Enchilada Sauce

LAST UPDATED: Sep 18, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Sep 17, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Once you’ve had homemade enchilada sauce, there’s no going back to store bought! This sauce comes together in just minutes and it’s so easy to customize for your family with the perfect amount of spice.

One of the best things about making your own enchilada sauce is that not only is it so much more delicious than the canned versions, it’s so easy to customize!

A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce, a gold spoon sticking out the side.

With young kids in our house, I know that a sauce deemed “too spicy” can ruin any dinner, no matter how delicious. That’s why I wanted to develop a richy, savory enchilada sauce that would thrill all of us!

When I first discovered my love for enchiladas, I was sad to think of all the opportunities for amazing dinners I’d already missed. I was so determined to make up for lost time that I immediately set about trying to recreate my favorite restaurant enchilada recipes!

A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce.

I’ve long been a fan of all the Mexican flavors. Don’t miss my yummy Mexican Chicken Spaghetti, our super easy Soft Chicken Tacos, and especially this incredible Homemade Margarita Mix!

You’ve got to try these amazing cheese enchiladas, my chicken enchilada recipe, and beef enchiladas, too! I’m an equal opportunity enchilada lover, and I bet you will be, too, once you’ve made this sauce.

A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce, a gold spoon sticking out the side.

Why You’ll Love Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • It’s rich and savory but mellow enough for all palates.
  • Customize to your family’s tastes. Want a little more spice? Go for it!
  • It’s so fast and easy to throw together… this enchilada sauce recipe comes together in under 10 minutes.
  • Make a double batch and freeze some for later – it freezes beautifully!
A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce.

Enchilada Sauce Ingredients

  • Flour – I use all purpose flour for this dish. If you’re making a gluten free enchilada sauce, be sure to choose a gluten free flour!
  • Ground chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon – optional
  • Oil olive – canola oil is also a great option.
  • Tomato sauce – optional. I use the low sodium tomato sauce so that I can control the salt in this enchilada sauce.
  • Vegetable broth – You can also use chicken or beef broth, depending on how you’re going to use this enchilada sauce.
Looking into a cast iron pot full of a homemade enchilada sauce recipe.

Variations

  • Cinnamon is optional, but it adds an incredibly fragrant depth to this sauce.
  • Tomato sauce is also optional.
  • Switch the vegetable broth for beef or chicken for a more robust flavor profile.

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

  1. Combine flour and seasonings in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan or pot over medium heat, warm oil. When a sprinkle of flour mixture sizzles on contact, add flour and spice mixture. Whisk 1 minute until deep in color. Looking into a cast iron pot full of a homemade enchilada sauce recipe on a stove top.
  3. Whisk in tomato sauce. Pour broth over, continuously whisking. Looking into a cast iron pot full of a homemade enchilada sauce recipe on a stove top, whisk to the side.
  4. Reduce heat to low to simmer. Whisk 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  5. Remove from heat. Sauce will continue to thicken. Looking into a cast iron pot full of a homemade enchilada sauce recipe.

Recipe Tips

  • To thin the sauce, simply add a little more broth or even water if necessary.
  • For an extra layer of spice, add extra chili powder and even a dash of hot sauce.
Is enchilada sauce and salsa the same?

Definitely not! Salsa is thicker and chunkier, generally includes tomatoes, and is generally meant as more of a dip or topping. Enchilada sauce is rich, smoother, and doesn’t necessarily even have to include tomato sauce.

What does enchilada sauce taste like?

It’s rich, savory and full of depth – especially for a sauce that comes together so quickly! Lots of dried spices create a deep color and a Mexican flavor profile that is zesty but not too spicy.

A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Only store bought (or safely canned) enchilada sauce can be kept at room temperature because it’s properly preserved. Your homemade sauce is prone to bacteria and should always be refrigerated or frozen.
  • Refrigerate – When properly stored, homemade enchilada sauce will last 5-7 days in the fridge. It can thicken when it’s refrigerated so just thin it out with a littel extra vegetable broth or water as needed.
  • Freeze – Freeze enchilada sauce for up to three months in a glass container or a plastic bag. This rich sauce will discolor your plastic containers, so keep that in mind! To defrost, simply leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using.
A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce, a gold spoon sticking out the side.

What to Do with Leftovers

  • This homemade enchilada sauce recipe freezes beautifully! Freeze any leftovers in a glass jar, ziploc bag, or as a fully prepped enchilada dish.
  • For a second use of your enchilada sauce, throw it in with pork, chicken or beef for slow cooking to create a Tex-Mex pulled pork, chicken or beef dish. Perfect for tacos, salads and more!
A white casserole dish with homemade enchilada sauce spread on the bottom.

How to Serve

  • Make our family favorite cheese enchiladas!
  • Try it in these chicken enchiladas.
  • Beef enchiladas are another incredible way to enjoy this enchilada sauce!

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free (when you use gluten free flour)
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

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A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce, a gold spoon sticking out the side.

More Easy Sauce Recipes

A small clear glass pitcher filled with homemade enchilada sauce, a gold spoon sticking out the side.

Enchilada Sauce

Julie Blanner
Once you've had homemade enchilada sauce, there's no going back to store bought! This sauce comes together in just minutes and it's so easy to customize for your family with the perfect amount of spice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 103 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon optional
  • 2 tablespoons oil olive or canola
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce optional
  • 2 cups vegetable broth

Instructions
 

  • Combine flour and seasonings in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan or pot over medium heat, warm oil. When a sprinkle of flour mixture sizzles on contact, add flour and spice mixture. Whisk 1 minute until deep in color.
  • Whisk in tomato sauce. Pour broth over, continuously whisking.
  • Reduce heat to low to simmer. Whisk 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  • Remove from heat. Sauce will continue to thicken.

Notes

Tips

  • To thin the sauce, simply add a little more broth or even water if necessary.
  • For an extra layer of spice, add extra chili powder and even a dash of hot sauce.

Substitutions

  • Vegetable Broth – substitute water or stock
  • Gluten Free – Use gluten free flour.

To store

  • Refrigerate – When properly stored, homemade enchilada sauce will last 5-7 days in the fridge. It can thicken when it’s refrigerated so just thin it out with a littel extra vegetable broth or water as needed.
  • Freeze – Freeze enchilada sauce for up to three months in a glass container or a plastic bag. This rich sauce will discolor your plastic containers, so keep that in mind! To defrost, simply leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using.

Nutrition

Calories:103kcalCarbohydrates:8gProtein:1gFat:8gSaturated Fat:1gSodium:754mgPotassium:142mgFiber:2gSugar:2gVitamin A:2062IUVitamin C:1mgCalcium:20mgIron:2mg
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
Disclosure

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped