Red Enchilada Sauce

June 3, 2012 by Ali

The BEST Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce |

Every time I make the sauce for my favorite enchiladas, I feel like it deserves its own post.

Believe me, people. This recipe will knock your socks offffffff.

I guarantee you will never go back to the canned store-bought stuff again. This sauce is a breeze to make, calls for simple ingredients, and is insanely delicious. Whenever I am making enchiladas, I will often whip up a double batch of the sauce to use in some chicken soup, as a marinade, or to some salsa or quesadillas up a notch. Really, it is so good.

Just make sure that you pay the extra dollar for some good quality chili powder. You will taste the difference. And love it.

Did I say you’ll love it?

The BEST Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce |


The BEST Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce |

Update 3.31.14 – SO many of you readers have used and loved this sauce over the past few years that I decided to post some new photos of the sauce, after making it for the 492th time. :)

The BEST Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce |


Also, a number of people have commented on the color of the sauce. Different chili powders that I have used sometimes make the sauce more brown and sometimes more red. I also always shoot my photos about a foot away from a window, so the backlighting can make the photos also appear more vibrant. Whatever color it comes out, though, this sauce is always crazy good. I hope you continue to enjoy it! Here’s the recipe…

The BEST Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce |

Red Enchilada Sauce


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 4 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock


Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir together over the heat for one minute. Stir in the remaining seasonings (chili powder through oregano). Then gradually add in the stock, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thick.

Use immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.

Ali’s Tip:

I also enjoy substituting 1-2 Tbsp. of chipotle powder in place of some of the chili powder.

The BEST Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce |

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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272 thoughts on “Red Enchilada Sauce

  1. Love the sauce

    - Gayle

  2. I found practically the same identical chili gravy recipe several years ago and I won’t use any other now. All the ingredients are the same, just in different portion sizes.

    - Ashman

  3. Okay, I just had to come back and let you know that this sauce was soooooooo awesome! I made it tonight to use with the chicken enchiladas I made for supper. It was outstanding! My sister was practically slurping it from the saucepan, she liked it so much (Okay, I’m just kidding there, but you know what I’m saying). And it was so easy to make, I was surprised – just nothing to it. I will never buy canned enchilada sauce again – it can’t hold a candle to this sauce where flavor is concerned. And being able to control what I’m eating is one reason I went looking for a homemade enchilada sauce to begin with. The ONLY thing I did differently from the recipe is cut down on the added salt & that’s only because I’m on a reduced sodium diet due to high blood pressure. I can’t thank you enough for putting this recipe out here.

    - MoonDust

  4. I think you are missing some tomato paste in this recipe.

    - Laura B

  5. All I have to say is YUM! I also had a problem with it being to salty (the chicken broth I’m sure) so instead of a double batch, I ended up with a quadruple batch by adding more flour/water, cumin and garlic to taste. I was heavy handed with my chipolte chili powder the first time around, so I didn’t add any more of that. In the future, I just won’t add any salt until I taste it first. Who the heck cares what color it is when it has such great flavor and I didn’t have to pay 3-4 dollars a can for thin sauce that makes everything soggy! I never would have thought to make my own, and I’m so pleased with the outcome. It made my Chiliquiles delicious! And now I have enough sauce left to make Enchiladas soon! Thank you for a great recipe!

    - Susie Fer

  6. Help!! I made this tonight (2 batches) and they BOTH turned out sooooo salty! I did not have cumin so I left it out and I used Italian seasoning, that does not contain salt, Why would it be so salty?? The bouillon cubes I used to make the broth had salt. I even halved that salt in the 2nd batch and it is still so salty!
    How do I cut out the salt taste, any guesses???

    - Melissa

    • just a thought, next time if you are using bouillon cubes cut out the salt the recipe calls for. bouillon cubes tend to be more salty than broth.

      - mandy

    • Hi Melissa,

      Eek — I bet it’s the bouillon. I typically find those to taste way saltier than traditional chicken stock. The cumin might have balanced things out a bit too. If you want to dilute it, maybe make a third batch and mix it in using water instead of stock (if you don’t have any, instead of bouillon). Good luck!


      - Ali

  7. Soooo good! And chemical free. Wonderful thanks!

    - Jensie

  8. I really enjoyed the taste of this sauce but it is NOT little kid friendly at least for those kids that don’t care much for spice. I would say it is medium spice if not spicier. I understand that spice depends on the spice level of chili powder one uses but I never see one that says mild. Will try either less chili powder or substituting half of it with paprika.

    - Tania

    • It has always been my experience that… the darker the chili powder the spicier it will be. Try starting with a half teaspoon and work up from there to your liking. Or try some lighter chili powder. Hope this helps. :)

      - Sheri

  9. FINALLY! An enchilada sauce that doesn’t require things I don’t have in my cupboard, and tastes just like the restaurants. Super easy, tastes great! Thanks!

    - Jen

  10. This is Great!

    - Eric

  11. So good! I really like being able to control the sodium. Thank you for a great recipe!

    - Sarah

  12. I made this once again and I think it turned out even better. The 1st time I had to use beef broth because that was all I had. This time I used chicken broth and only did 3 tbsp of chili powder instead of 4. DELICIOUS!!! For those of you having trouble with thickening- make sure you simmer with the lid OFF and if that still doesn’t work I’d add cornstarch. I’d say this yields about 2 cups

    - Stephanie

  13. A tip for those of you who are producing a thin or thick or gritty sauce. This is a type of gravy. There’s a science to making good gravy. You have to cook the flour 1 minute before adding liquid, this kills the floury taste. It’s important to keep the heat up while stirring in the liquid until it is all added, then you can turn down to a simmer. You might want to google “how to make good gravy” if you’re having trouble with this recipe.

