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Homemade enchilada sauce recipe

Homemade enchilada sauce recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce
  • Chilli sauce

This is a more authentic Mexican enchilada sauce that doesn't contain tomatoes. Onion and garlic are sauteed with cumin, cinnamon and chilli powder, then simmered with chicken stock.

10 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 160g finely diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 5 tablespoons hot chilli powder
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 30g dark chocolate

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high high heat. Cook onion until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon; cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and chilli powder, stirring until sauce thickens. Slowly whisk in chicken stock; reduce until sauce reaches desired consistency. Stir in chocolate until melted and well blended.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(305)

Reviews in English (235)

by Karen Ayala Simmons

Good beginning recipe for enchilada sauce but I found it bland on its own. I grew up on the authentic stuff in Latin America with the Mole style type. I think that you would have to adjust this to your own personal taste for sweetness, salt, spicy etc. I added extra cumin and made sure that I used a good (excellent?)quality Chili powder. If your chili powder doesn't really taste good this recipe won't either.-29 Nov 2005


Very authentic!! I will NEVER buy canned or packet sauce again!!!I sub half the chicken broth w/beef broth & add 1 cube beef boullion for beef enchiladas. I add chili 1 tbs at a time and adjust spice level depending on taste (5tbs was good for adults, maybe not for kids)... i would also suggest using wondra flour instd of reg. white flour to reduce lumps. if you are impatient like i am, you can add a little corn starch mixd w/broth to thicken.-07 Aug 2004


Can I say.... AUTHENTIC??!! This was very good, tastes alot like the nicer restaurants version, not your fast food mexican chains. It doesn't seem to thicken on the stove, but does in the oven. Only thing I reduced on was the 5 TABLESPOONS of HOT chili powder.... I decreased this to 5 TEASPOONS. Which was spicy and bold enough for my husband, but mild enough for me and our 4 kids. Thank you Anna Marie! This is a keeper!-11 Nov 2004

Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced green chiles
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 low-carb high-fiber tortillas (such as La Tortilla Factory®)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded low-fat Mexican cheese blend

Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour cook and stir using a wooden spoon until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in chicken stock, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, and salt bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer enchilada sauce until thickened and smooth, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Coat the inside of a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes drain and discard grease.

Heat olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat cook and stir onion, green chiles, and green bell pepper until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Mix in ground beef and black beans. Stir in 1/2 of the enchilada sauce cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes.

Spoon beef mixture evenly onto the center of each tortilla and roll tortilla around filling. Place tortillas, seam-side down, in the baking dish. Cover tortillas with remaining enchilada sauce and Mexican cheese blend.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound red jalapeno peppers, stems cut off
  • ½ pound red serrano peppers, stems cut off
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar

Chop jalapeno and serrano peppers, retaining seeds and membranes, and place into a blender with garlic, brown sugar, salt, and water. Blend until smooth, pulsing several times to start.

Transfer puree into a large glass container such as a large jar or pitcher. Cover container with plastic wrap and place into a cool dark location for 3 to 5 days, stirring once a day. The mixture will begin to bubble and ferment. Scrape down the sides during each stirring. Rewrap after every stirring and return to a cool, dark place until mixture is bubbly.

Pour fermented mixture back into blender with vinegar blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan, pushing as much of the pulp as possible through the strainer into the sauce. Discard remaining pulp, seeds, and skin left in strainer.

Place saucepan on a burner and bring sauce to a boil, stirring often, until reduced to your desired thickness, 5 to 10 minutes. Skim foam if desired.

Remove saucepan from heat and let sauce cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken a little when cooled. Transfer sauce to jars or bottles and refrigerate.

