This Enchilada Sauce is a rich, savory Mexican red sauce made with chili powder, cumin, oregano, chicken stock, and tomato paste! It tastes way better than store-bought and is ready in just 25 minutes!
Add a new, tasty spin of flavor to your favorite enchiladas by making them with this Enchilada Sauce Recipe! It doesn’t matter if you like Chicken Enchiladas or beef enchiladas; this sauce will prove that it’s better than any store-bought sauce you’ve ever tried!
This sauce is mouthwatering on enchiladas, and it’s also great in enchilada soup, casseroles, drizzled on tacos, burritos, nachos, and even over your morning eggs! We love to make large batches of this sauce to freeze into portions, making for easier meal prep on those busy nights!
Though this sauce isn’t overly spicy, it is a recipe you can tailor to your taste buds! For less heat, reduce the chili powder, and for more heat, add in cayenne pepper to taste.
All good sauces have a few key ingredients that act as a road map to the flavor! In this recipe, most of them are simple pantry ingredients that you likely already have on hand.
Chili Powder – The kick of heat found in this sauce comes from the chili powder. Chili powder is made up of a blend of spices consisting of a combination of chiles along with onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika. Though the specific ingredients may vary by brand!
Ground Cumin – This popular spice adds a rich, earthy flavor with a bit of warmth and smokiness.
Dried Oregano – An herb that balances out the acidic element from the tomato paste. Its slightly spicy and peppery flavor creates a bold taste that makes this sauce stand out from the rest!
Tomato Paste – To create the best-tasting red enchilada sauce, I’d recommend using a high-quality tomato paste. I love using Muir Glen Organic Tomato Paste.
Tips For Perfecting Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Prepare Ingredients – Before beginning the recipe, combine the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and oregano in a small bowl. Whisking it together to ensure the spices are evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Doing so allows you to dump the mixture into the Dutch oven all at once, giving the seasoning a more even cook.
- Ready For Frying – To see if the oil is ready for frying you can drop a tiny pinch of flour into the hot pan. If the drop of flour sizzles, then it’s up to temperature to cook the seasoning mixture.
- Whisking – While the seasoning and sauce cook, you want to whisk it often. If not, the spices or sauce could stick to the pan causing the sauce to burn.
- Simmering – This sauce needs to simmer for at least 15 minutes. Simmering the sauces allows it to take on a more concentrated flavor, ensuring that this sauce tastes its best!
Making homemade sauces from scratch, such as this Enchilada Sauce, gives you flavor you just don’t get from storebought! Ensure more of your dishes have the best flavor by also trying this Best Penne Alla Vodka Sauce or Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce!
Both are red sauces that also have a foundation made of tomatoes! As does this recipe for Marinara Sauce and Pomodoro Sauce! The best part about homemade sauces is that you can make them ahead of time to store in the freezer, making dinner time faster without sacrificing flavor!
Storage Instructions For Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Once the sauce has cooled, transfer it into an airtight container or jar with a tightly sealed lid. Store in the refrigerator and use it up within 5 days.
Enchilada Sauce FAQs
Is There Another Oil That Can Be Used Instead Of Olive Oil?
Olive oil can be replaced with avocado, vegetable, canola, or even sunflower oil.
Can Chicken Stock Just Be Replaced With Water?
The chicken stock actually adds lots of flavor to this sauce! If needed, it can be replaced with vegetable stock. Though if you’re in a pinch, yes, it can be replaced with water, but it will cause the sauce to lose out on flavor.
Can This Recipe Be Made With Gluten-Free Flour?
Yes, the all-purpose flour can be swapped out for gluten-free!
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- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, whisk in 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon dried oregano. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
- Then whisk in 3 tablespoons tomato paste followed by 2 cups chicken stock, until there are no lumps.
- Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for at least 15 minutes, more is fine, whisking frequently, then remove and use as desired.
- Is There Another Oil That Can Be Used Instead Of Olive Oil? Olive oil can be replaced with avocado, vegetable, canola, or even sunflower oil.
- Can Chicken Stock Just Be Replaced With Water? The chicken stock actually adds lots of flavor to this sauce! If needed, it can be replaced with vegetable stock. Though if you’re in a pinch, yes, it can be replaced with water, but it will cause the sauce to lose out on flavor.
- Can This Recipe Be Made With Gluten-Free Flour? Yes, the all-purpose flour can be swapped out for gluten-free!