    - Moe

  14. What is the yield on this??? I may have to make 1-2 gallons for a Cinco de Mayo

    - 1bohica

  15. Added some ketchup, did the trick

    - Sandy man

  16. When you mix oil and flour together you are making a roux. This is a common thickener in sauces. When making a roux there a few rules to follow to get a great, silky smooth sauce.

    – Use a 1:1 ratio of flour to oil by weight. So weighting the oil and flour insures a good sauce.

    – Have the oil hot before adding the flour.

    – As you cook the roux the flour changes color going from white, to blond, to tan or brown. The longer is cooks the more flavor the roux imparts into the sauce but the less it works as a thickener. For this recipe you want a blonde Roux.

    – To get a lump-free sauce the chicken broth should be cold and slowly whisked into the hot roux a adding the liquid a little at a time until the roux forms a thin paste, then whisking in the remaining liquid and bringing to a simmer.

    – Roux begins to thicken soon after it is combined with a liquid (In this case chicken broth), but it must be simmered for 10 to 20 minutes in order to reach its full flavor and thickening potential. This additional cooking time allows the flour to soften and absorb the liquid, resulting in a silky texture. If the simmering time is too short, the flour in the roux will remain grainy.

    - Big Daddy

  17. Gave the recipe to my husband to make, and it came out fantastic!

    - Marie

  18. This. Was. AMAZING. Finally i can have my cake and eat it too! Thank you for this recipe :) this came out amazing…it almost tasted like an enchirito from Taco bell. I love how my chicken enchiladas came out though. I recommend to anyone that they keep leftover sauce and put more on before it is done cooking. Bread will soak up most of it, so you don’t want to end up with a dry enchilada!

    - chocolater2

  19. This is a fine Enchilada Sauce. Made it yesterday, then enchiladas last night. My Mild California Chile Powder at first was very hot for us…so I added more Chicken Stock, cornstarch to thin out the heat. By dinner time I was surprised that the heat was not there. My Hubby had no complaints about the heat and regular black pepper is spicy for him. So thank you for sharing the recipe. Seasonings were good, and at first I did follow your recipe to the t.

    - Roni

  20. Wow. The wife said we were out of enchilada sauce and I did not feel like going to the store. Googled enchilada sauce and your recipe was the first one to pop up. Within 15 minutes I had a great tasting enchilada sauce! Thank you!

    - Mark

  21. I made beef and bean quesadias (sp) the other day and had leftovers. Made this enchilada sauce and going to use it for my left overs. Delicious, but a little too spicy for me. Will just use 3 tbls. of chili next time and less cumin…..Never will buy store bought again….

    - Diane

  22. You have some of the best sauces! Thanks for posting this easy, quick, and delicious recipe!

    - tracy

  23. My husband had a craving for enchiladas out of the blue. Needless to say I didn’t have any sauce on hand. Luckily I was stocked with all of the ingredients on this recipe and it turned out awesome! He ended up eating 4 enchiladas and after the 1st bite said “We need to add this to our menu more often” WINNER!!!!! I only had a can of chicken broth so I used that plus some beef broth. I might use a little less chili powder next time but this recipe is definitely being printed out and put in my family recipe book. THANKS now I don’t have to buy that icky pre-made stuff.

    - Stephanie

  24. I was very disappointed. Made the sauce and followed directions and it never thickened…

    - Claire

  25. Good enchilada sauce, yes it is, however my socks are still in tac….. maybe cayanne pepper would help!

    - SamIam

  26. Awesome sauce and easy to make. My family loved it and am making again today… so happy to find this recipe again!!! :)

    - Susan Z

  27. INSANE!!!! I love this.
    Thank you.

    - Cathleen

  28. Being allergic to gluten I used 1 TBSP corn starch instead of flour worked great :)
    So anyone that wants a gluten free sauce this recipe makes it very easy to convert it to gluten free.

    - jennifer

  29. Ali, I’ve made this twice in a week! Thanks for this recipe. Now I can stop buying that canned stuff that I didn’t really care for anyway. You’re the best.

    - Kerry

  30. I’m looking for a good healthy sauce for enchilada. I’m hoping this is the one.

    - Anita Raley

  31. I’m with Temperance… out of both tomato sauce and tomato paste, and don’t want to go to the store in this weather. So glad I found this recipe and am going to give it a try!

    - Mary U

  32. Could you substitute corn starch for the flower to make it “gluten free”?

    - Kevin McKeown

  33. I was really hoping I would find something like this online as I am low on produce and I really wanted to make enchiladas! Thank you for sharing!

    - Britt

  34. I was out of tomato sauce and tomato paste. I scoured the net until I found your recipe for sauce (thankfully). WOW! This was really easy to make and it tasted so much better than the canned stuff. My husband even commented that it was spicy and tasty!

    So thank you, I have yet another favorite “make it yourself” sauce added to my cookbook.

    - Temperence

  35. Hi, I was wondering if this could be canned? I’d love to know if any of your readers have tried to can this yet?

    - Denise

  36. I made your sauce last night for my wife and she looooooved it!! Thanks for sharing your recipe she said she could have eatin the sauce as is lol thank you

    - James w

  37. I was looking for a recipe much like mine, but I couldn’t remember the exact ingredients for the life of me. When I read your recipe, it’s spot on…I just add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste too. This will help to thicken it up & give it that rich red color (I was reading some other comments bc some were saying that it was too brownish color or not thick enough, but the tomato paste should help with both. If they are just looking for thicker sauce, I also recommend adding a tablespoon of extra flour).

