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Make a flavorful and easy Enchilada Sauce at home! This homemade version is made without all the additives and tastes just as good (if not better) than the kind from the store. A great addition to recipes like Beef Enchiladas or Red and Green Enchiladas.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Quick and Easy!
Homemade Enchilada Sauce is easy and quick to make! Whether you are wanting fewer preservatives (and additives) in your meals or whether you forgot a can of enchilada sauce when you went to the store I’ve got the solution for you. With just a handful of ingredients and the perfect combination of spices, you can have amazing red enchilada sauce ready in minutes. Perfect to go over beef, chicken, or pork enchiladas or in an enchilada casserole.
Main Ingredients Needed
Here’s everything you need to make this delicious homemade enchilada sauce:
- Chicken Broth – this is the bulk of the enchilada sauce and acts as a base. You could also use beef broth here for a different type of base flavor.
- Cornstarch – this is used to thicken and stabilize the sauce. A huge plus is that it’s gluten-free!
- Chili Powder – go easy on the chili powder if you can’t handle the heat, or use more if you like things spicier.
- Cumin – this is a great spice that lends a lot of that savory Mexican flavor found in tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.
- Garlic + Onion Powder – since we don’t want clumps of garlic and onion in the sauce I opted for their powdered counterparts.
- Oregano – pungent and sharp, the perfect herby addition to this list of ingredients.
- Smoked Paprika – you could also use regular paprika here but I just love the flavor you get with smoked paprika.
- Salt + Pepper – don’t forget to season!
Plus A Few Secret Ingredients
I know this just seems like a long list of ingredients, but there are definitely a few that you don’t want to miss that really sets this homemade enchilada sauce apart!
- Cinnamon– I only call for a pinch of this stuff because a little goes a long way. It truly is the ingredient that when people try your enchiladas will say “hmm, what is that that makes these taste so good?” Its an ingredient to swear by. Makes a world of difference.
- Vinegar– I use a plain white distilled but you can use a white wine vinegar, apple cider or even lime or lemon juice. You need acid in this sauce to balance it out. Again, you won’t notice the vinegar taste, but if you omit it, you’ll notice.
- Sugar– again, all about that balance! The sauce won’t taste sweet by adding 1/2 teaspoon but it will help balance all the flavors.
- Butter– I know most recipes for a homemade enchilada sauce will start with vegetable oil or lard in a pan and create a roux with flour and possibly even add fresh onions and garlic, but I don’t have the patience for that. Plus I like butter better. It adds a velvety, rich taste that I like. Not so traditional, but is so good.
- Tomato Paste– this adds depth of flavor to the sauce and helps support the chili and cumin flavors.
How to Make Enchilada Sauce
This is a super simple recipe to follow, which is great when you don’t want to run to the store just because you forgot the enchilada sauce for dinner. For full details see the recipe card down below 🙂
Into a small saucepan, whisk chicken broth together with cornstarch, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar.
Bring to boil to thicken the sauce, then remove from heat and stir in butter until it’s completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Use as desired.
Storing Enchilada Sauce
Let enchilada sauce cool completely then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. I would definitely make extra of this yummy sauce to freeze and use later as well!
To freeze enchilada sauce, let it cool completely. Store in a mason jar or another airtight container, but remember to leave a couple of inches of room at the top to account for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months!
To use, thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat either in a pot on the stove or in the microwave until heated through, then use as desired!
Enchiladas to Try With This Sauce Recipe!
- Beef Enchiladas
- Red and Green Enchiladas
- Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms
- Beef Enchilada Dip
If you loved the taste of this sauce let me know down below in the comments and be sure to check out all of my other Mexican recipes while you’re at it!
The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy!
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch cinnamon
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar or fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Into a small saucepan, whisk chicken broth together with cornstarch, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar.
- Bring to boil to thicken sauce, then remove from heat and stir in butter until its completely melted and sauce is smooth. Use as desired.