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

Crockpot Enchiladas and Ritz 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 gouda 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

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section below!

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!


  • 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


  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!


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

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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?” 

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About Aimee

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

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on October 30, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. I didn’t have heavy cream on hand, so I substituted a can of evaporated milk (4% milkfat, so the “whole” version), plus a 1/4 cup-ish of half&half, and 2 tbsp of butter. It was SCRUMPTIOUS!

  2. Oh my! This beef enchilada mac and cheese was delicious – and so easy to make! Will have to try this for my family. Thanks so much, Aimee!

  3. I love this recipe! I actually have made it a few times over the last of couple years but have totally neglected to leave a comment. So finally I’m leaving one because making this is a must! It’s so easy to make and is super delicious 🙂 

  4. Beef Enchilada Mac and Cheese looks really yummy. Definitely i’ll try it! I found your post from Pinterest ! Thanks for sharing, Aimee!

  5. This recipe is delicious, my husband and boys love it. Very creamy and lots of flavor. Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. I made this last night for my family and they LOVED it!!! I will definitely be making this again. Super easy and super delicious!!! Thanks 🙂

  7. We stayed in the same hotel in February of this year, absolutely georgeous. I too ate my weight in food that weekend but it was from some of the wonderful restaurants in the area. I’m trying this recipe tonight I think.

  8. I don’t have cumin, is this a must? Or is there a different spice I can use? It looks delicious, think my picky 5 year old and husband would love it!! 🙂 Thanks!

    1. It definitely enhances the enchilada flavor. You can skip it, or add in some taco seasoning.

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