    - Nicole

  38. Hi Ali
    We have a boxing day tradition to make mexican food every year.
    I make chicken enchaladas to die for (chicken, mixed with cream cheese, onion and diced black olives )I have always poured the tomato based sauce over the enchaladas and then bake in the oven. After seeing this sauce am I better to pour it over the enchaladas when they come out of the oven ( on top of the melted cheese ) Thks in advance Larry Halifax Nova Scotia

    - larry binns

  39. Ali, I made your Red Enchilada Sauce; however, my sauce did not thicken as much as I would have liked. I did triple the recipe. It looked liked the canned variety, though the taste was so much better, but I was hoping for a sauce that was a bit more thick. I must say that my son absolutely loved it and he is a very picky eater. Any suggestions on what I might have done wrong. Many thanks for the recipe.

    - LaWanda

    • I added a tablespoon of cornstarch…also some tomato paste…thickened it up perfectly, sooo good, unbelievable!!!

      - Brian

    • Hi LaWanda,

      Thanks for trying the recipe! It is not intended to be super-thick, so if you want a thicker sauce, I would say to add an extra tablespoon more of flour to the recipe at the beginning. Glad your son enjoyed it!


      - Ali

  40. that is not the original recipe for enchilada sauce, it should not even have that title. That is the lazy american way of making it. The right way to make it is using the dry whole california pepper, guajillo chili pods, and pasilla ancho pepper. they sell these anywhere. take out the seeds, boil them, when that’s done, put them in a blender with 1 or 2 garlic teeth, some salt then blend and it’s ready. oil is an option.

    - Carmen

    • Yes, I would have to agree the comment was rude. My Mexican grandmother and her mother made the sauce both ways, but she would never have been so ungracious as to say the posted recipe was the lazy american way of making sauce. She was cognizant of the fact that one does not always have the time to make the sauce from scratch, or that Mexican sauces differ due to regional differences. She realized ingredients are not always available in the country a person lives. Perhaps the commenter should have stated “Where I come from/where I was raised, we make our sauce…” instead of implying her way is the only right way.

      - Sonia

    • RUDE! So what is this is not the traditional way. I did not google “traditional way of making enchilada sauce”. If you already know why are you even on here. Its her version ans if its easy and delish then im in.

      - Britt

    • Why did you not just say this is the way you make this without saying ” The Lazy American way”? Would have sounded much nicer!

      - Betty

    • I fully agree with Carmen. The ingredients list above maybe works in places like the midwest, but would never pass muster in California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. I always start with whole chilies.

      - Mike

    • Carmen your way is also the way I make mine and I tell you when I use the dried chili peppers the flavor is out of this world. I will never buy canned again. When I was origainaly given the recipe from my friend she also told me to use chili powder but I figured since I had the dried peppers on hand I would use those instead. But I don’t think one way is really easier than the other. I think if we were actually talking about an American way it would be using tomato sauce because I used to always think tamato sauce was the base of any enchilada sauce but not because I am a lazy American; I was just raised with different recipes in my family

      - Martin

  41. I have followed this enchilada sauce recipe several times and I am so happy with it. I didn’t have canned sauce on hand so looked this recipe up. I was surprised that there is no tomato sauce in it. It’s much better than what comes in a can at the store. And so, so easy to make. My whole family loves it. Thank you for the recipe!

    - Sara

  42. I stumbled across this website looking for a homemade enchilada recipe, which was delicious on its own but made dinner fantastic, and I have been hooked since!

    - Nicole Martin

  43. Thanks for a great, recipe! Thanks to your sauce enchiladas are the most frequently requested meal at my house.

    Any recommendations on how long a jar of this sauce could stay in the fridge before being used up? Thanks!

    - Melissa

  44. This recipe is so easy, and tastes amazing! I’m never buying store bought enchilada sauce ever again! I’m so glad I found your blog, I’ll be visiting often for more recipes!!

    - Lyn

  45. MUCHAS GRACIAS for this recipe!!! We are currently living in South Africa for my husband’s job and there are NO good Mexican restaurants here. I made enchiladas tonight with this sauce and my husband said they were the best enchiladas he had EVER had …. better than any restaurant and that is saying something since we lived in AZ for over 20 years before coming here where it seems there are GOOD Mexican restaurants everywhere!! AMAZING!! And super easy. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    - hootie

    • Just had to comment … I lived in Arizona for a few years and know what you mean … I live in Ghana now, and we are missing Mexican food too! I’ve been making enchilada sauce for years but wanted something a little more authentic. I hope this recipe will be it. I’m off to make it now. If I could find some corn tortillas I’d be a happy woman!!!

      - Kaye

      • Kaye, Tortillas are so easy to make! I live in Cambodia in which it is difficult to find many ingredients. I make my own flour and corn tortillas. For the flour version you only need Flour-baking soda/powder (depends on your taste) salt and hot water! The corn tortillas are even easier. Just corn flour salt and water!!! :)

        - Darren O.

  46. This was great! Super easy to make. I had all of the ingredients already which is alway nice. Thanks for sharing.

    - Jenn

  47. This is the way enchilada sauce should be made…WITHOUT TOMATO SAUCE. Superb!!

    - Beanerluv

  48. I thought I wrote the recipe down incorrectly, but it is true! There are no tomatoes in this sauce! This recipe beats canned 100 fold and any other recipe by at least 10X! Try it!

    - Jesse Downs

  49. I made this for Chilaquiles Casserole from Eating Well. It was quick, easy, and tasty. I was very pleased with the flavor.

    - Melissa French

  50. Thank you so much. Beautiful photos. lovely website. Blessings.

    - Shannon Foster

  51. I quit making enchiladas at home a long time ago because I wouldn’t use canned enchilada sauce and never got around to finding a recipe for homemade. I was really craving enchiladas today so I finally took the time to look online for a recipe. There are so many to choose from but all I saw called for tomato sauce. Then, I found yours. As it happened, I had all the ingredients called for so I got right to it. It is so good.

    I made my enchiladas with shredded chicken breast (left over from last nights dinner) and cheddar cheese. I have two of them on my plate and am typing this comment between bites.

