How to Make Enchilada Sauce?

The preparation time for this homemade enchilada sauce is about fifteen minutes. It has the ideal combination of basic spices, which results in the greatest enchiladas you’ve ever had. Soft corn tortillas are used to make enchiladas. Shredded or ground meat or chicken is rolled up within the tortillas, then doused in enchilada sauce and baked in the oven. The enchilada sauce has a spicy and robust flavor. As a result, it serves as the foundation for a great deal of other Mexican meals as well. You may drizzle it over tacos or include it into the filling of burritos or chimichangas to make them even more delicious.

Since I started making it, my recipe for enchilada sauce has been one of my most requested dishes. By following this recipe, make your own homemade enchilada sauce instead of buying it in a can (you can increase the amount if you like). Put it to use in every one of your recipes that calls for bottled enchilada sauce.

What is Enchilada Sauce?

Any meal puzzle can be solved with traditional enchilada sauce. The tomato-based sauce has a strong flavor that goes well with meats, cheeses, soups, and casseroles, thanks to the addition of ground cumin and garlic powder. It is a thick, smokey sauce that gives whatever meal it touches depth.

Ancho/pasilla/New Mexico and Cascabel chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, stock, cumin, oregano, and other ingredients are combined and cooked until thickened to make the sauce. It infuses everything it touches with a multi-dimensional tapestry of intricately nuanced flavors. In addition, to smothering enchiladas, enchilada sauce can also be used in soups, skillet dishes, burritos, etc.

Nutrition Value

  • Calories: 158kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Sodium: 1251mg
  • Potassium: 598mg
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Vitamin A: 680IU
  • Vitamin C: 11mg
  • Calcium: 41mg
  • Iron: 3mg

What does Red Enchilada Sauce Taste Like?

It has a flavor resembling tomato paste mixed with chili powder. I did everything just as the recipe instructed. If you live in Southern California, you can access various authentic Mexican dining options. It didn’t have a particularly unpleasant flavor, but I wouldn’t call it enchilada sauce by any stretch of the imagination.

How to Make Enchilada Sauce?

Making delicious enchilada sauce at home couldn’t be simpler; it only takes 20 minutes to put this recipe together. The complete recipe with step-by-step instructions can be found below, but the following is what to anticipate when preparing this well-regarded cuisine.

Oil should first be heated in a skillet over medium-high heat. After thoroughly combining the flour and chili powder, add the tomato sauce and additional seasonings. Cook the sauce for ten minutes or until it has thickened. You can now add fantastic taste to various Tex-Mex recipes with your homemade sauce.


  • Olive oil, three tablespoons
  • Three tablespoons of flour (gluten-free blends, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour all work great!)
  • If you’re sensitive to spice or use fiery chili powder, reduce the amount to 1 tablespoon.
  • One teaspoon of cumin, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 14 teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • Cinnamon pinch (optional but recommended)
  • Tomato paste, two tablespoons
  • Two cups of vegetable stock
  • One teaspoon of distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  • Measure the dry ingredients (flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and optional cinnamon) into a small dish and set it near the heat because this sauce comes together rapidly once you get going. Additionally, put the broth and tomato paste close to the stove.
  • Warm the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until a light sprinkle of the flour/spice combination sizzles when it comes in contact with it. Be patient and focus on the stove because this could take a few minutes.
  • Pour the flour and spice mixture into it after it is prepared. Cook for about a minute, frequently whisking, until fragrant and beginning to deepen in color. After mixing the tomato paste into the mixture, add the broth gradually while continuing to whisk to avoid any lumps.
  • Turn heat down as needed to maintain a gentle simmer after increasing heat to medium-high and bringing the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, often whisking, or until the sauce has slightly thickened, and a spoon meets some resistance while stirring it. (As it cools, the sauce will thicken even more.)
  • Remove from the heat, whisk in the vinegar, and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste. If required, add extra salt (I usually add another pinch or two).

Ways to Use Enchilada Sauce

Here are some of my preferred applications for this simple enchilada sauce:

  • This red sauce goes well with almost all varieties of enchiladas, including my personal favorites, beef enchiladas, and roasted cauliflower enchiladas.
  • For seasoning soups, such as my slow cooker chicken enchilada soup, cheesy chicken enchilada soup, or sweet potato enchilada soup, enchilada sauce is excellent.
  • Stack your enchiladas into a casserole, like this chicken enchilada casserole (one of our readers’ favorite recipes!) if you don’t feel like rolling your enchiladas.
  • Other enchilada-inspired dishes, such as my simple enchilada cups, chicken enchilada nachos, and this simple enchilada skillet, are also some of my favorites to make with this sauce.

