Red Enchilada Sauce

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

This homemade red enchilada sauce is WAY better than anything you can buy in the can, and quick and easy to make as well!


2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 Tbsp. all-purpose or gluten-free flour
4 Tbsp. chili powder (*see note below if you do not like heat*)
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.

(*I consider this sauce pretty mild.  But if you are wary about heat/spice in your sauce, I would begin with 2 tablespoons chili powder and add more from there once the sauce has reached a simmer if you'd like.)

The BEST Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce |

Leave a Comment:


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  1. Barbara — September 4, 2014 @ 10:29 am (#)

    I always say, “red chile sauce will be as good as the kind of red chili you use. I have tried many, I was juss curious as to what kind/brand of red chili did you use?

    • Ali — October 19, 2014 @ 1:33 pm (#)

      I like Spice Islands or McCormick. :)

  2. deborah wilcher — September 6, 2014 @ 2:29 pm (#)

    Missing the tomato flavor in the sauce.can see the use of chicken with would use beef with beef enchiladas…added tomato puree to taste..omitted the oregano too..borders Italian sauces with oregano…

  3. Kgtg — September 7, 2014 @ 12:47 am (#)

    Sounds great! Have you tried pressure canning your sauce? Wondering on guidelines.

    • Ali — October 18, 2014 @ 6:24 pm (#)

      I have not tried that yet. I know very little about canning, so if you try it, let me know! :)

  4. Diana Boles — September 7, 2014 @ 5:15 pm (#)

    I bought some New Mexico chili powder and I can’t wait to try this. The chicken broth is new to me.

  5. sandy — September 7, 2014 @ 8:18 pm (#)

    can i can this sauce?

    • Ali — October 18, 2014 @ 6:23 pm (#)

      I’m not an expert in canning, but I have heard that yes you can.

  6. Ruth (Gram) — September 8, 2014 @ 4:15 pm (#)

    You sound like someone I would like to know. I like most of the things you like.
    My pup’s name is Bebe, a rat terrior. I love cooking. Just found out I have type 2 diabetes, so I get to find recipes for an all new life style. i’VE BEEN looking for a good enchilada sauce recipes. I’m going to try this this week. Have a great week. …. sincerely, Gram

  7. Melissa — September 8, 2014 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    Hi looking forward to making this.
    Thanks for this.


  8. Becca — September 11, 2014 @ 12:14 pm (#)

    Its too bad you can’t can this! I’m on a roll with my canning and this would be wonderful to have in a jar waiting. Sooooo yummy!!!!

  9. Pap — September 12, 2014 @ 1:15 pm (#)

    My sauce did not turn red like yours

    • Ali — September 12, 2014 @ 1:42 pm (#)

      It will depend on the color of your chili powder. Also, mine was backlit by the sun, so it looks a little more red. Yours should still taste great! :)

  10. Linda — September 14, 2014 @ 5:25 pm (#)

    Why could you not can this sauce?

  11. Mel — October 14, 2014 @ 12:33 pm (#)

    No tomatoes are required in this?  THanks!

  12. Kris — October 14, 2014 @ 2:43 pm (#)

    I believe those that got browner sauce may have browned the flour too much. I love this recipe, it actually tastes like enchilada sauce. I’ve deleted all those so-called enchilada sauces with tomato sauce in them. I didn’t think enchilada sauce should get it’s color from tomato. Thanks so much for sharing your Red Enchilada Sauce with the world!

  13. Erica — October 14, 2014 @ 3:46 pm (#)

    by chili powder do you mean like cayenne chili powder or just good old chili powder that one may put in actual chili beans? thank you 

  14. TOP - 99999 Wonderful Quotes — October 14, 2014 @ 7:00 pm (#)

    I have been looking a long time for a recipe that made me say “YUM”. Spotted this one today and had to try it. I LOVE TO COOK. I want to thank your husband for creating this recipe as it was simply delicious and exactly what I was looking for. I did, however, use Mild Cheddar and Italian Blend shredded cheeses. My husband loved it 

  15. Richigrl2 — October 19, 2014 @ 4:32 pm (#)

    This sauce is just ok. It’s too spicy, I love spicy but it’s just hot, no flavor. I don’t recommend.


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