Homemade Enchilada Sauce: The Perfect Recipe

Homemade Enchilada Sauce: The Perfect Recipe

Enchilada sauce is a popular and flavorful sauce that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. This rich, slightly spicy sauce is a key ingredient in enchiladas, a traditional Mexican dish consisting of rolled tortillas filled with a variety of ingredients, such as meat, cheese, or beans, and then topped with the sauce and baked until hot and bubbly.

The sauce itself is typically made by cooking together a variety of ingredients, such as chili powder, tomato sauce, broth, and spices like cumin, garlic powder, and oregano. These ingredients are simmered together over low heat until the flavors have melded together and the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency. Depending on the recipe, other ingredients like onions, bell peppers, or even chocolate may be added for additional flavor.

One of the key components of enchilada sauce is chili powder, which gives the sauce its characteristic deep red color and slightly spicy flavor. Chili powder is made from ground dried chili peppers and can vary in heat level, depending on the type of chili pepper used.

Making homemade enchilada sauce

Making homemade enchilada sauce is a fairly simple process that requires just a few ingredients and some basic kitchen tools. Here is a recipe for a basic red enchilada sauce:


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and lightly browned.
  • Add the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and oregano, and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the spices are fragrant and well combined.
  • Gradually whisk in the broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring frequently.

  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, until it has thickened to the desired consistency.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Allow the sauce to cool slightly before using it to coat enchiladas or as a sauce for other Mexican-inspired dishes.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of red enchilada sauce and can easily be doubled or tripled as needed. For a spicier sauce, you can increase the amount of chili powder or add some chopped jalapeños or other hot peppers to the mix. You can also experiment with adding other seasonings like paprika, coriander, or smoked chipotle powder to give the sauce a unique flavor twist.

Benefits of homemade enchilada sauce

Enchilada sauce can provide several health benefits, especially when made with fresh and natural ingredients. For instance, it can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and iron, due to the inclusion of vegetables and spices in the recipe. Additionally, chili peppers, a key ingredient in the sauce, contain capsaicin, a compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Enchilada sauce can also add flavor to meals without adding a significant amount of calories or fat, making it a tasty and healthy addition to a balanced diet. 5 Healthy Snacks to Reach for After a Big Workout

Final words

The addition of enchilada sauce to any dish elevates the flavor and adds a touch of spice. This sauce is a mainstay in Mexican cooking, used to season a wide variety of dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and burritos. There are only a few ingredients and some simple kitchen tools needed to make your own enchilada sauce at home.

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