Quick 15-minute Enchilada Sauce has a deep rich flavor and the perfect consistency. The very best part is that it’s ready in minutes and makes a great busy weeknight dinner along with delicious Enchiladas.
You may have heard that the authentic red Enchilada sauce is sometimes called salsa Roja, salsa Roja para enchiladas, or Mole Rojo. Three different names but the result is the same.
We have a great collection of different sauces, condiments, and dips. In my opinion, homemade should mean: easy, healthy, and quick. And this Enchilada Sauce recipe ticks all the boxes!
There is a skip-to-recipe button in the top left corner along with a clickable table of contents list (just below) that will quickly take you to the part you are more interested in. Enjoy!
And god, I love the classic version so much but I have to admit, I don’t have the time to make it as often as I’d love to.
So today sharing with you this is a quick version only takes 15 minutes to make!) of an authentic Mexican Enchilada sauce. Smooth, rich deep flavor, and spicy without being too hot.
The texture of this sauce should be similar to canned tomato sauce - thick but thin enough to pour. But you can always thin it out with some chicken broth or water.
This homemade version of Enchilada sauce is made of accessible and affordable ingredients, quick and easy without messing with the dried chilis.
This recipe is also enough for a bunch of enchiladas but I highly recommend making a double batch of the sauce right away. You will definitely make more recipes with it!
Using various sauces is an excellent way to amp up any bland-tasting dish. Over time I've shared with you my popular Mustard Sauce, Marinara Sauce, and White Sauce. Check out our Condiments recipe list to get more inspired.
In a small bowl mix the spices oregano, chili, garlic powder, cocoa, paprika. Add salt and pepper.
In a medium or large saucepan/pot over low heat, warm some vegetable oil (i use grapeseed oil) and add the flour and whisk until you have a roux. Add spice mix and whisk for a few minutes more.
Next, follow with tomato paste and vegetable broth. Stir/whisk again to combine.
Increase the heat to medium-high and take it to a boil (stirring occasionally).
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer stirring for about 5-7 minutes.
Lastly, remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
Serve with Enchiladas or other favorite Mexican-style dinner recipes. (Coming soon to the blog!)
- The sauce - my best tip is to make a double batch of this goodness and keep the rest in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months! I bet it won’t last that long though and will be eaten the same week :)!
- This recipe makes about 500ml of Enchilada Sauce which equals 2 ¼ cups.
- Chili powder - if you’re worried that your sauce will become too spicy start adding a little amount of chili powder first, you can always adjust it later on. I am in Europe and I find that 1-½ tablespoons of chili powder spice (It consists of 90% of chili and 10% Cayenne spice) that I use is enough for this sauce. However, I've heard that some US versions of chili powder can be less spicy and thus you’ll need to add more than this recipe calls for.
- Tomato paste - tomato paste will give more depth and rich flavor rather than tomato sauce. But tomato sauce will also work fine here!
- Add a pinch of cinnamon to add a little bit of complexity and even richer flavor.
What do you use Enchilada Sauce for? The sauce is mostly made for Enchiladas but can be used in many other dishes:
- At its very best this sauce will taste incredible with: chicken enchiladas, beef enchiladas, cheese enchiladas.
- Mexican-style Casseroles like one of my favorite ones to make is noodles, beans, corn, crushed tomatoes, and this sauce. Oh, and plenty of cheddar cheese. Such a winner! Hopefully, I make a blog post about this soon.
- Enchilada soup
- Slow cooker beef in Enchilada Sauce
- Mexican lasagna
- Mac and cheese!
- For burritos, tacos or taquitos
Do you like Enchilada Sauce? What's your favorite way to eat it besides Enchiladas? Please let me know down below in the comments, I can't wait to hear from you!
The sauce will thicken by the end of cooking and will continue to thicken a bit more. It should be not very thick that you can't even pour it out but not too thin too.
You can always thin it out with few tablespoons of liquid like water or chicken or veggie broth until you reach desired consistency.
Usually, the authentic Mexican Enchilada sauce is made primarily from dried peppers and flavored with Mexican spices, onion and tomato. The taste is quite spicy and tastes well ... like chilies!
But this 15 minute Enchilada Sauce is an easy way to prepare it at home where you can control the amount of ‘’heat’’ in your sauce. Start by adding 1 tablespoon or even half of the chili powder and taste it as you go along. You can always a little more to make it as spicy as you like.
Easy Mexican Style Recipes
I hope you give this recipe a try and you liked it,
15 minute Enchilada Sauce
- 4 tablespoon oil
- 4 tablespoon flour gluten-free if desired
- 1 tablespoon high-quality chili powder or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 1 ½ cup vegetable broth or meat-based broth
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- In a small bowl mix the spices oregano, chili, garlic powder, cocoa, paprika. Add a pinch of salt.
- In a medium or large saucepan/pot over low heat, warm some vegetable oil (i use grapeseed oil) and add the flour and whisk until you have a roux. Add spice mix and whisk for a few minutes more.
- Next, follow with tomato paste, salt and vegetable broth. Add ground pepper. Stir/whisk again to combine.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and take it to a boil (stirring occasionally).
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer stirring for about 5-7 minutes.
- Lastly, remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
- Serve with Enchiladas or other favorite Mexican-style dinner recipes. (Coming soon to the blog!)
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
Excellent!! I made two batches, the first one was way to hot for me (I'm wimpy) but my hubby loves it!! On the second batch I left out the chili powder but added a bit of red pepper flakes and I decided to use 2 tablespoons of butter in place of the oil in the roux. Both were YUMMY! I didn't have tomato paste so I used mild salsa instead, worked great. I also used chicken stock. Thanks!!
Julia | The Yummy Bowl
DeeDee yes the sauce is hot but once it's added to the dish or enchiladas it blends in nicely and the combined flavor makes it taste ''pleasantly'' hot like one enchilada should be 🙂 I'm glad you liked it!