Homemade Enchilada Sauce is a staple in my kitchen perfect for any Tex-Mex or south-of-the-border dishes!

This zesty tomato-based sauce has a touch of spice and is jam packed with flavor. I love it for enchiladas, casseroles, and more.

A jar of enchilada sauce

A Deliciously Easy Sauce

My homemade enchiladas have soft corn tortillas rolled around shredded or ground beef or chicken, smothered in enchilada sauce, and baked in the oven. You can also spoon this sauce spoon it over tacos, or use it to enhance the filling in burritos or chimichangas.

Ingredients for Enchilada Sauce

This is a red enchilada sauce recipe although there are other variations (like the green enchilada sauce I add to my creamy chicken enchiladas). It has a base of toasted spices with lots of chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. It’s simmered with a bit of broth and tomato sauce until thickened.

Browning the flour with oil adds an extra layer of flavor and only takes a few minutes so it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

enchilada sauce prepared in a pot

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

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

  1. Place oil and flour in a pan and cook until light brown and fragrant per the recipe below.
  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 inspired favorite that your family will love.

Recipes to Use Enchilada Sauce

Did your family love this Enchilada Sauce? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

Enchilada Sauce served in a jar
4.88 from 31 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This homemade enchilada sauce is perfect with enchiladas or any other Mexican-inspired dish!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 56 ounces

Equipment

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Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 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 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

This recipe makes 56oz (the equivalent of two 28 oz cans).
Nutrition Information is for ¼ cup of enchilada sauce.
To store homemade enchilada sauce, let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container or a ziptop bag and refrigerate it for up to 4-5 days, or freeze it for up to 3-4 months.
4.88 from 31 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 41 | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 359mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 839IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Course Dip, Dressing, Sauce
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex Mex
Enchilada sauce in a jar with text
a jar of prepared enchilada sauce with text
a jar of enchilada sauce with text
Top image - a jar of enchilada sauce. Bottom image - enchilada sauce being prepared in a pot with text

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About the author

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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Comments

  1. Holly this is fantastic! I will never buy another can of enchilada sauce. I have your site on bookmark so I can easily access it whenever I need a recipe. They are all really good so far. Thanks so much.5 stars

  2. Your original recipe (as noted in the comments) doesn’t have flour which would be more authentic since flour wasn’t available pre-Spanish invasion. I’m curious why you opted to add it?

    1. We found this version provided more consistently delicious results Chris. You can view our original recipe in the comments below if you prefer.

  3. This use to be a go-to recipe for me, but I made it after the update and nearly died it was so hot. I figured I did something wrong so I tried it again only doing half the amount of chili, but my lips are still on fire.

    Happy to see the original recipe I fell in love with is posted in another comment – unfortunately too late for this batch. Not sure why the update when the other was delicious, but this recipe is way way way to hott, and I’m not afraid of a bit of spice. If you find this out while in the process of making it you can try adding some brown sugar or citrus juice to tone it down, it took me about 2TB of each. I also don’t think the flour added a lot for me in terms of consistency, so I prefer the nonflour aspect of the other recipe as well.

    I hope this helps anyone else was having the same experience.2 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that Britt, but thanks for sharing your tips on reducing the heat! Did you use chili powder for this recipe or ground chilies?

  4. I made and loved this recipe before it was updated. Didn’t it have cilantro in it originally? Would it be possible for you to share with me the original version. I used it as a key ingredient in a casserole my family loves to eat.

    1. Sure thing Karen, this is the original text from 2013.

      1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
      1 Large Onion, Diced
      2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
      1 1/2 Tablespoons of Homemade Taco Seasoning OR 2 Teaspoons each chili powder & cumin and 1 Teaspoon of Oregano
      1 Large Can of Low Sodium Tomatoes (Diced for a chunkier sauce, crushed for a smoother sauce)
      1 Cup of Chicken Broth or Water
      1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
      1/2 Teaspoon each Salt and Pepper
      3 Tablespoons of Finely chopped cilantro

      Instructions
      Heat olive oil in a sauce pan
      Add onions and garlic and stir until softened, about 4 minutes
      If using the diced tomatoes, crush or blend a portion of them so it is only slightly chunky
      Stir in remaining ingredients except cilantro
      Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer covered for 15 minutes
      Remove cover and simmer an additional 5 minutes
      Remove from heat and stir in cilantro

  5. Holly, this is an outstanding recipe! Absolutely delicious and just enough heat for my taste. I also love it because the only salt is from the tomato sauce. I didn’t need to add any additional. So glad I tried it!5 stars

    1. Hi Brittany, you will want to reduce the remaining ingredients accordingly to keep the flavor the same.

  6. I never liked the taste of store-bought canned enchilada sauce, so I was happy to give this recipe a try and was really glad I did. This recipe is great as-is. The only change I made to this recipe is I substituted beef broth for chicken, since I was making shredded beef enchiladas. (Those turned out good too.) This recipe is a keeper!5 stars

    1. Glad idea Barbara! If time permits, we love making things homemade! It adds that extra delicious touch.

  7. Just made this and it was very good. Not hard to make at all. I would probably double all of the spices because we like food a bit more spicy! It was rather mild.4 stars

  8. When you say to add broth in this recipe, what kind of broth? Chicken, beef or vegetable, or does it matter? Looking forward to making this!

  9. Holly I am going to make this sauce it sounds amazing. How much does the recipe yield. And what do I have to do to can this I like to make enough to store some in my pantry. Also do you know if I need to add lemon juice due to the tomatoe in it. And also the canning salt. I would appreciate your input on this thank you Rosa

    1. This makes about 4 cups. I don’t have experience in canning so I can’t answer your questions. Hopefully another reader has some experience and advice!

  10. Holly, I am astounded at how uniformly successful your recipes are to execute in my kitchen. They are so consistent in taste and satisfaction, which is quite rare in my experience. I’ve visited a lot of foodie-type websites, and yours is by far the best and the most well-rounded. The ingredients lists are always simple, the instructions are clear, and the results are delicious. My latest success is this enchilada sauce. Never again will I buy the stuff. I’m now about to go create the Beef Enchilada Casserole — from your site. Yayay You for being so …. honourable (?)!

    1. Ruthielil, Thank you so much for such a kind and lovely message, you’ve truly made my week. I’m so happy you have found the recipes easy to follow and you’ve enjoyed them!

  11. Have you ever frozen this sauce? Or canned it? Would pouring it into a canning jar hot (so it would seal) and keeping it in the fridge be OK?

      1. Doesn’t matter, I’ll just freeze the rest. This is the BEST red enchilada sauce I have ever had1
        I used some of the sauce leftover from the crock pot enchiladas (amazing and going into the rotation!) to make “enchilada bread” for a Super Bowl gathering Mixed cooked chicken, shredded pepper jack and some of the sauce rolled up in a “canned” pizza dough and baked. More sauce for dipping. It was a hit.

  12. I’m a fan of making sauces from scratch rather than buying them off a shelf. This one is definitely going on the list of one of my favourites! And so is your website :) Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  13. Thanks for the recipe share; I was actually searching the web looking for an Enchilada Sauce recipe – and so far, this one is the best!!