Benefits of Enchiladas for Health

  • Enchiladas are an excellent source of 10 additional vitamins and minerals and a high source of 7 of those. (Good source: 10–19% of Daily Value (DV) and high source: 20% or higher of DV)
  • One of the most nutrient-dense components of enchiladas is their calcium content, which provides 1/5 of your daily requirement. By extending, strengthening, and reducing age-related bone loss, calcium is known for establishing and maintaining healthy bones. Additionally, calcium aids in the contraction of your body’s muscles, including the heartbeat! Calcium also helps with blood coagulation and neuron function at more minor levels.
  • Enchiladas contain a significant quantity of manganese as well. Your body uses this mineral as part of enzymatic processes, bone development, and meal energy production.
  • Additionally, enchiladas contain a lot of copper. In addition to aiding in the production of hemoglobin, copper is a trace mineral component of numerous bodily enzymes. Copper promotes connective tissue growth and aids energy production in your body’s cells.
  • Your body uses riboflavin to produce energy and convert amino acids into niacin. Niacin is crucial for reducing the buildup of plaque in the arteries and promoting effective insulin use in your body—this aids blood sugar regulation.

How Long is Enchilada Sauce Good for?

Enchilada Sauce is recommended to be kept in the refrigerator, sealed tightly in an airtight container. It has a shelf life of between five and seven days if stored correctly. Because it will thicken further when stored in the refrigerator, just add some water or chicken broth to dilute it.

Can Enchilada Sauce be Stored in the Freezer?

Yes! If you do not utilize homemade enchilada sauce within a week, you should freeze it. It is our good fortune that it freezes exceptionally well; hence, you may use some of it now and save some for later, or you can create it with the express intention of freezing it.

To Freeze Enchilada Sauce:

  • Enchilada Sauce should be allowed to reach room temperature.
  • Transfer the mixture to freezer-safe glass jars (the liquid will discolor plastic), or transfer the mixture to freezer-safe plastic bags.
  • Label it, and you may keep it frozen for up to three months.
  • When ready to use the sauce, place it in the refrigerator to thoroughly thaw.
  • To get the appropriate consistency, gradually stir in water or chicken broth.

Is Enchilada Sauce the Same as Salsa Verde?

Green enchilada sauce, also known as Verde sauce, is cooked as opposed to salsa verde, served raw, which is the primary distinction between the two. What is this, exactly? While the ingredients for salsa verde are simply mashed together and consumed naturally, enchilada sauce also requires the addition of liquid (either stock or water).

Is Red Chile Sauce the Same as Enchilada Sauce?

One variety of red chili sauce that can be found in Mexican cooking is known as enchilada sauce. Chili sauce is an umbrella phrase that refers to various hot sauces prepared from several types of peppers. When it comes to red chili sauce, the chilies used to make it are, as you have probably already guessed, red.

Which is Better, Green or Red Enchilada Sauce?

In terms of flavor, red sauces have an earthier flavor, while green sauces have a fresher taste. The degree of spiciness of red or green enchilada sauce can vary widely depending on the types of peppers used and whether or not the peppers’ seeds were removed.

What is the Difference Between Burrito Sauce & Enchilada Sauce?

Using a flour tortilla in preparing a wet burrito, on the other hand, as opposed to the more traditional corn tortilla in preparing an enchilada, is the primary distinction between the two. It is possible to utilize the sauce used on enchiladas on a wet burrito. Still, more often than not, a slight adjustment is made by adding additional tomato sauce to the mixture.

What Kinds of Fillings are Commonly Used in Enchiladas?

Meat (such as beef, chicken, pig, or shellfish) or cheese, potatoes, vegetables, beans, or tofu can be used as fillings, and any combination can also be used. In most restaurants, enchiladas are served with various toppings and garnishes, including cheese, sour cream, lettuce, olives, chopped onions, chili peppers, sliced avocado, salsa, and fresh cilantro.

Why is Enchilada Sauce Bitter?

The tendency of homemade chile sauce to have a bitter flavor is a common criticism against it. This could be because the chili peppers retained their peels or because the toasting process caused the peppers to become charred. Add some brown sugar to your chile sauce if it is too harsh for your taste, regardless of why.


When it comes to enchiladas, I say the more toppings, the better, so pile on as many as you can! Any combination of chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, diced red onion (or quick pickled red onions), sliced radishes, fresh or pickled jalapenos, sour cream, Mexican cream, or additional cheese would be a fantastic addition.

While many enchilada sauces may contain wheat or malt as a thickening component, this sauce may not. Susceptible individuals should proceed cautiously because this product is not produced in a facility specifically dedicated to producing gluten-free goods.