Make your own homemade enchilada sauce with this easy and quick recipe. It comes together in just 10 minutes and has a truly authentic taste.
This is hands down the best enchilada sauce! Trust me, I’ve been making enchiladas for 20 years and have tried everything out there.
There was NO canned sauce that was to my satisfaction and after trying many recipes at home, I’ve finally found THE ONE! If you love enchiladas, you need this sauce. You will never go back to the canned stuff again.
I tried recipes using dried ancho peppers and chipotle peppers and nothing seemed to taste right or have the right consistency. Not only does this homemade enchilada sauce taste good but it is also super quick and made using easy to find dry spices, flour and tomato paste. So, let's get to it!
To make enchilada sauce you will need:
- Olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
- Flour: oil and flour are required to make the roux. This will give you a nice thick enchilada sauce.
- Chili powder: Just regular chili powder. If you use chipotle or ancho, you may get a stronger flavor than you want.
- Garlic powder
- Dry Mexican oregano: regular oregano is fine too or you can skip it all together.
- Cinnamon: this is optional but I recommend just a pinch
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: this is my secret ingredient! Cocoa powder cuts down the tangy taste of tomato paste. It give this red enchilada sauce a bit of that mole enchilada flavor.
- Tomato Paste: A tomato paste helps control the thickness of the sauce. So be sure to use paste, not tomato sauce.
- Vegetable broth or water
How to Make Enchilada Sauce:
Start by whisking together all the dry ingredients- flour, spices, and cocoa powder. Heat the oil in a medium sized pot. Once the oil is hot, add the dry ingredients all at once and quickly whisk it together. You may need to take it off the heat or lower the heat to prevent burning.
Next, whisk in the tomato paste. It will become very thick and a bit difficult to stir. Be careful not to let it burn.
Finally, slowly whisk in the broth or water. Stir until smooth and bring the sauce to a gentle boil for a few minutes. The longer it boils, the thicker it gets so adjust it to your liking. Adjust the salt before serving if needed.
This enchilada sauce keeps in the refrigerator for about 5 days. You can also freeze the sauce and thaw when needed. I store and freeze mine in glass jars.
Enchilada sauce is used to make enchiladas of course! But you can also use it to…
- Make enchilada casseroles. I do this when I’m feeling a bit lazy. Just layer your tortillas and fillings in a casserole dish like you would for a lasagna.
- Top your burritos with enchilada sauce.
- Drizzle it onto a burrito bowl.
- Spoon it over your favorite sheet pan nachos.
- Add a spoonful or two to rice before cooking it to create a Mexican red rice.
- Mix it in with a bowl of sofritas and rice.
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- ½ Tablespoon chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of dry mexican oregano
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- pinch of cinnamon
- ½ Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- Whisk together the flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a small bowl.
- Heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pan.
- Check to see if the oil is hot by sprinkling a little bit of the dry mixture. It should sizzle.
- Lower the heat, add the spice and dry ingredient mixture to the hot oil all at once and whisk immediately. You may need to whisk off the heat if you think it is going to burn.
- Once it is all mixed, add the tomato paste and stir again being careful not to let it burn.
- Slowly pour in the broth or water while stirring.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. It will thicken as it heats.
- For a thinner consistency add more broth and stir. Adjust the salt to taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: ½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 787mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g
This nutrition information is only an approximate provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. Information comes from Nutritionix, an automated nutrition calculator.