Beef and Chorizo Enchiladas

Restaurant style enchiladas with beef, chorizo and red chile sauce

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During our Abiquiu trip, we took a drive through El Rito, New Mexico, and on to Ojo Caliente.  Ojo Caliente is another small New Mexico town which is well known for its Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. Originally, we were going to eat lunch at the spa restaurant, but once we arrived and saw how crazy, busy the place was we decided to go elsewhere. We were looking for something a lot more laid back, which was the general theme of our vacation. 🙂 So we drove back to the main road where we saw a sleepy looking cafe called the Mesa Vista Cafe.

The Mesa Vista Cafe was just what we were looking for.  We were greeted by a very sweet lady that made us feel like we were being welcomed into her personal kitchen.  Bobby ordered the chicken enchiladas with green (green chile sauce) and I ordered the beef enchiladas with red (red chile sauce).  After we both placed our orders we were asked “Onions?”  Of course!  Not a question many restaurants ask, but I love it when they do because I love raw onions in my enchiladas.  The food was good, and the chile sauces great, which, of course, is what makes any plate of enchiladas worth eating.  Along with the chile sauces, the other thing I liked about these enchiladas was their simplicity.  Neither of them had cheese – just meat (which could have used a little more seasoning), barely cooked onions, homemade tortillas, and chile sauce.  That’s it.  Nothing fancy, just good old home cooking.

These Beef and Chorizo Enchiladas are the style of enchiladas served at the Mesa Vista Cafe and many other small town New Mexican restaurants.  No cheese, sour cream or guacamole garnishes, just a simple filling wrapped in warm, soft, corn tortillas and smothered in chile sauce. They are so easy to make and, for the filling, you can use just about anything you want – chicken, ground beef, sauteed vegetables, beans, or what I use here, ground beef and Mexican chorizo.  For sides pinto beans (whole or refried) work well, and of course the traditional New Mexico salad of lettuce and tomato.  I hope you enjoy!


Beef and Chorizo Enchiladas

Restaurant style beef and chorizo enchiladas with red chile sauce mjskitchen.come @MJsKitchen

Beef and Chorizo Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce Recipe
20 mins
5 mins
Total Time
25 mins

These enchiladas can be made in less than 30 minutes if you already have the red chile sauce.  See Kitchen Notes for links to making red chile from pods and from powder.  Red chile from powder can be made pretty quick.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Main Course, Meat Entree, Red Chile
Cuisine: Mexican, New Mexico, Southwestern
Yields: 4 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
Amounts are estimates for 4 enchiladas and can easily be increased or decreased to accommodate the number of people being served.
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ¼ pound Mexican chorizo*
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano, crushed
  • ½ cup chopped onions (sweet onions are best)
  • 4 corn tortillas*
  • 1 cup red chile sauce*
  • Montery Jack cheese (optional)
  1. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, chorizo and oregano and, using your fingers, incorporate the chorizo into the ground beef so that it is well distributed.
  2. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. When hot add the meat mixture and break it up into small pieces to cook. Keep stirring until the meat is cooked through, but not dry for 4 to 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Add half of the onion. If you don't like raw onion, then cook for about a minute; otherwise, stir in the onion and then remove the skillet from the heat.

  4. Heat the corn tortillas one at a time on a hot griddle. When soft and warm, transfer to a plate and scoop about ¼ of the meat mixture or desired amount down the middle of a tortilla. Roll and turn over, seam side down.
  5. Repeat with the other tortillas, placing two enchiladas on two plates.
  6. Smother with red chile sauce and top with the remaining raw onion and cheese (if desired).
  7. Place in microwave for 30 - 60 seconds.
  8. Serve with choice of sides.
Kitchen Notes

Red chile sauce from pods


Red chile sauce from powder


Mexican Chorizo


Filling – As previously mentioned, you can fill these enchiladas with just about anything you want.  Just don’t forgo the seasoning in the filling.  Even though the enchiladas are smothered in chile sauce, your filling still needs to have some taste of its own.  Chicken, beans, scrambled egg, chopped and sauteed vegetables all work.  You could also go with just cheese or you could add cheese to the filling.  If you do use cheese, then you’ll need to heat the plate in the microwave or under a broiler in order to melt the cheese.  Shredded chicken with a little sour cream and onion makes a good filling as well as scrambled eggs with chorizo.  Shredded pork or beef, carne adovada, or just well seasoned ground beef all work well too.


Red or Green? – With beef, sausage or beans, I usually prefer red chile sauce.  However, with chicken or vegetables, I prefer green chile sauce. But that’s my preference.  Some people prefer Christmas (red and green) on their enchiladas and that works great for these as well.


Condiments – Of course with any dish, you can add whatever condiments your heart desires.  Suggested condiments for these beef and chorizo enchiladas would be sour cream and possibly some guacamole.  I consider the tomato and lettuce “salad” a condiment, because I like to grab a little of each with my fork on every bite, just like you would a little sour cream.



