Enchilada Pie

This recipe started as my husband’s less labor-intensive way of making enchiladas in college/law school. Over the years, this recipe evolved into a more wholesome family favorite. We’ve experimented with many different ingredients and combinations before settling on this one, which has become my favorite even over Mexican restaurants in Houston, which is saying a lot coming from this Mexican food lover. For several years we used ground turkey in this recipe, but after trying lean ground beef in it again recently, we’re smitten and not going back to ground turkey in this particular dish. And this week after forgetting to buy a taco seasoning packet for the beef, I frantically googled what spices comprise such a seasoning packet and landed on Alton Brown’s Taco Potion #19—wowza! Homemade taco seasoning elevates this recipe to a whole new level, so I thought I’d share our family recipe for enchilada pie with you.

By the way, the photos above don’t show a completed recipe because the last two times I made this dish we had company and dug into the enchiladas before I remembered to snap a photo. This dish is just that good. Enjoy!


  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 10 ounce package of frozen spinach
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce
  • 1 round block of queso asadero
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 bag of shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Olive oil

Alton Brown’s Taco Potion #19

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 0.5 teaspoons cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Chop onion, peppers, squash and zucchini into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a deep pan, warm olive oil over medium-high heat and add chopped vegetables, frozen spinach and Alton Brown’s Taco Potion #19. Once vegetables are softened, add the ground beef. Cook until beef is browned. Stir often to infuse flavor throughout.
  3. In an 11- x 17-inch baking dish, layer six corn tortillas on the bottom and fully cover the tortillas in enchilada sauce. Add warm meat and vegetable mixture as the second layer.
  4. Chop cheese block into small cubes. Add queso asadero cheese cubes and black olives (chopped, if desired) as the third layer and pour more enchilada sauce over ingredients in the baking dish. Leave just enough sauce for covering the corn tortilla topping.
  5. Top with six corn tortillas fully covering the ingredients in the baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas, making sure all are moist. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the enchilada pie.
  6. Bake enchilada pie for 20 minutes at 350º. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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