Homemade enchilada sauce
Enchiladas are the beautiful type of meal that is hard to mess up. This is why they’re a gem for cooking newbies; just wrap something in a tortilla, cover it with sauce and cheese, and bake it. It will be delicious. It’s kind of like a stir fry: you add whatever you want, and somehow, it works.
When I first started cooking for our little family, I had a little bit of a rough time. Certain meals didn’t work out very well -and we ended up getting takeout- and it took me eighteen years to chop a bell pepper. Enchiladas were one of the first meals I made that wasn’t a total failure, and they’ve been a staple in our meal rotation ever since. It’s fun to play around with different combos and flavors; any protein/cheese/veggie combo you like.
I’ve always been a fan of canned enchilada sauces, since they were easy and inexpensive, but they I went homemade. I’m never going back. It’s very inexpensive to make a huge batch, and you can freeze it to have on hand when the enchilada urge strikes. I was originally going to save this for butternut squash and black bean enchiladas later in the week, until I made this sauce. Enchiladas happened right then and there, for lunch. With margaritas.
I couldn’t figure out why some enchiladas were better (to me) than others, and then it finally hit me. Tomatoes. Some have them, some don’t. I like it better with that little bit of tomato zing. You can skip the tomatoes (and just use broth + some flour) to make a gravy type sauce, but I like the bright color and flavor of the tomatoes.
What takes this sauce over the top is the soaked chipotle chilies; they add a robust smoky flavor.
Next time you want to impress someone, make some of these enchiladas. While they’re not fancy, they have a way of covering your soul in a blanket of happiness. Comfort food at its best! And if your husband is like mine, he won’t speak the entire time he’s eating them. Time wasted speaking is time you could be eating 😉
Because of the vibrant color, it’s also a great option for holiday dinner. We usually do enchiladas, tamales, beans and rice at our house for Christmas.
Hope you and your family enjoy!
Homemade red enchilada sauce
A smoky and bright sauce to use for your favorite enchilada recipe. A thousand times better -and just as inexpensive- than the canned stuff!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 30
- 1–2 dried chipotle chilies, soaked in water overnight
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cans (15 oz each) of tomato sauce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt to taste (i used about 1/4 teaspoon since my chicken broth was salted)
- Blend the chipotle chilies in a high-speed blender with the chicken broth. Set aside.
- In a large pot on medium low heat, sauté the garlic in a little butter, just to release the aroma.
- Add in your spices and salt, and coat the garlic with the spice mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the tomato sauce.
- Add the broth mixture and whisk well for a smooth sauce. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes for the flavors to mix.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Use in your favorite enchilada recipe!
- For these photos, I used the same method to cook the enchiladas as I did in this post: http://fitnessista.com/2009/08/shrouded-in-a-cheese-blanket/ (from four years ago!)
- I just used this red sauce instead of making the white sauce.
Favorite Mexican food? What does your family usually eat when they get together for the holidays?
Josh looooves enchiladas! I’ll have to make this for him sometime! Thanks for sharing!
For a long time I was always using store bought tomato sauce but this is even better! 🙂
I love enchiladas and even though I don’t do cheese I enjoy the idea of wrapping up deliciousness in a tortilla and baking it with sauce! I will have to try your sauce out and love how simple it is. Thank you for sharing loads of love C
Yumm, Enchiladas!! I definitely need to make them soon, maybe even for christmas! I am sick of the meat Fondue anyway!
I love this recipe. I’ve seen so many different options but this is just great. You can also use this sauce on rice with a tiny bit of cheese with beans and/or meat for a rice bowl type of meal and it’s my favorite in homemade mexican pizza!
Do you think it would work/taste as good with veggie broth instead of chicken broth? Thanks!
totally would! xo
I actually have never tried making enchiladas – may have to put this on the dinner menu soon!
My go to, crowd pleasing comfort dish is green chile chicken enchiladas (we are a bit obsessed with the GC over here in New Mexico), but your red enchies look awesome and the sauce sounds way easier to make than I was imaging. Hoping you’ll post your butternut and black bean enchies recipe too 🙂
Looks amazing! I am more of a green sauce fan, but when you have a good red sauce, it is amazing!! I like how easy it is to make too!
I love me some enchiladas! And I really hate reading the ingredient label on store bought enchilada sauce so I’m very excited about this recipe!