Suggestions for How to Use this Enchilada Sauce

  • I like to double this recipe and put half in the fridge to use for later. It stays good for up to a week!
  • Enchilada sauce can also be you can keep it in a freezer safe container for up to two months.
  • Use this enchilada sauce in chili or taco soup.
  • You can also use it as your “red sauce” for Mexican pizza or as a layer in a hot bean dip.
  • Try this homemade sauce as a marinade or put it in the slow cooker with chicken or pork to make shredded filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

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Homemade Enchilada sauce is easy to make with healthy fresh organic produce from your garden, CSA or farmers market.

Is your garden bursting with peppers, garlic, onions and tomatoes? Fresh rosemary and oregano hanging about? Want to try a healthier, tastier, version of enchilada sauce? No more commercially canned sauce, once you learn to make it from scratch. This is a delicious and nutritious, homemade enchilada sauce. This recipe would make a nice foodie gift!

Make your own enchilada sauce using fresh ingredients. Delicious!

This is an exciting time of year. It&rsquos warm outside green&hellip beautiful. We enjoy puttering about the garden our greenhouse is our new patio! We hang out there a lot, visit and drink coffee, (yes, we enjoy our coffee, even in our hot , summer greenhouse).

We always find work to do outside and time slips by so fast. Our meals are dictated by whatever is ripe out there, at the moment. It&rsquos a fun, nutritious, inexpensive way to cook. We love eating what we have worked so hard to grow!

Vine ripened tomatoes from our greenhouse

Already we can feel the days shortening only one month after the solstice. Our precious summer is moving toward it&rsquos end, we can&rsquot hold it. Soon the evenings will cool, the dew will start, spiders will form nests in the tall, waving, field grasses and under our house eves. But&hellip not yet.

It&rsquos mid- summer now, we still enjoy the warm time before the final harvest is upon our garden. The broccoli and spring greens salads are about done. Dave is replanting them for the cooler, fall temperatures. Strawberries, raspberries and transparent apples go into the freezer now, followed by our prolific blackberries and many gorgeous, nutritious garden delectables.!

Homemade Enchilada sauce is made with fresh garden peppers with a heat factor of two or higher. you choose your favorite peppers to suit your personal heat meter.

We are committed to using them at their peak ripeness, as much as possible. The garden and greenhouse reward us for our hard work in growing them. It&rsquos a sad day to miss just a little time in the garden and find overripe, gone to seed, plants surrounded by and, sometimes, buried in, weeds.

Dave is Great at keeping the garden and greenhouse well managed. He brings in TONS of beautiful ripe produce every day. It&rsquos to the kitchen I must go and put that precious harvest to use.

What’s in a red enchilada sauce?

Guess what? You don’t need canned tomatoes to make this enchilada sauce. All you need is tomato paste, vegetable broth and some seasonings. Because you’re using tomato paste which is naturally sweeter, you’ll only need to simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. It turns into a full-flavored sauce with a creamy texture and a zesty flavor that’s irresistible. Here’s all you need for this sauce:

  • Yellow onion and garlic
  • Olive oil (to saute)
  • Vegetable broth
  • Tomato paste
  • Adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers see below)
  • Spices: cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and chili powder

All you’ll have to do is saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend it up and you’re ready to go!

How to make enchilada sauce

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in the flour and simmer for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until frothy.

2. Add the chili powder and all of the remaining spices and cook for one more minute, whisking constantly.

3. Slowly pour the chicken broth into the saucepan, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. If you are new to making a roux, I highly recommend taking the saucepan off the heat to whisk in the chicken broth.

4. Finally, whisk in the tomato paste and then allow the sauce to simmer over just slightly hotter than medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Add a little more chicken broth for a thinner sauce if the sauce ends up too thick.

5. Allow the sauce to cool for at least 15 minutes before using it an a recipe.

How to Make Easy Enchilada Sauce

Start with a Roux. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the flour and keep stirring continually for 5 minutes, until the roux (flour and oil mixture) begins to brown. I shoot for the color of peanut butter or a copper penny for my roux. See my post on how to make a roux to learn more.