    Ali, your recipe made the best enchilada sauce I’ve ever had. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

    - Ronalyn Hurley

  52. Can this recipe be tripled or so, and sealed in jars and kept for long periods of time? Thank you.

    - Juanita Harder

  53. Can you tell me what the shelf life of this sauce is?

    - Lisa

  54. Sounds good, but minus the cumin. My family NEVER uses cumin in their cooking. Oh, and here in New Mexico, we spell it chile with an ‘e’, not chili. Chili is the Texas stuff that’s best eaten on football Sundays with a truckload of saltines. :-)

    - Denise

  55. Do you think if you made a bunch at once, would you be able to can this enchilada sauce?

    - Mack Doolin

  56. Can you can this?

    - Danette

  57. so easy and delicious!! I even added a dash or two of cayenne to give it a little extra kck. Never buying a can of sauce again!!!

    - Christine

  58. I swear by this recipe! I use me own veggie stock to make it vegan, but I add this to everything! Yesterday I reheated it and used it to smother crisp burritos. I also swirl a bit in when I’m making homemade refried beans., I even drizzle it on baked potatoes. Yum!

    - Stephanie

  59. I’m wondering how much this makes and how much would be needed for a 9×13 pan of enchiladas? Looks and sounds yummy!

    - Lisa G

  60. This was awesome. I can’t see myself ever going back to using a canned sauce. I used a mixture of regular, chipotle and ancho chili powders and it was terrific. Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    - Holly (2 Kids and Tired)

  61. This is truly the best enchilada sauce! So glad I found this. Thank you! I will never go back to a tomato based sauce or canned, again. My family definitely noticed the difference when I first used this recipe. Rave reviews! It makes the enchiladas taste so much better and more authentic.

    - Kristina

  62. Thank you for this great recipe! My husband loves it :)

    - Steph

  63. Aweome Enchilada sauce! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!!! I love enchiladas, but could never bring myself to buy store bought sauce. Now I can make my own and not have to worry “what’s in it”. I know it’s safe and vegatarian friendly (since I use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock).

    - Megan Clark

  64. Mine has been sitting about 15 minutes on simmer. It still appears runny and looks like its seperating a bit. Any suggestions?

    - Casey

  65. For the people asking why theirs never thickened properly:
    The main thickening agent is the flour. In order for the flour to properly thicken it, it needs to be heated.
    If you have issues with this not thickening, make sure that you have the oil hot when you add the flour. While simmering, make sure that it is actually simmering (Not boiling, but as close as you can get).
    It should thicken as it cools.
    If you still have issues, try adding a bit more flour to the heated oil.

    - WannaBeChef

  66. this is exactly how my mom (mexican) taught me to make her sauce, minus the oregano. but i’m gonna add it next time I make it. and I never heard of tomato sauce in REAL enchilada sauce either. and yes mine comes out different shades depending on the type of chili powder I use. great post. thanks.

    - Lisa

    • I had never used tomatoes in sauce either. My husband went to construction jobs very early in the hot days and I watched cooking show where Mamacita made wonderful gravy. I will be trying this one, too. It seems a shame that I had to come from one border to another to lo learn such an important thing. Lol. CAROLYN

      - katladywa

  67. Kudos for not putting tomato in the sauce. My dearly departed Martha would have rolled in her grave if you did. It was a pet peeve of hers, having been born and raised in Arizona.

    - Marcia

  68. Hi friends! The color of the sauce depends on the type of chili powder used. And mine was sitting in direct sunlight during photographing, so that brightened it up. If yours turns out browner or redder, no worries — should still taste great! :)

    - Ali

  69. I made enchiladas last week and used this sauce and they were a total hit! A super simple sauce that gives enchiladas that extra needed punch!
    Thanks for sharing

    - natalie

  70. ps…I make my own vegetable stock, but the depth of color in my stock I made was not any darker than chicken stock…

    - Jackie

  71. Maybe it’s somewhere in the numerous comments, but why is your sauce so red? Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but my sauce was a deep red, almost brown. I used chili powder from a spice shop–a really nice spice shop ;) I liked the consistency of the sauce,… had never thought of basically making a roux for enchilada sauce, but I’d like to know the “brand” and “style” of your chili powder you used to get such a red sauce. There are so many chili powders out there, and my sauce was too hot for some in my household.
    Thanks for sharing!

    - Jackie

  72. For the record…. this is awesome! I’m licking my fingers watching the timer click down. Can’t wait to eat! Thanks so much!!

    - laura

  73. The reason why some are having difficulties with the sauce thickening is because the flour and oil needs to be cooked. It’s the same as when making white sauce. The trick is to cook the chili powder with the four to get the dark red color.

    - Cheryl

  74. I love this! I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and it turned out so yummy!

    I did notice that mine turned out way less of a vibrant red and more of a dark brownish-red. I’m attributing this to my chili powder being very dark.

    Definitely adding this to the recipe book!

    - Megan

    • It looks like she ran the picture through photoshop to brighten it up. Probably changed the color of the sauce.

      - Sarah

      • Wrong, she clearly states that her photo was taken in direct sunlight. This would definitely make the sauce a brighter red than normal.

        - Darren O.

  75. I just made this sauce and it is DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing!

    - Brooke

  76. I recently moved to southern Georgia from southern California and have been CRAVING enchiladas. I foud your recipe and just finished making a batch. LOVE it!! Thanks so much!

    - jennifer

  77. Can’t believe how many people are asking about tomato sauce. No wonder I can’t eat anyone else’s enchiladas but my family’s! I’ve never heard of such a thing…true authentic red enchilada sauce NEVER has tomatoes in it. Just don’t do it. Slight offended. ;)
    From NM with love.

    - Kristy

  78. I had the same problem a a few others…mine never thickened an is a dark brown. Help!

    - Sasha

  79. Your sauce looks delicious! I don’t understand though how there are no tomatoes in it and yet it looks that red? Just wondering, TFS!