As you can see, enchiladas don’t have to take all afternoon to make.  Granted – if you are serving a large group, then yes, enchiladas in a large casserole dish is easier.  You could also treat this meal like making pizzas.  Provide different fillings, green and red chile sauces, and let your guests make their own. 🙂  When you are just serving 2 to 3 people, this method of making enchiladas is quick and easy and the result is as if you had spent all afternoon cooking.

I hope you enjoy making your own restaurant style enchiladas as home!


Restaurant style enchiladas with ground beef, chorizo and red chile sauce. @MJsKitchen


Parting Shot


A road through a small town south of Alcalde, New Mexico @MJsKitchen

The main road through a small town in northern New Mexico. It’s very common for property walls and sides of buildings to be right up to the edge of the road. This particular road was only wide enough for one car.


Here are some other enchilada recipes you might enjoy:

Carne Adovada Enchiladas with Red

Black Bean and Shitiake Mushroom Enchiladas with Red

New Mexico Red Chile Enchiladas

Calabacitas Enchiladas with Green


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49 Responses to “Beef and Chorizo Enchiladas”

  1. Tamara andersen June 17, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Great post MJ! We try to make it to the Rio Grande gorge/Taos/Dixon area every year. We have eating at Ojo Caliente, but the little “hole in the wall” places are more our style… It’s good to have a recommendation for local eateries! I’m anxious to try making enchiladas without the cheese. We don’t have them often because we don’t indulge in cheese often.

    • mj June 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Thanks Tamara! A lot of restaurants aren’t brave enough to serve enchiladas without cheese, but the smaller, more traditional NM restaurants don’t seem to worry about it. When we moved here, my neighbor, a fifth generation New Mexican never used cheese in enchiladas and I remember them being quite good. The Mesa Vista Cafe’s reminded me of my neighbor’s.

  2. Bill June 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    Oh, MJ, you have me craving enchiladas! They look delicious! I love the photo with the iced tea. You’re a good Louisiana girl, aren’t you? 🙂 Great post!

    • mj June 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

      Thanks so much Bill! Oh, yes – you can take the girl out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of the girl. 🙂

  3. Carol at Wild Goose Tea June 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I find I am partial to green sauce myself. This ‘plain’ enchilada reminds me of how ‘plain’ the Italians make their pizza. This sauce and the true flavor of the meat are really the work horses in this dish. At first I didn’t think I would be that excited about it. But then I remembered how much I like a simple ground beef and onion pizza with no cheese. So I changed my mind. Since I am a woman changing my mind is of course part of my birthright. Lol

    • mj June 13, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks Carol and yes, isn’t having a good excuse for changing our minds just wonderful?! Now you have me craving an Italian style pizza!

  4. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles June 12, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Goodness MJ, could your enchiladas look any better? Perfection.

    Our family eats out at Mexican restaurants *a lot* so I feel like this post was written for me ;-). I was smiling reading about the authentic style of this recipe sans accouterments — I’ve made friends with a lovely native Mexican family here in Cali and the mom is always telling me how most of our Mexican style food here bears little to no resemblance to the way Mexicans actually prepare and eat food. (What, no fajitas? :O) — I am a little concerned about the busyness of the Mineral Springs Spa though 🙁 thought that might otherwise be the ideal destination for a second honeymoon or girls weekend :).

    • mj June 13, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      Thanks so much Kelly! Yes, too many accouterments do smother the flavor of the chile and who wants to do that?! 🙂 I was quite taken back by the busyness of the spa as well. The parking lot was full and it was a big parking lot for Ojo Caliente. It looked like a lovely place, but not our style. 🙂

  5. Liz June 11, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    I love finding those sort of spots to dine…true local cuisine! And I’m certain you took their enchiladas and made them even better!

    • mj June 13, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      Thanks Liz! I do like the addition to chorizo to the ground beef. Just ground beef can be so boring so it needs something to punch it up. Chorizo seems to do the trick.

  6. Oh I envy your trip. It had to be filled out with flavours. I’ll try out this recipe to feel like I’m there 🙂

    • mj June 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks Marta! These enchiladas with the red chile sauce will definitely bring you into New Mexico. 🙂

  7. A_Boleyn June 10, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    I know I’m going to be busy trying to keep up with all my blog subscriptions but my love of south-western foods means I have to check out more of the wonderful dishes I’ve seen you post.

    Anyone who routinely cooks beans from dry is my kind of person. And I’ve made my own Mexican chorizo so I think I can hold my head up.

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Thanks so much Ann! Glad to meet another lover of southwestern food and dried beans. Canned beans just done cut it – too mushy and not a lot of flavor.

  8. Donalyn@TheCreeksideCook June 10, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Enchiladas are always sort of a “leftovers” kind of meal for us – you put just about anything in there as you mention, plus some hot sauce and cheese, and dinner is set to go! We get a particularly good chorizo from a local butcher and I see a package of it going into these very soon – thanks!

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      Oh Danalyn – that is so true! Enchiladas and burritos both are great leftover meals. Oh to list all of the things I have stuffed inside a burrito. 🙂 It’s hard to find good chorizo here, that’s why I make my own. Hope you do get a chance to try these.

  9. Katerina June 10, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    I love Mexican and my husband and I go to a Mexican restaurant here in Athens every time we have the chance! I would love to try these Enchiladas as they are my favorite dish and I always order it!