Make the Enchilada Sauce. Stir in the chili powder, tomato paste, vegetable or chicken broth and seasonings until a sauce consistency forms. If it is too thick for your tastes, add in a bit more of the stock or a bit of water, a tablespoon at a time.

Develop the Flavor. Simmer the enchilada sauce for 3-5 minutes to let the flavors develop a bit. It should thicken up nicely for you.

Adjust to Your Tastes. Taste and adjust to your preference with salt and pepper &ndash and maybe more spicy chili powder!

Serve. Your quick and easy enchilada sauce is ready to serve. Time to eat!

That&rsquos it! I hope you enjoy your enchiladas, my friends! Such an easy recipe, isn&rsquot it? It tastes very much like an authentic Mexican enchilada sauce. Definitely one of Patty&rsquos favorites.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

An easy homemade Enchilada Sauce that’s healthier and more flavorful than store-bought and can be made with just a few ingredients!

  • Author:Lindsay L
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1 x


  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes or no salt added tomato sauce (I use Pomi tomato sauce)
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar


  1. Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in flour and mix until combined.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 min.
  4. Taste and adjust spices as needed!


Look for tomatoes where the only ingredient is “tomatoes”. Tomato sauce will be a little thinner, crushed tomatoes will be a little thicker. [br][br]Start with less spice (chili powder and cayenne), then taste and adjust to your liking. You can also add more sugar for a sweeter sauce.

Did you make this recipe?

So easy right? You’ll never want store-bought again!

This makes about 4 cups and you can store it in the fridge for a week or two!

It can be hard sometimes to introduce spice into the diet of young kids, so this recipe is a perfect one not only for our toddler, but even our infant who at grilled chicken that was marinaded in this sauce overnight for dinner on Sunday. I find that probably 35-40% of our meals on a weekly basis work off of one of my “mother” sauces. No not the original mother sauces, our family’s version of them.

We have a small pool of sauces that get repurposed into a dozen or so meals each. They’re so easy I keep them on hand at all times so when it is 6:00 pm and I am completely drawing a blank on dinner I can go into the deep freeze, grab a sauce and make dinner. Want another one of our favorites? Zankou Chicken Armenian Garlic Paste. We use that sauce on so much I need to write a love letter to Zankou thanking them for this recipe. When you find a good sauce that will get eaten by everyone in the house, trust me you will get creative and use it on as much as you can. Speaking of using it on everything, here are some of the ways we use this sauce!

Ways to use this enchilada sauce:

  1. Duh, enchiladas. I mean what else would’ve been #1?
  2. Mexican Lasagna (I make mine with homemade tortillas, recipe forthcoming…soon)
  3. Chicken Tamale Bake (coming tomorrow)
  4. Taco Sauce
  5. Burritos “Enchilada Style” (This is a throwback to Baja Fresh’s enchilada style burritos…SO GOOD) – top the burrito with the Homemade Enchilada Sauce, some shredded cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix with sour cream for a creamy spicy sauce (top almost anything with this, like the Cheesecake Factory Tamale Corn Cakes)
  7. Mix with sour cream as a dip too, for things like taquitos
  8. Mix with Ranch Dressing for a taco salad
  9. Top your eggs with it for easy huevos rancheros
  10. Works as a great marinade for chicken/pork too. I sort of scrape off the excess and grill on my cast iron griddle.

So I was going to include photos of the process here, but as I edited them it felt so dull and not necessary. There are really no tricky parts to worry about here. This Homemade Enchilada Sauce is amazing and easy. That being said, if you have any questions, please feel free to sound off below! I am happy to answer any questions I can!

PS, the glass in the picture is pretty much one of my favorite kitchen items (and from our wedding registry at Crate and Barrel no less!) They are old school French glasses that you buy with lids that you can put on the top and store. They are inexpensive and heavy duty (I haven’t broken one yet!) and they double for drinking glasses.S
Food Processor: Because pre-shredded cheeses contain an additive to avoid clumping they also don’t melt as well as you’d hope so I always shred my own