    - rk

  80. Can you please specify which kind of chili powder you used. I know you said a good quality one, but obviously i’ve chosen wrong because i have brown enchilada sauce. I’m sure it’ll be tasty, but for aesthetics , i’d like to move in the red direction next time.

    - Nichole

  81. My husband is Mexican and I can never make food as spicy as he wants it. I made this exactly but added an extra table spoon of New Mexican chili pepper and red pepper flakes. He hasn’t tasted it yet, but said it smells like mole and that’s good. So hopefully he will like it.

    - Marci

  82. i have made this a few times..all with 3 different chili makes a huge difference if you use quality like recommended. best so far was with Gebhardt chili powder. great easy recipe

    - kelly martinez

  83. Can u freeze it?

    - Michele

  84. Do you think subbing a vegetarian broth would work okay?

    - Julie

  85. Use a little less chicken broth, and add a can of beer. That is how my great grandma showed me how to do it.

    - Robynne calderon

  86. What a fantastic recipe! I will never buy canned enchilada sauce again. This was a super easy recipe and a great sauce for my chicken enchiladas! And the best part? My teenage boys loved them!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    - Classy Butterfly

  87. This is def not an authentic enchilada sauce sorry to say :-/ All you need is some dried California, Guajillo, and puya chilies, salt and some garlic. Soak those puppies in warm water then blend them with garlic till you can blend no more. Strain and add salt. Add some of the water if too thick!

    - Evelyn

  88. Do you use Ground Cumin or Cumin seeds?

    I’m going to assume ground cumin as I can’t ‘see’ any seeds in the finished product.

    - Rebecca

  89. Can you can this ??? I would love to make a large batch and then can it.

    - Rebekah

  90. This never thickened up, did I do something wrong?? It also was the brown color, but I figured it is just the chili powder I used…Can someone let me know if it should be thick…I’d appreciate it…..Also my daughter can’t eat anything with MSG, so this was a hit

    - Sarah

  91. 5 thumbs up or 10 The best.

    - El

  92. Thanks so much for this recipe. I live in China and anything canned has to come from a foreign import store and is too expensive. Learning to make everything from scratch!

    - Brenda

  93. What would be a “good” chili powder? I just buy the stuff in the grocery store – is there a better option?

    - Kellie

    • i bought some online after seeing reviews for is expensive though..Gebhardt brand. i did use mccormick brand at store and it was just fine..made a good sauce..just don’t do off brand, cheap cheap kind..i tried that too and it was awful

      - kelly martinez

    • Ancho chili powder, or gebhardts

      - Rob

    • Look at the ingredients of the chili powder. You should recognize everything listed or else it may have MSG or a sneaky slightly modified chemical. Personally, I like Gebhardt Chili Powder, if it’s available.

      - Suvi

  94. Can you freeze this?

    - Lhawks

  95. Hey Ali, how’s it feel to have the #1 enchilada sauce recipe on the Internet?

    If you search for “enchilada sauce” on Google, your recipe comes up 3rd, but the first two both use either tomato paste or tomato sauce, so yours is actually the first authentic enchilada sauce recipe.

    Nice job! And it’s a great recipe too. I made it this past week, and it works great! Way, way better than any canned sauce, ever.

    - Charles

  96. No tomato sauce in enchilada sauce?

    - Brittany

    • Nooooo! I couldn’t believe how many recipes I’ve found that added tomato sauce. I’ve never heard of such a thing! As a proud New Mexican, I can safely say you’d get run out of the state for adding tomato sauce to your red enchiladas. Yuck.

      - Kristy

  97. Thank you SO much for this yummy recipe. I have been trying to find a recipe that didn’t use canned tomatoes. (BPA issues).

    Thanks Again!

    - Andrea

  98. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! It’s is so easy & has great flavor. It’s also a great starter recipe to add some different favors too. Thanks for sharing…this is my ‘go-to’ enchilada sauce recipe now!!! Cheers!!

    - Emily

  99. I made this tonight and we loved it! Although, my first batch was way too salty. I usually use reduced sodium broth, but I had regular broth on hand and didn’t think about what I was using. I ended up making a second batch with water and no salt. The sauce with the two batches mixed together was still a little salty on its own, but it was delicious when the enchiladas were cooked. I’ll never go back to the canned stuff again!

    - Jenny

  100. This was delicious! I loved it! I live in Mozambique and can’t buy canned but I had all this on hand and boy am I glad I did, I will never buy a can again. Yum! (Also, it tastes exactly like my favorite enchiladas at Mexican restaurants – no tomatoes in it!)

    - Laura

  101. Sounds great, however you could just boil and. blend New Mexico Chilie.

    - Teresa

  102. I’ve made this several times now and it is so delicious and so simple to make! My family absolutely loves it! I am so thankful I found this recipe because I’m really trying to cut out the canned foods my family eats and I had yet to find on enchilada sauce recipe that we loved, until now.

    - Julie

    • You shouldn’t can anything that calls for flour to thicken the sauce. It’s like baking a pie twice, It will only give it a overdone burnt taste. You could thicken it after opening or choose a different recipe. With the chicken broth you would need to prepare cook. Go to the USDA guide to home canning.

      - Valerie

  103. I tried this recipe and it’s great! But I made it slightly different by using a non-cook blender method. First I put in a scant amount of broth in the blender and added the spices. Instead of flour, I put in 1 Tbsp of corn starch. Then, in a microwave I brought the rest of the broth up to boiling and added it to the blender, and let it spin for 2-3 minutes. Done!

    - Thomas

  104. I grew up in El Paso, Texas, so I feel like know good Mexican food. I was incredulous when I saw this recipe — no tomatoes at all– but holy-kamoly, this sauce was so flippin’ good. I will never go back to the canned stuff!Thanks for the recipe!

