October 3, 2021

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

The sauce that made me love enchiladas. A must if you are making your own enchiladas-- this sauce really is the best.
Makes 3 cups

The best easy homemade enchilada sauce! This simple enchilada sauce takes 15 minutes to make and is perfect in your favorite enchilada recipe. Vegan and easily gluten-free. 

After years of making my easy homemade enchilada sauce for some of my favorite recipes, I thought it was finally time to give the sauce it’s own post. Considering that I google my own enchilada recipes to find my sauce at least a few times a month, it needed it own place. 

My easy homemade enchilada sauce is exactly how it sounds. It takes just minutes to whip up and is fantastic in everything from  soup, casserole and yes, enchiladas. This sauce is practically drinkable. It’s saucy, rich, complex and slightly spicy. If you are looking for a simple enchilada sauce to make for your next enchilada recipe– this is it! 

For years I didn’t think I liked enchiladas because I was never impressed with canned sauce. It always tasted thin, watery and flavorless. Then, I ordered enchiladas at once of our favorite Mexican restaurants and I’m pretty sure I licked the plate clean. I had never had sauce like that before and knew that was the missing secret weapon for amazing enchiladas. 

After researching and trying a few other recipes, I tweaked what I liked to make it my own. It’s got just enough heat to still be family friendly and ready in roughly 15 minutes. 

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Can you freeze enchilada sauce? 

I often make a double batch of my sauce to freeze. You’ll need to watch out for freezer burn. To avoid this, place the sauce in a freezer-safe bag and gently press as much air as possible out. I lie the bag on its side so air doesn’t collect at the top. Freeze and enjoy within 4-5 months. 

Ingredients for Homemade Enchilada Sauce

To make this simple recipe, you’ll need a handful of pantry spices plus a can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce and either broth or water. 

You are essentially making enchilada gravy, starting with a roux of flour and oil then warming in the spices and adding enough liquid of tomato sauce and water or vegetable broth. Saucy enchiladas are my favorite and this sauce makes enough for a batch of enchiladas, with some leftover depending on how wet you like yours. 

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Can you make this enchilada sauce gluten-free?

This easy homemade enchilada sauce can easily be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour in place of the all purpose flour. 

What to serve with Homemade Enchilada sauce?

Once you perfect this enchilada sauce, it’s hard to go back to using the canned stuff. The possibilities are endless, but my favorite recipes to enjoy this with are: 

sweet potato and black bean enchiladas

If you try this recipe, make sure to come back and rate it and leave a comment. Your feedback helps other readers and seeing you make my recipes makes my day. 

Print

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: dinner, sauce
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired, Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: dinner, sauce
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired, Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: dinner, sauce
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired, Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the flour, then quickly whisk together until combined. Add in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in the tomatoes and water, then bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 5-7 minutes, whisking often. For a thinner sauce, puree with an immersion blender or place the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Season to taste, adding more salt as desired.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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