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

      They have Mexican restaurants in Athens? 🙂 We have a couple of Greek restaurants here, but I bet they are nothing compared to where you are. Thanks for your comments Katerina!

  10. Ramona June 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    My family (especially the boys) would go crazy for this beef and chorizo filling. Looks wonderful. 🙂

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook June 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    I used to eat Enchiladas once a week and loved it. I would love to make these at home, seriously! My kids love tacos and we go eat every Saturday lunch between video shooting. 🙂 When I come back from my trip, I’ll definitely work on this recipe!

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      Thanks Nami! We usually have enchiladas, tacos, tostada or burrito at least once a week and sometime with red or green chile about 5 times a week. 🙂 We do love our spicy food. Hope you’re having a wonderful trip!

  12. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    That road is wacky but not those chorizo enchiladas. I’ve never been to New Mexico and I’m so eager to pack my knife and fork and head over there.

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      Thanks Maureen! He cuisine here is pretty awesome and spicy! 🙂

  13. Raymund June 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    This definitely is how I will make my enchiladas next time, I love chorizos!

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Thanks Raymund!

  14. June 9, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    I just adore accidentally discovering these little family jewel type restaurants. Sounds like you really hit the jackpot MJ. I don’t think I ever had a more simple enchilada as you have described but now I want to, great recipe.

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! We usually do try to find the local spots wherever we go. The hospitality can’t be beat and most of the time the food is pretty darn good. 🙂

  15. Minnie@thelady8home June 9, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    Fabulous looking enchiladas! Yumm!! It looks beautiful. How funny that things vary so much from one state to another within US…this road reminds me of roads back in North East India. fences that come right up to the road with green everywhere.

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks so much Minnie! I’ve never been to India, but now I’m quite interested because I love these small roads. 🙂

  16. Terra June 8, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Oh man, thanks a lot… I am starving! Your recipe looks fantastic! Anything with chorizo is a winner in my book! Yum, Hugs, Terra

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      Thanks Terra! I’m a big chorizo fan myself as you’ve seen. 🙂

  17. swathi June 8, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Delicious I would love to do a taste Mj, that roads remind my back home roads in India.

    • mj June 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks Swathi! I’m alwAys fascinated with small roads like that, because they aren’t common I the cities here.

  18. Vicki Bensinger June 8, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    There’s nothing like going into a restaurant when traveling on the road to get a good home cooked meal. How nice to have found that. These enchiladas sound wonderful, not fancy, but perfect.

    When I eat a good meal in a restaurant I always try to duplicate it at home. Thanks for sharing.

    • mj June 8, 2014 at 9:41 am #

      Thanks Vicki! I know what you mean – I’m always attempting to duplicate restaurant food. 🙂

  19. Debra June 8, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    Perfect meal. I am envious of your trip. I often get emails from Ojo Caliente and the spa and have wanted to go but I like the sleepiness and less hectic aspect of your itinerary. Am dying to go to Abiquiu as well. Love finding quaint little places when we travel, too. The filling for your enchiladas sounds delicious!

    • mj June 8, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Debra! You and your hubby would love the Abiquiu area! It’s the complete opposite from New Orleans, but after a New Orleans trip it’s perfect. 🙂

  20. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen June 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    I love Onions in my enhciladas too but I love cheese as well. Those Beef Enchiladas look really delicious, even without the cheese though.

    • mj June 7, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

      Thanks Peachy! Well, you know you could always add cheese!! There are 1001 ways to make enchiladas so experiment and enjoy!

  21. Sissi June 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    I would definitely choose the family atmosphere rather than the first restaurant you tried… The enchiladas look amazing and I will ask you the restaurant’s details if I ever travel to this part of the globe 🙂 (I would never refuse the onions either!).

    • mj June 7, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Thanks Sissi! I hope you do get to travel this way some day. If you do, we MUST meet!!!

  22. Karen (Back Road Journal) June 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    Enchiladas have always been a favorite of mine and I like the idea of adding chorizo to the beef filling. Growing up in Texas, beef always had red sauce and chicken had green sauce

    • mj June 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

      Thanks Karen!

  23. John@Kitchen Riffs June 7, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Christmas for me — I can never decide whether I want green or red sauce! And yes on the onions. This is such a nice, simple dish, and one I need to make. It’s odd, because I love Mexican, Tex-Mex, New Mexico, and southwestern “mex” food, but I rarely cook it. I need to work my way through all of your recipes one day! This is really nice — thanks.

    • mj June 7, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

      Thanks John! We have chile 2 to 3 times a week (and sometimes more) in one fashion or another, probably because it is addicting. New Mexico/southwestern meals are pretty common as well. I can’t imagine NOT cooking with chile and Mexican ingredients. As a result, we never go out for New Mexico food. I hope you do try some of my NM recipes someday. With your love for chile, I know you’d find some you like. 🙂

  24. Angie (@angiesrecipess) June 7, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    For me, please double the onions :-)) Your enchiladas look mouthwatering, MJ.

    • mj June 7, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Thanks Angie! Good to see another onion lover! 🙂


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