★★★★★

Beef Enchilada Mac and Cheese

Easy Stovetop Enchilada Mac and Cheese is kid friendly and adult approved! Have a cheesy, flavorful dinner in 30 minutes with this enchilada pasta!

Love easy dinners? Try our caprese chicken skillet for a quick and hearty meal. Or give our chicken fried rice a try next.

White bowl with cheesy shells and ground beef.

Why this recipe works

Enchiladas and Macaroni & Cheese are two of my kids all-time favorite dinners. While planning out dinners for the upcoming week, I decided to try combining the flavors we love from beef enchiladas with a creamy mac and cheese pasta.

This Beef Enchilada Mac and Cheese received rave reviews from everyone in my family! Flavorful ground beef with Mexican spices mixed with a cheesy bowl of pasta makes for a fantastic kid-approved meal. 

Remember when your mom would reach for a box of hamburger helper to make a fast dinner?

This enchilada pasta recipe is just as easy as those meals I remember from childhood but made with fresher ingredients that deliver a much better flavor. Think of this is a slightly more sophisticated take on those comforting macaroni and hamburger meals from your childhood. 

Enchilada mac and cheese is filled with real cream, real cheese and real taste! 

Today’s recipe is a perfect dinner idea. I used lean ground beef, but ground turkey (or even shredded chicken breast) would be delicious too! Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese is equally tasty.

Ingredient Notes

While I’ll never turn down a baked macaroni and cheese, this macaroni is made on the stovetop in under 30 minutes using a few simple ingredients. 

Here’s what you need for beef enchilada pasta: 

  • Cooked ground beef 
  • Heavy cream
  • Cooked pasta shells
  • Cheese
  • Red enchilada sauce 
  • Cumin and kosher salt 
Beef enchilada mac and cheese shells in a white soup bowl.

How to Make Enchilada Mac and Cheese

STEP 1. In a large pot (or saucepan), heat cream, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt on medium heat. Whisking often, heat until mixture just begins to bubble.

STEP 2. Reduce heat to medium low and add in cheese. Stir until smooth. Mix in the cooked ground beef and the cooked noodles. 

Serve hot and ENJOY! 

Tips and Tricks

  • This is a great use for any leftover ground beef you have in the fridge from taco night. If you have the pasta and ground beef ready to go, the enchilada mac and cheese is ready in just about 15 minutes. Don’t worry if you have to cook ground beef just for this recipe, it adds just a couple minutes of extra time and it’s well worth it! 
  • We really like using shell pasta for our macaroni and cheese. Feel free to use any kind of pasta noodles you have on hand. Elbow macaroni, penne and bow tie pasta are all great options.
  • If you want to add a little more color to this dish, feel free to throw in some chopped bell peppers or other veggies you like in your mac and cheese. (Creamy pasta is always a perfect vehicle for sneaking a few more veggies onto your kids plates.) 
  • I’ve used both jarred enchilada sauce and Homemade Red Enchilada sauce for this recipe. Both are equally tasty!
  • Leftover enchilada pasta keep well for a few days covered in the fridge. I love making a double batch of this and sticking leftovers in tupperware containers for easy reheating throughout the week. 

Enchilada pasta is a full flavorful meal on its own, using minimal equipment and ingredients (not to mention the no fuss clean up). It hardly gets any quicker or easier to get a homemade meal on the dinner table! 

More Easy Dinner Ideas

Yield: 8 servings

Beef Enchilada Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Easy Stovetop Enchilada Mac and Cheese is kid friendly and adult approved! Cheesy, flavorful dinner in 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce medium shells, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 can (10 ounce) red enchilada sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a large pot (or saucepan), heat cream, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt on medium heat. Whisking often, heat until mixture just begins to bubble.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and add in cheese. Stir until smooth. Mix in the cooked ground beef and the cooked noodles.
  3. Serve hot and enjoy immediately!

Notes

  • Swap out ground beef for ground turkey if desired.
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 475mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

With ingredients you probably already have on hand in your fridge, this enchilada pasta recipe is a delicious answer to the question,  “What’s for dinner?” 

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on October 30, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. This looks insanely good! I’ll be making this in the near future. Pinned. P.S.- Now I wanna feed a calf.

    1. hahha!! I think everyone should experience feeding a calf, at least once. It was one of the highlights of my trip for sure. That and the cheese.

  2. This recipe is really good. Tonight I made it with green chile enchilada sauce and jalapeno Jack cheese, then baked it for 30 minds at 375 F with some cheese on top. My husband LOVED it, and so did I!

    1. LOVE that you baked it with extra cheese. And I love green chile enchilada sauce too, great tips Jennifer! Thanks for stopping back with some feedback!!

  3. I tried this tonight. It was sooooo delicious! And easy!! My kind of meal!! I liked that it made a lot so there are plenty of leftovers without being so much that we’d be eating it for a month. I also liked how the cream lightened up the flavor enchilada sauce so it wasnt too strong of a flavor. It just came out perfect! I can be quite picky with my foods, so even though recipes look good I always have a little bit of fear going in, afraid it won’t taste as good as I think it will. But your recipe was BETTER than I thought it would be! It will be on regular rotation at my house! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  4. This looks awesome. I love the fact that you used 2 cups of heavy cream in this. My followers would kill me…just kidding 🙂 What a fun trip. Those cows really looked well taken care off!! Lovely post and great recipe!!

    1. Yeah, they probably would! You could totally cut it back to skim milk with some thickener (flour/cornstarch) to make it a bit healthier. Or, just come to dinner and your readers would never know 😉

  5. I have to admit that milking a cow scares me a bit, BUT I would love to feed those baby cows, they are adorable! Oh and this mac and cheese? Brilliant, Aimee! Mac and cheese and enchiladas should have gotten together a LONG time ago heehee. 😀

    1. Yeah, the big cows were a little intimidating. I was seriously just waiting to get pooped on. Fortunately that didn’t happen (to me anyways…). But yes, the baby cows were quite adorable!

  6. Pinned! This looks like one of those great go-to-recipes when you need something tasty in a hurry! I’ll keep this one handy. Great job!!

  7. Sounds like you had a great time on the farm! And this mac and cheese looks so creamy and filling. Now I am hungry 🙂

  8. Visiting a dairy farm sounds like tons of fun. This beefy mac and cheese is right up my ally!

  9. SUCH a fun trip! I love reading everyone’s recaps and reliving our cheesy adventures. Also, the idea of enchiladas and mac n cheese joining forces is totally blowing my mind. Hello comfort food!

  10. My 3-year old would go NUTS for this. She wants mac and cheese everything… including pizza and ice cream!

  11. The mac & cheese looks delicious. I will definitely be giving it a try.

    Looks like you had a great time on the trip!

  12. I looooove cheese! I probably get more than my daily amount of dairy just from eating BabyBell Cheese. 🙂 this recipe for Mac n cheese is so fun! I need to try it!!!

  13. Seriously yes please! I’m totally obsessed with mac and cheese. The dinner at the stadium must’ve been so cool!

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