This is the BEST quick and easy homemade enchilada sauce recipe! Ready in just 15 minutes, this rich, spicy red enchilada sauce will blow the canned stuff right out of your pantry!
If there is one thing that makes my heart happy, it’s big saucy spicy plate of Mexican food.
I am talking about rich, delicious feel good food make with love, chiles and spicy red enchilada sauce.
Sure, I like my husband well enough and the dogs are great…. but Mexican food??? YES PLEASE!!!
So all that being said (and joking aside!) I do make a lot of Mexican dishes for our household.
Now I won’t try to even say this Irish girl serves up authentic Mexican food because #Irish but imagine my surprise when I find out that I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
Doing. It. Wrong.
What was I missing? A recipe for the BEST homemade enchilada sauce, of course!
homemade enchilada sauce recipe
In my defense, sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know and that applied to homemade enchilada sauce.
I have always gone to the store and bought my little packet of taco seasoning and my little can of enchilada sauce, ready to share with the world the next best Mexican inspired dish.
(insert Angel horns blaring here)
Then I found you the obvious truth that I had completely overlooked my entire life. Enchilada sauce in the can is not the way to go!
This quick and easy homemade enchilada sauce recipe takes just a few minutes to make and with blow that can of enchilada sauce out of your pantry forever.
why this is the BEST red sauce
This is the BEST homemade enchilada sauce recipe for so many reasons but let’s start HERE:
- Homemade enchilada sauce bursting with rich, spicy flavors will always taste better than what you will get from a can. Always.
- It only take a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry to make this red sauce.
- Looking to add amazing flavor to your favorite Mexican dishes? This sauce only takes 15 minutes to make!
- Opening a can of enchilada sauce is easy but so is making it from scratch. This only takes a few minutes to bring together.
- This homemade sauce is the secret to the perfect pan of enchiladas. Not even lying about that!!
- This red enchilada sauce is perfect to use in so many dishes.. like Baked Taco Pasta Casserole , Mexican Chicken Lasagna and Beef Enchilada Dip!!
To make this easy enchilada sauce, you will need:
Oil and all purpose flour – The foundation of this red sauce is making a roux so that your sauce will be thick. I prefer to use canola oil to make my roux for this recipe but feel free to use and kind of cooking oil you have on hand.
Dried spices – The spices are what make this homemade enchilada sauce recipe SING!!
Chicken stock – I prefer the flavor of stock over broth as I feel it brings more to the dish. Vegetable stock can also be substituted in this recipe.
Tomato paste – For color and also for a touch of acidity to the sauce.
Apple cider vinegar – Adds a bit of bite and breaks up the richness of the roux.
how do you make homemade enchilada sauce?
To make this easy enchilada sauce recipe, add canola oil to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add flour and whisk together let cook 1 minute while continuing to stir.
Pour in chicken stock, vinegar and tomato paste and whisk to combine.
Add in all spices and whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated. Bring sauce to a low boil then reduce heat to low.. simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
Remove the sauce from heat and use in all of your favorite recipes!
pro tips for perfect red sauce
- Don’t let your flour burn. Be sure to whisk constantly until you add in your chicken stock.
- Better quality spices and stock will lend a better quality enchilada sauce. You don’t need to break the bank but keep it in mind.
- Your homemade enchilada sauce will be thicker than what you get from a can. Don’t worry.. it’s supposed to be 🙂
is enchilada sauce spicy?
Red enchilada sauce is typically made from a variety of red chilies, onions, garlic, and spices.
As with any sauce made from chilies, the heat index can be made mild to very hot depending on the chilies used.
are salsa and enchilada sauce the same?
Salsa is usually served with chips or as a garnish and is most often a chunky mixture of vegetables such as fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers.
Enchilada sauce is almost always smooth and thin, since it is perfect for pouring over enchiladas before they are baked.
ways to use enchilada sauce
- Ummm … enchiladas!!!!.
- Mexican Lasagna.
- Mix with a bit of sour cream for a creamy spicy dipping sauce.
- Top your eggs in the morning with this easy enchilada sauce for huevos rancheros.
- Add to your favorite pan of nachos for a spicy topping sauce.
- Breakfast enchiladas
more Mexican inspired recipes
- Chicken Tinga Tostadas
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Mexican Street Corn Chicken Tacos
- Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- Baked Taco Pasta Casserole
Enjoy ♥ Heather
If you’ve tried this Homemade Enchilada Sauce or any other recipe on this website, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you it came out in the comments below.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Canola oil
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3-1/2 tablepoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Add the oil to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat
- Once hot, add flour and whisk together let cook 1 minute while continuing to stir
- Pour in chicken stock, vinegar and tomato paste and whisk to combine
- Add in all spices and whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated
- Bring sauce to a low boil then reduce heat to low.. simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally
- Remove from heat and use in all of your favorite recipes!
- Don't let your flour burn. Be sure to whisk constantly until you add in your chicken stock.
- Better quality spices and stock will lend a better quality enchilada sauce. You don't need to break the bank but keep it in mind.
- Your homemade enchilada sauce will be thicker than what you get from a can. Don't worry.. it's supposed to be 🙂
Update Notes: This post was originally published in May of 2018 but was republished with an updated recipe, new photos, step by step instructions and tips in January of 2021.