Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Learn how to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce that’s way more flavorful than store-bought and so easy! This enchilada sauce recipe is made with simple ingredients in less than 20 minutes and is loaded with delicious Tex-Mex flavor!
What do you do when you’re craving some tasty Mexican food, but don’t have any canned enchilada sauce in the pantry? Easy homemade enchilada sauce to the rescue!
Ready in under 20 minutes, this enchilada sauce recipe is quick, easy and SO good! It’s not really an “authentic” enchilada sauce, made with whole dried chiles, but you’re sure to enjoy this wonderful sauce all the same.
I know it can be so convenient to use canned enchilada sauce, but making your own enchilada sauce is easier than you think. It will also give your enchiladas so much amazing flavor! You just need a mix of onion, garlic, tomato paste, flour, broth and some spices. You are going to be making it again and again! You can even make it a day or two before you plan to fix your enchilada dinner.
Let’s get to it!
ingredients for homemade enchilada sauce
Even though the ingredient list is simple and includes items you probably already have available, this red enchilada sauce turns out deliciously rich and flavorful! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Olive oil. For cooking down the onion and garlic.
- Onion + garlic. Sautéed onion and garlic adds delicious aromatic flavor to the sauce.
- Tomato paste. Gives the sauce a nice tomato flavor without making it too thin and watery.
- Flour. To thicken the sauce just enough. Gluten-free flour works too.
- Spices. A simple blend of cumin and chili powder is all that’s needed to give this enchilada sauce an amazing Tex-Mex flavor.
- Broth. Use chicken or vegetable broth for this recipe.
- Salt + pepper. Brings out all of the delicious flavors.
how do you make enchilada sauce from scratch?
You may have tried other enchilada sauce recipes, but this one’s the BEST! It’s also super easy! Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this recipe:
- Simmer onion + garlic. In a medium to large skillet, heat oil and simmer onion and garlic until softened. Then, remove from pan and set aside.
- Combine tomato paste with spices and flour. In the same heated skillet, stir together tomato paste, spices and flour. You can add a bit of broth to make these ingredients easier to stir together.
- Add the broth and salt & pepper. Pour in the broth and stir in salt and pepper. Then stir in the onion mixture.
- Cook sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and then lower heat to simmer. Simmer sauce for about 5-10 minutes and until thickened.
- Enjoy! Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour over your favorite enchiladas and you’re all set!
This easy enchilada sauce recipe is quite flexible, so feel free to adjust ingredients and customize things as you wish! Here are some different options:
- Gluten-free. Use your favorite gluten-free flour or even cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
- Dairy-free. No changes needed. This enchilada sauce, like most, is completely dairy-free. You can also keep it vegan by using vegetable broth.
- Make it smooth. If you’d rather your enchilada sauce be completely smooth, use an immersion blender to purée the sauce until it reaches your desired level of smoothness. Or carefully transfer the sauce to a blender (being sure to slightly lift the lid on the blender to allow hot air to escape) and purée until smooth. You could also leave the onions out of the sauce.
- Make it spicy. To add a little heat to the sauce, stir in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and/or a pinch of cayenne pepper when you add the other seasonings.
ways to use homemade enchilada sauce
storing leftover enchilada sauce
Place leftover enchilada sauce in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If the sauce gets too thick sitting in the fridge, you may need to stir in a small amount of broth before using. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.
other delicious sauce recipes to try
If you try this enchilada sauce recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Learn how to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce that's way more flavorful than store-bought and so easy! This enchilada sauce recipe is made with simple ingredients in less than 20 minutes and is loaded with delicious Tex-Mex flavor!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion (or sub 1/2 teaspoon onion powder)
- 1 clove minced garlic (or sub 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a medium to large skillet, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Once cooked, transfer the veggies to a bowl and set aside.
In the skillet, add tomato paste, flour and spices, trying to incorporate together (this is tricky with how dry the mixture will be, you can add a splash of broth to help it come together, if needed) when the flour is all mixed into the tomato paste, add the broth and salt & pepper.
Add the onion and garlic back in the skillet with tomato paste mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Now, go make some yummy enchiladas!
Storing leftovers: Place leftover enchilada sauce in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If the sauce gets too thick sitting in the fridge, you may need to stir in a small amount of broth before using. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.