beef enchilada dinner

$17.21 meal / serves 6+

This meal is one of the easiest and most satisfying you’ll ever make. The warm, gooey enchiladas are truly comforting, the cilantro lime rice adds substance and a ton of flavor while the guacamole salad offers a fresh, cool, bright contrast to the hot enchiladas. The three dishes go so well together that you can even use the guacamole salad as a topping for the enchiladas or add some of the rice inside the enchiladas before baking. See the notes below for a vegetarian option!

This meal includes:

Beef & Been Enchiladas $10.32
Cilantro Lime Rice $2.08
Guacamole Salad $4.81
Total: $17.21

Serves: 6, plus 4 left over enchiladas (tomorrow’s lunch!)

Beef Enchilada Dinner
Cilantro Lime RiceGuacamole Salad


Below is an example of my grocery list and a list of items that I already have on hand in my pantry or refrigerator. Use the grocery list as a guide but, as always, check the pantry list for items that you may not have or need to restock and check the grocery list for items that you might already have on hand. Adjust the lists as necessary.

This meal is full of fresh produce, so buying from a produce market will result in the lowest cost possible. Also, make sure to make this meal in the summer when these vegetables are in season and at their lowest price.

GROCERY LIST

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 can refried beans
1 can (20 oz.) red enchilada sauce
10 pack 10″ tortillas
1 packet taco seasoning
1.5 cups shredded cheddar
.5 bunch green onions
1 bunch cilantro
2 med. limes
3 med. avocados
3 med. roma tomatoes
1/4 red onion
1 med. jalapeno

PANTRY ITEMS / ON HAND

2 cups long grain rice
3 cubes bullion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
to taste salt/pepper

STEP 1: Begin cooking the Cilantro Lime Rice, as the rice will need about 30 minutes to simmer on the stove.

STEP 2: After getting the rice going, begin the Beef & Been Enchiladas. The filling comes together quickly in a skillet then they will need about 30 minutes to bake after the tortillas are filled and rolled.

STEP 3: While the enchiladas are baking, finish the cilantro lime rice (puree the cilantro and lime, stir into the cooked rice). Keep the rice pot on the stove with a lid in place (burner off) to keep the rice warm until the enchiladas are ready to serve.

STEP 4: Prepare the Guacamole Salad as the enchiladas finish baking. This salad comes together quickly (about 15 min.) because it only requires chopping vegetables and combining them with olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and garlic. Easy!

LEFTOVERS

The only items on the grocery list that you will have leftovers from are the cheese, green onions and red onion.

Shredded cheese is usually sold in 2 cup bags and the recipe calls for 1.5 cups. You can either add extra cheese or save the rest for sandwiches or breakfast quesadillas.

If you don’t want to purchase a whole red onion for the 1/4 called for in the guacamole salad, you can use the green onions that are left over from the enchiladas. The flavor won’t be quite the same but it will still be delicious.

The Cilantro Lime Rice calls for one bunch of cilantro while the Guacamole Salad calls for 1/4 bunch. If you are making the two recipes at the same time, you can use 3/4 bunch for the rice and the remaining 1/4 bunch for the salad. There is no need to buy two bunches.

VEGETARIAN OPTION

Replace the Beef Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Enchiladas. This recipe only serves 4 and uses a half batch of Roasted Poblano and Sweet Potato Salad as the filing. I would suggest making a whole batch of the Roasted Poblano and Sweet Potato Salad and then make a double batch of Sweet Potato Enchiladas to yield 8 servings/enchiladas. When you double the recipe this way, the cost for the whole meal is just about the same as the Beef Enchilada meal.

5 Comments

  1. I made the enchiladas for dinner tonight and they were so good! My 14 month old would not stop eating them. I posted a link to your blog on mine tonight- I wanted to share the food blog love. :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    This looks great very similar to my own version keep up the great work. I love coming to this site for dinner meal ideas.

  3. Anon – Yes, a lot of recipes are really easy to halve, unless that requires using a half can of this and a half can of that… in that case, just make the whole recipe and eat the leftovers throughout the week. For very tight budgets, just make sure that inexpensive ingredients (like pasta and rice) are the main ingredients in the recipes you make. You can click on the pasta or rice tag under the “Labels” list in the right hand column to be taken to all of the pasta or rice dishes on this site. Good luck!

  4. I love to do my version of the sweet potato enchilladas (somewhere between yours and whole foods) with sliced avocado and tomato “salad” I’ll have to remember to make rice at some point. Yours looks great, I’m just usually too lazy!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This looks like it came from a restaurant. :) Hope to try some of your recipes soon. I have a small family though – would you suggest to halve the ingredients? Also, if you have any suggestions for very tight budgets, thank you. Lyn

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