    - Sarah Wilson

  105. Could you can this? If so, how?!!!

    - Rene P

  106. Do u have a recipe for green sauce?

    - linda

  107. So glad I found this! Making sweet potato mole enchiladas tonight and I don’t have any of the canned stuff (would rather make homemade anyway, but have never tried.) This sounds delish!

    BTW, anyone wondering where the tomato is, aunthentic enchilada sauce has NO tomato product! :)

    - jackie

  108. Holy moly yum… I’m so glad I found this. Thanks for sharging this. I’m makeing this for my Food Swap this weekend, I’m sure it’s going to be fought over!

    - Ally

  109. This is so YUMMY! I served it with homemade black bean burritos! It is a keeper!

    - Jacqui

  110. Wow! That really was an awesome enchilada sauce! Thanks for posting!

    - Patricia

  111. Made this tonight for filet mignon enchiladas. The sauce smelled divine while cooking. I used 3 T Dean & Deluca Chile Powder and 1 T Dean & Deluca Ancho Chile Powder. I didn’t think it was too spicy. I’d probably add some chipotle powder or achiote paste next time because I do like it hot. The only bummer is that I don’t have any sour cream on hand…that would add a nice cooling effect to it. Thanks for the recipe. Yum! Oh, and by the way, I would freeze it, too.

    - Shelley

  112. Since the original poster hasn’t addressed this I will.

    Having LOTS AND LOTS of experience with both canning and freezing I would suggest freezing this recipe over canning it. If you were to can it I would suggest using the pressure canning method NOT a hot water batch.

    Ball makes freezer “jars” that are a Tupperware type plastic with a green lid. They are inexpensive (I think about $3.50 for a 4 pack) and are easy to store in the freezer because they stack well. I use them for everything from homemade sauces to leftover mashed potatoes. You could also freeze it in Ziploc bags. I would split it between two smaller freezer bags and then put those bags together in a gallon size so they are double bagged and you can thaw smaller amounts at a time :-) Freezing it should keep for 6-9months depending on just how cold your freezer is

    - Jennifer

    • Thank you for this. I prefer to make large batches of things and store them for later use. I am just learning about canning and am curious as to why you would suggest freezing over canning.

      - Lisa

  113. Sounds great. Can’t wait to try it. I noticed in the comments many people are asking if this can be canned. Has anyone canned it?

    - Kristen

  114. rugbycoach, I was wondering the same thing. Red enchilada sauce without tomato sauce??

    - Kate

    • This accounts for the various shades of red. Chilis.vary in color by the breed. The flavor is amazing when not using tomatoes. My chili is made with NO tomatoes and friends have thought it was a typo, ruined some chili. He he.

      - katladywa

  115. I think it is much better when I added some home made tomato sauce (2 c) and added 3/4 tsp of onion powder with an increase of cumin. Did you leave something out in this tomato sauce?

    - rugbycoach

    • Authentic enchilada sauce NEVER EVER has tomato sauce in it! I’ve never even heard of people putting tomato sauce in enchiladas until I did a recipe search. I’m kind of grossed out, tbh.

      - Kristy

  116. Seriously loved this, thank you. (Also assuming your right about the Spice Island chili powder, I just ordered the giant 10 oz. bottle on Amazon). :)

    - Daisy

  117. We have gluten free eaters-could this be thickened with masa instead of flour?

    - Michele Harvey

    • I use GF all purpose flour and it thickens up nicely, ie: 4 Tbs canola oil : 4 Tbs GF flour : 2 cups homemade tomato sauce and 2 cups homemade chicken stock.

      - rugbycoach

  118. Love this! I use it on my blog, and linked to you. Hope you don’t mind.

    - heather

  119. I made this sauce as directed and our mouths were on fire!!! It smells great and it has a good flavor, but it is entirely too hot! My tongue felt as though blisters were forming on my tongue and my husband and I were both sweating. Again, it’s good, but there should be a “warning” on this recipe.

    - Kayna

    • Avoid the chipotle powder then because regular chili powder should be mild. I can’t handle any heat and I thought this recipe was perfect.

      - Daisy

  120. Hello Ali,
    You were so right. We will never go back to store bought sauce again. After Thanksgiving we were looking for a way to use our massive amount of left over turkey. We found recipes for Turkey Enchiladas and tried your sauce with it. Fantastic ! I can see why you feel this sauce deserves a photo session. Thanks and happy cooking.
    From our kitchen to yours,

    - Laura H.

  121. I can not wait to make & try. I absolutely despise any canned Enchilada Sauce from the store. My husband loves cheese enchiladas. Any suggestions for canning this? I would love to fill my pantry with a few jars of this “Real” enchilada sauce.

    - Lesa

  122. I was so looking forward to this recipe but it was a total flop for me! I followed it to the letter except I reduced the sodium. I’m not sure if chilli powder if different in the stated but in Canada it has salt in it which seems to have turned my sauce into a giant salty disaster!

    - Meredith

  123. has anyone tried with grapeseed or olive oil instead of canola / veg? trying to avoid industrial oils….looking for something less processed and this almost fits the bill! thanks so much!

    - laura maccarthy

  124. After trying this recipe I can see that we will never have to go out for enchiladas again! So good!

    - Darlene

  125. I used corn starch and a little different cooking method. Made a great gluten free enchilada sauce. Thank you!

    - jenilyn

  126. Is there an ingredient item missing from the last bullet point? Tomato sauce? Thx

    - Heather

  127. Would this enchilada sauce be good with beef enchiladas?

    - Debbie

  128. This sauce was amazing, for much flavor and spice, but not hot. Totally made the enchiladas a hit tonight.

    - Mitch

  129. Made this for my family last week, we loved it!! My husband is from Mexico and he said it “tasted like home”. He has raved all week about it so, we are having it again tonight!! Thanks for sharing, truly amazing!!

