Easy homemade enchilada sauce requires just one pot, an assortment of flavourful spices, and four simple steps to make. The best part? It takes less than 15 minutes to make but tastes like something that took a lot of effort. It's flavoured with a delicious combination of spices including cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic, and oregano. Homemade enchilada sauce is most popularly served with enchiladas, but you can even use it in soups, stuffed peppers, casseroles, rice, and more.
Why You’ll Love Easy Enchilada Sauce
- Timeless Mexican flavours that just work well. Red enchilada sauce is made with a combination of dried Mexican spices including paprika, garlic, chili, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper which are all standard seasonings every cook should have in their kitchen—and there’s a reason why. They’re timeless classics. And they taste great together.
- Non-perishable ingredients. The chances are, you have almost everything you need to make this enchilada sauce right now. Dry seasoning, vegetable oil, and tomato paste all have long shelf lives, which means you can stock up on these ingredients and make it whenever you want without worrying the ingredients going bad.
- Ingredients that you recognize. Plus, since you know all the ingredients that are going into the sauce, you know exactly what is in homemade enchilada sauce. So you can rest assured that there are no unnecessary ingredients or fillers in here, unlike some of the store-bought alternatives.
- Enjoy this thick, indulgent sauce. This easy red enchilada sauce is thick thanks to the flour and the time you spend reducing the liquid out. The sauce has the perfect consistency to eat with enchiladas or anything else you want to dip in it.
To make easy homemade enchilada sauce, you will need a small saucepan and the following ingredients:
- avocado oil - or any vegetable oil that you have. This is use to sauté the spices to really bring out their flavours.
- all-purpose flour - helps to thicken the enchilada sauce.
- ground cumin
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- dried oregano - you can also substitute with Italian seasoning.
- salt and pepper
- tomato paste
- chicken stock - you can make this easy red enchilada sauce vegan by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
How to Make the Best Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Make a roux. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes until sizzling hot. Stir in flour and whisk continuously for 1 minute to create a roux. (This is used to thicken the enchilada sauce).
- Add spices. Whisk in cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well to mix evenly.
- Add liquids. Add tomato paste and chicken stock and stir well to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened to a desired consistency.
- Cool. Set aside and let the enchilada cool to room temperature before using.
Tips and Tricks
- Make it yours: Although this easy enchilada sauce is a standard and authentic recipe, don’t be afraid to make it your own with substitutions. Add more or less spice depending on your taste. Take out some spices altogether if you don’t like them. And add other dried spices like parsley, coriander, cilantro, basil, cayenne pepper, or onion.
- How to store: Store leftover sauce enchilada sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to to one week. You may have to thin out the sauce with a little water or chicken stock if it has thickened up when storing in the refrigerator.
- How to freeze: Allow enchilada sauce to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, allow the sauce to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for a few hours at room temperature until completely thawed.
- How to reheat: Enchilada sauce is typically served cold or at room temperature. If you would like to reheat it, just heat it up in the microwave in 10-20 second increments until hot. You can also reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, frequently stirring until hot. If the sauce becomes too thick, add some water or stock to thin it out.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Sheet Pan Beef Nachos
- Fish Tacos with Lime Crema
- Easy Guacamole
- Shrimp Tacos with Lime Crema Slaw
- Creamy Mexican Corn Soup
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
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