Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Turn simple pantry ingredients into a flavorful Homemade Enchilada Sauce in just 10 minutes! Use this easy sauce to make the best enchiladas ever or in any other recipe that calls for canned enchilada sauce.

Homemade enchilada sauce in a glass jar with tortillas in the background and a spoon of sauce in front.

A flavorful sauce is key to making the best enchiladas. For me, store-bought, canned sauce just doesn’t cut it. After much trial and error, I finally discovered how to make the best homemade enchilada sauce. The best part is that this sauce is made with ingredients I usually have in the cupboard and it all comes together in 10 minutes!

If I’m making my vegetable enchiladas, I can easily whip up the sauce while the veggies are roasting.

If you make Mexican or Tex-Mex frequently, you can make a double or triple batch of this easy sauce to freeze. Then just pull it out of the freezer to thaw as you need it! Since I’ve started making this, I’ve also begun keeping a smaller container in the fridge to add to tacos, salads, eggs and anything else that could use a little bit of extra flavor.

The next time you’re making enchiladas, I encourage you to try this easy homemade recipe instead of grabbing a can at the store! It is 100% worth extra few minutes of prep.

All the ingredients and spiced for easy enchilada sauce measured in white bowls

What You’ll Need

This 10 minute enchilada sauce is made with simple ingredients you likely already have in the pantry!

  • Avocado oil – You can substitute with olive oil or vegetable oil too.
  • All-purpose flour – Used the thicken the sauce.
  • Chili powder – The primary flavor of the sauce. Look for an American style chili powder, not one that is made up of primarily cayenne pepper.
  • Onion & garlic powders – Add depths of flavor to the sauce.
  • Cumin – Helps create the smoky flavor.
  • Dried oregano – Rounds out the savory sauce flavor.
  • Kosher salt – A pinch gets whisked into the sauce and more can be added to taste at the end.
  • Broth – Vegetable and chicken broth both work perfectly. You can also substitute water.
  • Tomato sauce – Any canned or jar tomato sauce will work, preferably one without seasonings.
Four process shots of making enchilada sauce in a blue saucepan

How To Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce

There are only 2 steps to making this tasty sauce. The first few minutes are hands-on but after that, just let the sauce simmer until you’re ready to enjoy!

  1. Preheat the oil then add flour and spices. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute, then add spices and whisk for an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Add in broth and additional ingredients. Whisk the broth slowly, to avoid lumps, then stir in the tomato sauce stir. Simmer for 5-8 minutes. Season with salt.
A glass jar of homemade enchilada sauce with a spoon stirring the sauce.

Tips for Success

After making this so many times, I’ve discovered a few tips for the best homemade enchilada sauce!

  • Measure everything before starting. The roux requires hands-on action and comes together quickly, so it’s best to have everything measured and ready to add before you begin.
  • The roux is important. For the perfect consistency, the oil and flour roux is incredibly important. Make sure you’re taking the time to whisk as it thickens and continue whisking it as you add the broth.
  • Make it gluten-free. Switch to gluten free flour for a gluten free sauce.
  • Use American-style chili powder. Most jars labeled “chili powder” are a mix. Check the label to be sure you’re grabbing a chili powder mix and not just straight cayenne pepper.
  • Spice it up. If you like your sauce on the spicy side, add in some cayenne pepper. I recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon.

Serving Suggestions

The most obvious use for this sauce is, of course, enchiladas. I always use this on my Vegetable Enchiladas. But don’t feel like that’s the only way to utilize this sauce! Here’s a few other ideas:

  • Other Enchilada-Inspired Recipes. From enchilada nachos and cups to chicken enchilada casseroles, there are many non-traditional enchilada recipes that will taste even better with this sauce! My favorite is One Pot Chicken Enchilada Pasta.
  • Soups. This is perfect for Chicken Enchilada Soup! Many tortilla soup recipes also call for enchilada sauce.
  • Add some flavor to tacos. Drizzle a spoonful of this sauce over your favorite tacos.
  • Mix with ranch or sour cream for a thicker sauce. Then use it as a topping or dipping sauce to taquitos or as salad dressing.
  • Use as a marinade. You can also use the sauce as an easy marinade for pork, chicken or beef.
A glass jar filled with homemade enchilada sauce.

How to Store

Homemade enchilada sauce will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to use it for enchiladas the first night and then save some for tacos or salads later in the week.

Can I Freeze Enchilada Sauce?

Yes! This sauce freezes well. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just keep it in a mason jar or ziploc container. Be sure to leave room for expansion and avoid filling the container to the top.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes:

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A glass jar of homemade enchilada sauce with a spoon stirring the sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
This homemade sauce is made with simple ingredients and ready in just 10 minutes!
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil, or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups broth, chicken, vegetable or water
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and whisk together for 1 minute. Add spices and salt and whisk for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly add broth, whisking constantly to break down lumps of flour. Stir in tomato sauce, reduce heat, and simmer for 5-8 minutes, until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.

Notes

This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of enchilada sauce. 
STORAGE: Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 113kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 692mg, Potassium: 327mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3214IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

2 comments on “Homemade Enchilada Sauce”

  1. I love having a fresh jar of such a flavorful sauce around. Great for so many different recipes!

  2. I’m excited to try this recipe. I love making my sauces from scratch, they are so much healthier.

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