    - Mexicancuisinelover

  130. Mine was more brown as well, but super delicious!! I’ve been looking for a good enchilada sauce recipe and this will be my go-to from now on. Thanks so much!!

    - Anna S.

  131. Thanks to you and Rick and a rotisserie chicken, my Sunday craving has been more than satisfied, and in no time. Genius. My two year old and I happily dined while talking about how nice life is when people share.

    - Kate

  132. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve tried many different enchilada sauce recipes, and I have found that tomato-based ones are not my favorite. This recipe is also husband approved so I’m glad I have found a sauce I can make from now on. :)

    - Gio

  133. This sauce is amazing!!!

    - jesica

  134. Mine turned out like Leah’s, very BROWN!!! I’m not sure what I did wrong, but neither me or my husband could get past the brown color. Will try it again though.

    - Lisa

  135. I have to say, when I saw this on Pinterest I expected to read the recipe and chuckle but this is the real deal. I am Mexican -American and this is how my mom taught me to make it. There should be absolutely no tomato anything in enchilada sauce! Great pin! :)

    - Alisha

  136. I have been looking for a good enchilada sauce for a long time. This sounds so great and easy! Do you think I could also make mexican rice with it? Can’t wait – I am going to make it this weekend!

    - Nicole

  137. Wow, thanks for this recipe. I am going to try it. I have never seen one that didn’t call for some sort of tomato base, (which I have a problem with due to allergies) Appreciate your time to post!

    - jkuoha

  138. Made this tonight and it was excellent and I loved that I had everything I needed right on the shelf. Thanks!

    - Melissa @ Bless This Mess

  139. Oh, my goodness! I definitely will have to use your recipe when I make enchilada again; it looks so easy! :-)

    - Tammy

  140. This is the best internet recipe I have made. This is a delicious sauce. I made it with water instead of chicken broth and added another 1/2t of salt. Nothing else. I really recommend this sauce. As far as I am concerned, tomatoes in enchilada sauce are un-natural and an affront to all cooks who try to cook authentic-tasting Mexican dishes.

    - Mike

  141. Made this as described and it was pretty wonderful. Second time I used King Arthur Glutten free all purpose flour; there was no discernible difference. I’ve tossed tortilla chips in this sauce topping with chopped chicken, more sauce, and cheddar cheese. Baked @ 425 for 15 minutes.

    - Rick

  142. Add a pinch of clove to it, yum!

    - NADNE A

  143. I’ve never seen enchilada sauce without some form of tomato base in it. Is this correct, or possibly an oversight? Just curious.

    - Connie

    • so many are asking if this has tomatoes…..I have never used an enchilada sauce that had tomatoes in it. Same with the sauce for tortillas…..there are no tomato in those either…..just because its red doesn’t mean tomatoes….;o)

      - Gayle

    • Did you get an answer about NO Tomato in this sauce Connie? South African’s are not big on Mexican Food but we’ve been to Mexico & I want to make this, but have no idea if it should have tomato’s in the sauce?

      - Leandra

  144. How much does this make? 3 1/2 cups?

    - N

  145. Can this recipe be canned?

    - Kathy

  146. I tried this and my sauce is very brown compared to the color of your sauce in the photo? Also I substituted 1 tabl of Chipotle for the chili powder and whoa! What a mistake! My mouth was on fire. I had to double the recipe to temper the heat of the sauce. I’m still not sure about the color?

    - Leah

  147. Do you know if you can water bath can this sauce?

    - Ashley

  148. This sauce looks really good and I can’t wait to try it! Just to let you know, the link to the ‘best enchiladas ever’ isn’t working and I am really keen to try them out. I tried looking for them in the recipe list but I can’t work out which it is. I am really tired so forgive me if it is obvious!

    - Catherine

  149. Never knew enchilada sauce was so easy! I’ll have to give it a try. :)

    - CJ @ Morsels of Life

  150. OH Thank you thank you. An enchilada sauce without tomato! I’m making this tonight.

    - Mel

  151. LOVE that it has nothing hard to find in it! We live in the middle of no where and it literally is a 2 hour drive to a “real” grocery store. Can’t wait to try this just using what I already have!

    - Melissa @ Bless This Mess

  152. I was wondering how long the shelf life is ? Also, Store it in the fridge ?

    - Celeste

  153. I was wondering how much this makes? Or for how many enchiladas?
    I will be making 50 enchiladas and was wondering how many times I would need to repeat the above recipe? Thanks!

    - valerie espinoza

  154. What type of chili powder. Ancho chili powder, New Mexico chili powder etc. Can you be more specific?

    - :D

  155. I searched the web for a homemade enchilada sauce recipe a few months ago, and found yours. I loved the look of your page and finished product (thought about making this for Christmas gifts) and thought I’d give it a try. This has become my go-to recipe. We LOVE it. The first time I made it for a church potluck and accidently used hot chili powder, it was hot but super delicious and got rave reviews. Each batch I make, I experiment with the chili powder…….sometimes a mix of regular chili powder and cayenne, tonight I’ll mix hot and regular chil powder and cayenne. I sooooo appreciate your great tasting, easy to follow recipe :)

    - Catherine Helmer

  156. I just found this recipe today and I’m looking forward to making it soon. I grind my own chili powder which I think will go quite well in this sauce. I was wondering if you have tried adding some Mexican chocolate?

    Bill Hawkes

    - Bill Hawkes

  157. Thanks for the great recipe! For the oil can you sub. olive oil? Do you think it would change the taste too much?

    - Debbie

  158. I made this for dinner this evening. It was amazing! Everyone loved it. Thanks so much for sharing!

    - Tracy

  159. Can you freeze it?

    - Joy

  160. I can’t wait to try this! I would like to know if you think it can be frozen. I am currently working on “freezer meals” and similar ideas and would love to add this to my stash!

