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Enchilada Sauce

Making homemade Enchilada Sauce couldn’t be easier! You’ll need just a few pantry ingredients and 15 minutes to make the best, most flavorful enchilada sauce.

Spoonful of enchilada sauce held over jar of sauce.

My family loves enchiladas, so having a recipe for a great enchilada sauce is essential. This enchilada sauce recipe is the one that I’ve been making for years. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

This recipe makes a flavorful red enchilada sauce, perfect for making Chicken Enchiladas, Beef Enchiladas or an Enchilada Casserole. This recipe makes about 2 cups of sauce, and it’s easy to scale it up if you’re cooking for a crowd. If you’ve been buying enchilada sauce at the grocery store, you won’t believe how easy it is to make it yourself. Plus, it freezes well, so you can make a big batch to keep in your freezer, ready to use in your favorite Mexican food and enchilada recipes.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • It’s made with common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
  • Forget grocery store sauce, this enchilada sauce tastes like it came from your favorite Mexican restaurant. 
  • You can adjust the seasonings to make it more or less spicy.
  • It’s incredibly quick and easy!

Ingredients

You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make enchilada sauce at home.

Ingredients for enchilada sauce recipe.

  • Olive Oil: For sautéing the garlic, and to add a bit of richness to the sauce.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic adds flavor.
  • Tomato Sauce: Some enchilada sauce recipes call for using tomato paste or are made without tomato, but I’ve tested this recipe all three ways and we like it best made with tomato sauce.
  • Vegetable Broth: To achieve the best consistency. You can adjust the amount of broth to make a thinner or thicker sauce. Chicken broth may be used in place of the vegetable broth. I prefer using a low sodium broth.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and salt bring lots of flavor to this easy enchilada sauce. For an extra spicy kick, also add a pinch or more of cayenne pepper.

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

This recipe couldn’t be easier. You’ll start by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add the minced garlic and cook, while stirring, for just for 30 seconds or so, until the garlic is fragrant. You’ll want to have the other ingredients ready to go so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Tomato sauce, vegetable broth and seasonings added to saucepan.

Next stir in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and seasonings. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low.

Simmer the sauce over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally. That’s it! You’ll have from scratch enchilada sauce ready to add to enchiladas, casseroles, and more.

Enchilada sauce in saucepan with wooden spoon.

Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

Homemade enchilada sauce in a jar with a spoon.

Enchilada Sauce Recipe Tips

  • Before starting, have all of your ingredients ready and measure out the spices into a small bowl. Once you get the garlic in the pan, you’ll want everything else ready so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • This sauce has just a little spice to it. For spicier enchilada sauce, you can add more cayenne pepper. To make the sauce mild, omit the cayenne pepper and be sure to use a mild chili powder.
  • If the enchilada sauce is thicker than you like it, stir in a little more broth to thin it out.
  • You can use this sauce immediately or store it for future use. Store the cooled sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Enchilada Sauce Uses

We eat our fair share of Mexican food (we always have a batch of Taco Seasoning in our spice drawer). Here are some of our favorite recipes to use our homemade enchilada sauce:

Overhead photo of enchilada sauce in a jar with a saucy spoon to the side.

More Favorite Sauce Recipes

If you’re like me and love making sauces from scratch, try one of these easy sauce recipes next:

Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Spoonful of enchilada sauce held over jar.
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes
Course DIY, ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword enchilada sauce, enchilada sauce recipe, homemade enchilada sauce, how to make enchilada sauce
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings 2 cups
Calories 39kcal
This Enchilada Sauce is so flavorful and incredibly easy to make with just a few pantry staple ingredients. Once you try this recipe, you'll never go back to store-bought!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth (or low sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional, for spice)

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  • Add all remaining ingredients: tomato sauce, broth, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir.
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Enchilada sauce can be used immediately or stored for future use. To store, let it cool and then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • This recipe makes an enchilada sauce with just a little spice to it. For spicier enchilada sauce, you can add more cayenne pepper. To make the sauce mild, omit the cayenne pepper and use a mild chili powder.
  • If the enchilada sauce is thicker than you like it, stir in a little more broth to thin it out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 cup | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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