Homemade Enchilada Sauce

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Homemade Enchilada Sauce is a must-have staple that will enhance any Tex-Mex or south-of-the-border dish. The great thing about my homemade enchilada sauce recipe is that can control the ingredients to keep out the preservatives or MSG that are in some store-bought versions.

We love adding this homemade enchilada sauce to Beef Enchilada Dip, or enchilada soup. Homemade is always better!

Enchilada Sauce served in a jar

What is Enchilada Sauce?

Enchiladas are a soft corn tortillas rolled around shredded or ground meat or chicken, then smothered in enchilada sauce and baked in the oven. Enchilada sauce is zesty and flavorful. Hence, it forms the basis of many other Mexican dishes too. You can spoon it over tacos, or use it to enhance the filling in burritos or chimichangas.

What’s in Enchilada Sauce?

Enchilada sauce is basically chili powder simmered in a broth with garlic, onion, tomato paste/sauce and thickened with flour. I start by browning the flour with some oil until it’s fragrant, this step only takes a few minutes but adds a lot of flavor!

While this is a red enchilada sauce, there are other variations (like the green enchilada sauce I add to my creamy chicken enchiladas).

Green enchilada sauce is a little less spicy than red enchilada sauce. Instead of tomato paste and red chili powder, green enchilada sauce recipes use roasted and peeled poblano peppers, cumin, and oregano. You can roast the poblanos as you would make any roasted peppers.

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Enchilada Sauce cooked in a pot

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

Making enchilada sauce is simple, and literally takes only minutes and requires almost no prep work! You’ll make a sort of a roux with the tomato sauce and broth.

  1. Place oil and flour in a pan and cook until light brown and fragrant.
  2. Stir all the spices and seasoning ingredients and cook for one minute more.
  3. Add the liquids in slowly, stirring as you add to prevent lumps. (It will be thick at first, keep on stirring after each addition until smooth).
  4. Simmer for a few minutes more, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour this sauce over a pan of baked enchiladas for a Mexican meal that your family will love.

Note: This enchilada sauce recipe has been updated (2019) for improved flavor and consistency.

Enchilada Sauce served in a jar
4.75 from 16 votes
Review Recipe

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 cups
This homemade enchilada sauce is perfect on chicken enchiladas or any other recipe you have in mind! 


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cans tomato sauce 15 ounces each
  • 3 cups chicken broth

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  • Heat oil in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes while stirring until fragrant and nutty smelling.
  • Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and oregano. Cook 1 minute more.
  • Add tomato sauce and broth a little at a time, stirring between each addition until smooth. 
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information is based on 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 15, Carbohydrates: 1g, Sodium: 155mg, Potassium: 71mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 115IU, Vitamin C: 1.5mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 0.3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Dip, Dressing
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex Mex
homemade enchilada sauce in a jar with a title
homemade enchilada sauce in pot and in a jar with a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Never buying enchilada sauce again! This was SO good, and made the leftover turkey enchiladas taste like they were made intentionally, and not just a last ditch effort to use up the Thanksgiving bird. I used one can of regular tomato sauce and one low sodium. Froze half the sauce, so we will see how that works.5 stars

  2. Love the idea of making my own enchi sauce we use alot of it here. Do you think I can do low sodium or sodium free broth?

  3. I made this today, and it was really good. I did have to add a little sugar to balance the acidity of the tomato sauce, but I made no other changes. Thanks, Holly!5 stars

  4. This recipe as well as the Enchilada Casserole Recipe was fantastic. I plan on making this sauce for many things it was so good. Thanks for perfecting this sauce. -Ginny5 stars

    1. Hi Edna, we have never tried freezing this recipe but other readers have with success. If storing in the fridge, it should last up to a week.