeniably delicious, but they can often take quite a bit of time to make. Let our quick, homemade enchilada recipe be the solution to enjoying enchiladas any day of the week! 

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • October 22, 2019

The ease of making one-pan meals is nothing short of incredible, and our skillet enchilada recipe is a favorite among our cooking community. This easy recipe lets any cook put a hot, mouthwatering meal on the table in 40 minutes . . . or less if you’re utilizing our Time Savers below!

Now how do we accomplish delicious, saucy enchiladas in such a short amount of time? Well, while the traditional dish consists of filling and rolling each individual enchilada, we cut back the tedious assembly by folding in chopped tortillas with the filling and sauce instead. This makes our recipe the perfect weeknight meal that is still wrapped up in the classic, rich flavors of rolled-up enchiladas.

Unlike many enchilada recipes out there, we ensure that our finished product is imbued with a host of vitamins and minerals coming from kale, zucchini, and corn. We also made the recipe budget-friendly and have included a way to make it even more easy on your wallet in our Budget Cooking section below.

Since most families welcome a cut to their monthly grocery bill, we at Cook Smarts always keep expenses in mind as we create great recipes. Our meal plan members have optimal flexibility to make the best choices for their budget and lifestyle since all recipes come in 4 diet versions (Original, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Paleo). If you want to reduce how much money and time you spend on food each month, learn more here about our multitude of features that can help you live your best life in and out of the kitchen.

Now let’s dive in to our tips and free recipe so you’ll be on your way to a satisfying dinner you will want to make over and over again!

Meal Planning Smarts

  • Budget Cooking: If you are looking to save on your grocery bill this month, simply swap out the ground beef for a 14 oz can of hearty pinto beans. But, don’t worry – each serving will still be packed with 29 grams of protein per serving!
  • Time Savers: We love to save you time, so we include handy weekend prep instructions in all of our meal plan recipes to help you get ahead of schedule. For these skillet enchiladas, you can make the enchilada sauce up to 5 days ahead of time and also chop up your onions, zucchini, kale, and tortillas all 3 days early, which means you can prep on Sunday and enjoy this meal on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
  • Leftovers: Included in all of our weekly meal plan menus are suggestions for delicious leftovers. For this recipe, use extra enchilada sauce to make a Latin-style saute with meat and vegetables or as a base for a rich enchilada soup. Also, the entire skillet enchilada does great when frozen and reheated, so make a double batch and enjoy this meal any time you need a quick, tasty dinner!

Prepping Smarts

  • If you aren’t as familiar with how to properly prep onions, kale, and zucchini for cooking, watch these quick videos to learn how:

How to Chop & Dice an Onion

Learning how to dice an onion correctly will save you so much time in the kitchen.


How to Prep Kale, Chard, or Collard Greens

Learn how to prep these big leafy greens, so you can enjoy in sautes, salads, soups, and curries.


How to Chop Zucchini

Learn how to cube zucchini with this short video.

Equipment Smarts

  • Whenever you make a small amount of sauce, it’s handy to have a saucepan around, so you can reduce the amount of splatter that comes from bubbling tomato-based sauces.
  • If you don’t yet have much experience with large oven-safe skillets, they are great for searing and frying, as well as baking casseroles like this skillet enchilada recipe! So up your cookware game with this inexpensive seasoned cast iron skillet.

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools

1 4

Skillet Enchiladas with Ground Beef

These quick, one pan enchiladas are a favorite weeknight meal in our community of cooks. Enjoy juicy ground beef, nutritious veggies, smooth red sauce, melted Monterey Jack cheese and more all in one piping hot skillet.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 25 min

Total time: 40 min

Serves: 4


  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Chili powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin, ground - 2 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato paste - 7 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 2 cups
  • Onions, medium - 1, diced
  • Tortillas, taco-sized corn or flour - 8, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Kale, curly-leaf - 4 leaves, stems discarded, leaves chopped
  • Zucchini - 8 oz, diced
  • Corn, frozen - 1 cup
  • Beef, ground and lean - 1 lb
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Cheese, Monterey Jack, shredded - 6 oz (sub cheddar)
  • Sour cream - 1/4 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)



  1. Make enchilada sauce – Combine first part of cooking oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until spices are fragrant. Whisk in tomato paste and stock. Simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavors come together and the sauce reduce slightly. (Note: sauce will be fairly thin.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Onions – Dice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Tortillas / Kale / Zucchini – Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Corn – Defrost.


  1. Turn on the oven’s broiler.
  2. Heat a large oven-safe skillet with second part of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add onions to heated oil. Saute until beginning to soften, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini with a pinch of salt and saute for 3 minutes more.
  4. Add beef and salt to the pan and saute until beef is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid / fat.
  5. Add kale, corn, and enchilada sauce. Continue cooking to heat everything through.
  6. Remove pan from heat. Stir in tortillas and half the cheese. Top skillet with the remaining half of cheese.
  7. Place skillet under heated broiler and cook until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling, ~3 minutes (watch it closely to prevent burning).
  8. Serve skillet enchiladas with sour cream on top. Enjoy!

A little note:

Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we earn a small percentage from those sales. We use this affiliate revenue to support the continued growth of Cook Smarts. Thank you!

Get more helpful cooking tips and resources by signing up for our newsletter below. We send out weekly emails that will help you improve in the kitchen and live a healthier life, so join our community today and start cooking smarter!

Skillet Enchilada Recipe | Cook SmartsSkillet Enchilada Recipe | Cook SmartsSkillet Enchilada Recipe | Cook SmartsSkillet Enchilada Recipe | Cook SmartsSkillet Enchilada Recipe | Cook Smarts


Our Podcast: Strategies to become a smarter cook


Try our award winning meal plan service for free

Share the love!

Join our community

Enjoy free tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How can we help you in the kitchen?

Join our community

Enjoy free tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up for the Cook Smarts Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM & promise to keep your email address safe.

Skip to content