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.
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?
Authentic 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.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Beef Enchilada Dip – cheesy!
- Taco Soup – so delicious
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos (Pressure Cooker) – my daughter’s favorite
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas Recipe – super easy
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers – great with enchilada sauce
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.
- Place oil and flour in a pan and cook until light brown and fragrant.
- Stir all the spices and seasoning ingredients and cook for one minute more.
- 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).
- Simmer for a few minutes more, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour this sauce over a pan of baked enchiladas for an authentic Mexican meal that your family will love.
Note: This enchilada sauce recipe has been updated (2019) for improved flavor and consistency.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cans tomato sauce 15 ounces each
- 3 cups chicken broth
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.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)