Delicious homemade enchilada sauce that cooks up in minutes! When you see how easy (and cheap!) this stuff is to make, you’ll never want to use store-bought again.
I’m switching up how I do things a little bit! For most of the life of this blog, whenever I posted a recipe that included something like enchilada sauce, like…hmmm…enchiladas, I’d include the sauce recipe for the sauce as part of the enchilada recipe. I’d just go and give you the whole enchilada. (<– Haha! Sorry.)
But I have two problems with doing things that way. First off, not all of you guys want to make your own sauce. Which I totally get! I have plenty of busy days where I go for store-bought sauces. Or maybe you already have an enchilada sauce recipe you love, and you want to use that. That’s cool with me!
And also, I tend to make my sauces a little differently every time, which means I end up with half a dozen slightly different versions of enchilada sauce on the blog. And really, any one of them could go with any of my other enchilada recipes.
So from now on, I’m going to just share recipes for sauces and accompaniments and other stuff like that as stand alone recipes, and when I post a recipe that uses that sauce or accompaniment, I’ll link you up! So you’ve got a choice now: use my recipe, use store-bought, or make it yourself!
And yes, as you might have guessed, I’ve got a recipe that features enchilada sauce coming up.
How to Make Enchilada Sauce
Enchilada sauce starts with some flour and oil. The flour is your thickener, and the oil is what you’ll be cooking your flour in. Heat the oil in a saucepan and whisk in the flour. Get it to a relatively mixture and cook it until it starts to bubble up. Let it bubble for about a minute, whisking the whole time.
Next, whisk in your spices: cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder. You’ll be using lots of chili powder (1/4 cup!), as this is the main flavor to your enchilada sauce.
Finally, add some water, tomato paste and salt. Bring everything to a simmer and let it cook until the mixture thickens up.
That’s it! So even though I went on above about how you have a choice between making your own sauce and buying it, you’ll probably want to make it yourself, right?
Tips for Making Perfect Enchilada Sauce
- Make sure you use regular old chili powder for this recipe. The mild kind that you’d put in chili — such as this one. If you go with hot chili powder, chipotle chili powder, ancho chile powder or any other variety the flavor will be wrong and there’s a good chance it’ll be too hot and/or bitter to eat.
- Having said that, you can, once you get the hang of making it, experiment with adding small amounts of additional spices to your enchilada sauce. Start with a small amount (1/2 teaspoon or less) of smoked paprika, chipotle chile powder, or cayenne pepper (for extra kick).
- Homemade enchilada sauce will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 2 weeks, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
Easy Enchilada Sauce
Delicious homemade enchilada sauce that cooks up in minutes! When you see how easy (and cheap!) this stuff is to make, you'll never want to use store-bought again.
- 1/4 cup canola oil, or neutral-flavored high-heat oil of choice
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup mild chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with the oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, whisk in the flour. Slowly heat up the flour, whisking constantly. After a few minutes it will begin to bubble. Continue whisking and cook the mixture for about 1 minute more.
Whisk in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder.
Whisk in the water, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and salt. Continue whisking until the mixture is fully blended and there are no lumps.
Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow it to cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens up a bit.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the sauce to cool. It will continue to thicken up as it does.
Use the sauce immediately, or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for later.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.