    - Trista M.

  161. This sounds great. Just wondering if you have tried canning it in jars to store for several months?

    - marla

  162. Hi, just wondering what makes this sauce red?

    - Charlotte

  163. I made this last night and the family has been singing my praises all day! Best Enchiladas ever! My husband was eating it by the spoonful right out of the saucepan! I had been using another recipe that called for tomato paste and it was always too thick and rich, but better than store bought. This is my go to recipe from now on!

    - Tiffany D

  164. Yum, I’m making it right now. I’ve made this a couple times already and my family loves it. Since one of my daughters doesn’t like spicy food, I have to use less chile powder but it’s still delicious. Thank you for the great recipe, Ali.

    - annalese

  165. If you do not like spicy substitute the chili powder with paprika:) Tastes great!

    - Dee

  166. OK, I have a crazy question. “Chili powder’: in health food stores you can buy chili powder that is JUST chillis. But chili powder is also a mix of chili, cumin, garlic, etc. Am I the only one who is ever confused about this? THANKS, Mary Jane

    making your enchilada sauce today :) thanks for posting it. :)

    - Mary Jane

  167. Making this tonight! Can this be canned or frozen for quick use in the future?

    - Hillary

  168. Made this today. It’s wonderful! I don’t make anything that requires enchilada sauce because it grosses me out to use the can. I love this easy, delicious, recipe. Thank you for posting!

    - Julie

  169. We made this tonight for the first time and it was AMAZING! I licked the spoon and pan clean! Thank you!

    - Nikki

  170. I was wondering if you’ve tried canning this… I would love to have some on the shelf for when I don’t have time to whip up a batch.

    - Kimmy

  171. I can’t stand store bought stuff either and we love Mexican I just made this but made some substitutions I added some tomatoe paste (about a tablespoon) and cinnamon (maybe a teaspoonful) a bit more broth (about half a cup but next time I’ll do a full cup more) a bit more garlic and cumin and I used pink Himalayan salt and it’s pretty darn good! Thx for this;)

    - Angie

  172. This looks delicious! How long does it last if you don’t use all of it?

    - Megan

  173. How spicy is this? Usually when I’ve bought canned sauces even mild ones, they are too spicy for us.
    Only one that so far isn’t spicy is the McCormick’s package.

    - Stefanie A.

  174. Some friends and I are doing our ow cooking comp….My tme is mexican and I will try this sauce for my enchiladas :-)

    - jaymie

  175. I never thought about making enchilada sauce! I use it all the time though so I don’t know why I haven’t yet! Thanks for the recipe.

    - Julie

    • Would it be possible to can it like you do tomatoes, or would you just use a water bath canner. I do alot of bottling and this would be ideal to keep in the pantry.

      - karen

  176. Huh. It never occurred to me to make my own enchi sauce. That is about to change. Thanks Ali!

    - Katie | Healthnut Foodie

  177. Hey Ali -

    Have you ever frozen this? Would love to make a big batch and freeze for quick night cooking.

    - Lisa Y.

  178. Oh my goodness… I have an enchilada recipe that I love, and I never thought to make the sauce and keep it in the fridge. I always just make the whole giant recipe and have tons of leftovers. I am going to be making this sauce next week!

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  179. Looks great, but the link to the Favorite Enchiladas isn’t working. We need that recipe too! :-)

    - evd

  180. I’ve been DYING to find a good enchi sauce! and HERE. YOU. ARE.

    - Bev @ Bev Cooks

  181. I’ve always wanted to make this! BOOKMARKED! :)

    - Laurie {Simply Scratch}

  182. This sounds so good – I’m always turned off by recipes that just call for “red enchilada sauce” because the stuff I buy is never what I’m hoping for. I’ll be trying this!!

    - Anna @ hiddenponies

  183. I always get the store-bought ones but I’m so glad I can finally start making it at home! Who knew it was this easy?!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    • I never knew until I tried it, and was ridiculously glad I did! Soooo much better. :-)

      - ali

      • I’ve been reading through all of the comments, and I’ve noticed several asking about canning it. That is my question as well. I’ve read a couple saying to freeze it, but can this be canned? Inquiring minds want to know.:D

        - Denise

  184. This sounds delish! I can’t believe that there aren’t any kind of tomatoes in it.

    - Krista

    • I am shocked as well. Every authentic recipe I know does not use chicken broth as a base but rather tomatoes. My Grandma would kill me if I did it this way haha

      - Randi

    • I was surprised by that too! You can add in some tomato paste if you’d like, but I love this sauce just by itself. So flavorful!!

      - ali

  185. This stuff is so yummy! I always make extra, too.

    - Ali's Mom

  186. I love my Mexican food but I can’t stand store-bought enchilada sauce. This just might be the best thing I’ve seen all day!

    - Cassie

  187. Ooo! this looks yummy! :)

    - Summer

  188. If I have no chili powder, can I substitute it for the entire chiles (i.e. canned chipotles)?

    - Andrés

    • Hmmm…I imagine you could substitute in some canned chipotles, but it would probably give the sauce a different flavor. I would begin with one chipotle chili (in adobo sauce), and see how things go from there. (And would blend the sauce to be sure that it is pureed!)

      - ali

    • Alli, I have the same question. How much fresh, roasted chile would you sub for the chili powder?

      - Kate C

      • Hey Kate! Not entirely sure on the substitution. As I wrote below, would consider trying a single chipotle chili in adobo sauce to begin with, and then add more if needed. If you try it, would love to hear how things go!! :)

        - ali

        • Since there are so many comments about how brown the sauce is compared to the picture I have to ask if the recipe is really supposed to use “chili powder” or “ground chili”?

          “Chili powder” is the darker spice blend normally used when you make a bowl of chili. The picture does not appear to have used “chili powder”.

          - Gerry