Any tips or recipes for green enchiladas? Would it just be some type of green chili instead? I don’t know my chilies very well!
my cheater recipe: i use the salsa verde from trader joes as the sauce. it’s amazing
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have been trying to decide what to make for dinner, problem solved. Awesome!!
Have a great day!!!
I’m sure this sauce is waaay better than store bought! Deeelicious! Well…now I’m craving enchiladas! 🙂
what is your favorite enchilada? I am always looking for new enchilada recipes!
i love chicken, veggie and goat cheese
how do you make it? Throw it all in tortillas and cook them?
yum! this will add some pizzaz to taco night!
I have only used the canned sauce before, but this looks too simple to skip. Does this recipe make enough to save a portion and freeze as you suggest or should I double the recipe for that?
i like my enchiladas really sauce-y, so it was about 1 1/2 batches worth for me. if you’re more conservative with the sauce, it will make two. i’d probably double it just to be sure
Oh YAY I can NOT wait to make these! I am a big fan of enchiladas but I have never made them. I’m always up for easy, delicious meals. Add cheese and its the ultimate winner 🙂
Christmas meal = posole and tamales. Always and forever, and I can.not.wait!!!
I love enchis but I’m super picky about them and, therefore, don’t have them very often. They must be cheese only, made with Chimayo red chile, stacked instead of rolled, with an over easy egg on top. Deeeeelishhhhh 🙂
you’re killing me over here. i’m dying for one of those now haha!
I love Mexican food! The recipe for this sauce looks great. My mom always makes lasagna for family get-togethers. so that’s always a comfort food for me.
I love enchiladas! Haven’t eaten them in forever. That will have to change.
When we get together for a Mexican Fiesta, my grandma makes enchiladas but with Mole Sauce or tostadas 🙂 I could eat mexican food just about every day!
same! so good 🙂
This looks delicious! I love homemade enchiladas, we always use our own recipe. Definitely want to try this xo
I have actually never made enchiladas but have definitely made various types of tacos, faijitas and quesadillas! However, my favorite Mexican I’ve ever had was visiting my husband in Mexico City earlier this year and eating at this local restaurant called Pujol. I have no idea what we ate but it was out of this world delicious!
Enchiladas have just been added to my list of meals to make this week after reading this!
YUM! I’m totally trying this homemade sauce. I have a recipe for eggplant almond enchiladas that is to. die. for. Even our non-veggie friends go nuts over them.
that sounds amazing!
Yum! I wish I had all the ingredients on hand to make enchiladas tonight — they look so good!
Um, me gusta. Me gusta MUCHO. 🙂
My most recent cooking “win” has been vegetarian enchiladas lasagna-style! So not really enchis, but all the same ingredients put together like a lasagna. Best of both worlds? Haha. I used canned green enchilada sauce, but I’ll have to try your recipe next time!
Thanks for sharing this recipe! I LOVE enchiladas and I’ve been looking for a good enchilada sauce recipe so I’m not always using canned sauce.
I add a little unsweetened cocoa powder to add a new depth of flavor. I haven’t used dried chilies in mine since my 2 girls don’t like spicy at all. Now I need to go shop tomorrow and make enchilada sauce. 🙂
I love enchiladas but I totally agree with you on the sauce! I find them kind of weird tasting when its gravy-like. I have yet to make them at home!
made a few changes to the sauce bc I didn’t have all ingredients on hand and it was still amazing. like seriously amazing. you’re a kitchen wizard
I made a triple batch of this today. I couldn’t find dried Chipoltle’s , so I used canned ones. It worked.
The best enchilada sauce ever!
This sauce was excellent in our Superbowl dish of roasted vegetable enchiladas. I used chipotle chilies that had been store in adobe sauce which added a lovely smoke element to the taste.
We also used the sauce to coat our roasted chicken wings, after they came out of the oven we coated liberally in the sauce then grilled them off for a final charred taste.
I have just finished eating dinner which was chicken enchiladas with your sauce, and it hands down made the best enchiladas hubby and I have ever had, including dining out! I ordered some chipotle chillies online and they were well worth the wait as they gave an amazing flavour. I made a double batch hoping the sauce would be enjoyable, so glad I did as it was delicious. Thanks for posting : )