Enchiladas are a staple in Mexican cuisine. What is the point of eating enchiladas if there isn't a good sauce? Very simple ingredients in this recipe, no tomato sauce or tomato paste needed! This sauce tastes good on beef enchiladas, cheese enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, and even seafood enchiladas. There is green enchilada sauce, and white enchilada sauce too, but you can never go wrong with red! You can make homemade red enchilada sauce as spicy or mild as you want it when you home make it. It allows for more individuality versus coming out of the can. This recipe makes about 3 cups worth.
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Reasons to love making your own enchilada sauce:
- Consistency - this sauce is not too thick or thin. If you do find it too be one or the other, the variations section below tells you how to correct it.
- Spice - no tomato paste is used in this recipe so the flavor comes mostly from the spices. This is part of why making your own sauce is best because there is extra spice flavor.
- No preservatives - not that store canned sauce has a lot of nitrates in it, but you know exactly what ingredients are in your sauce making it at home.
- No need to plan - you don't have to plan for days ahead of time or make a special trip to the store to prepare for this sauce because the recipe uses common ingredients you can find in your home. If you are out of spicy chili powder (main ingredient), you can easily find it at your local grocery store.
- Amount - 3 cups is plenty for enchiladas and for some reason if that is not enough, you can easily double the recipe.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe Ingredients:
- Flour and olive oil- helps create the roux to thicken the mixture
- Seasonings - adds flavor
- Chicken broth - I made mine with water and chicken bullion cubes. If you want more nutritious homemade chicken broth, click here.
How to make red enchilada sauce:
- Stir together flour, oil, and spices. The flour is to make it thicker. If you were to add the flour later (I tried this), it does not make it as thick and ends up more clumpy. That is why the flour is in step 1. This steps is what makes the roux.
- Add chicken broth. This is what makes the sauce a liquid. Do not add liquid all at once or else it could splatter or be more difficult to whisk the clumps.
- Cook the sauce according to directions. This way the flavors blend together. Serve with your favorite Mexican dish!
Variations of the Mexican red sauce:
- Spice - Obviously I am into spice, so I like to add more chile powder than what the recipe calls for. You can also make it more mild by decreasing the chile powder to suit your spice level. Chile powder is what gives the sauce distinctive flavor.
- Liquid - If you want your flavorful sauce to be less thick, you can add more chicken broth! If you would like a thicker sauce, let simmer longer.
- Stock - if making this vegetarian, you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
- Gluten free - make this gluten free by adding a 1:1 gluten free flour
Tips for the Best Homemade Enchilada Sauce:
- Add flour gradually - this will reduce lumps of flour in the sauce
- Prep in advance - if you are trying to make quick enchiladas, prep the sauce in advance
What pot do I use?
Any pot works as long as it can hold about 5 cups of liquid to ensure there is no overflow.
Can I make this delicious sauce ahead of time?
This sauce recipe does not take that long to make, so I personally just make it while my chicken is cooking for my enchiladas. If you wanted to make it a week in advance though you can do that! I do not see a point in myself doing that though because it is such a quick recipe.
What are ways to use this sauce?
- Soups - Mexican soups such as tortilla soup or enchilada soup that needs more spice
- Baked dishes - casseroles such as enchiladas, tamales, etc
- Mexican staples - chicken flautas, chile rellenos, etc
What if I add too much chili powder?
If too much chili powder gets added to the pot by accident, you can increase the amount of chicken stock to mellow out the spice. The more broth you add though, the more liquid-y it will be. How spicy is enchilada sauce is up to you in this recipe by the amount of chili powder put in.
How to store:
I typically just use the sauce right away, but it can be stored in an air tight container such as a mason jar in the fridge for about a week. This sauce also keeps for up to 3-4 months in the freezer if using a freezer safe container. Do not store in plastic because the red will stain.
Tasty No Tomato Red Enchilada Sauce
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 3-4 tablespoon chili powder depending on how spicy you want it
- Spices to add at personal preference: oregano, cumin, garlic powder, basil, parsley, onion powder
- 3 cups chicken broth
- Pour oil into a large pot on medium heat. Stir in flour with a pancake turner. Add in chili powder and spices. Keep stirring constantly to avoid it burning and sticking to pan.
- Slowly pour in the chicken broth while stirring to avoid lumps. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Can add extra water if it turns out too thick for your preference. Serve your Easy Red Enchilada Sauce over homemade enchiladas or any other Mexican dish that needs red sauce!
All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutritional facts listed are a rough estimate and should only be followed as a general idea.
love how easy this sauce is to make! so tasty and full of flavor!
super tasty and easy to make enchilada sauce.
Easy and so good!!
The sauce turned out perfectly! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Such a delicious, full of flavour sauce.
Andréa Janssen says
Great and Easy sauce recipe. Thank you!
I never realized enchilada sauce could be so easy - thank you!
I never knew how easy it was to make red sauce!!
I didn't realize how easy it was to make this sauce.