If you’re like me, or many of us really, you’re probably used to enchilada sauce from a can. I won’t lie, I’ve eaten more canned enchilada sauce than I care to admit on anything from eggs to pizzas, and of course on enchiladas or a giant wet burrito.
To be honest, the canned sauce isn’t bad, really. It’s not great, and it’s no where near this homemade sauce, but it’s not awful either.
About 6 months ago I was eating at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in San Diego and I fell in love with their enchilada sauce. It was then that I realized I needed to step up my game and make my own enchilada sauce from scratch for my smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas.
When you search online for how to make enchilada sauce, or homemade enchilada sauce, there’s no shortage of search results. I’ve tried a handful of recipes that were posted, but never found one that was remarkably better than the canned stuff.
This homemade enchilada sauce is super easy to make, which is one of the reasons I love this recipe. Easy to make now, because I’ve made no less than 75 batches of this stuff over the last half a year to perfect it.
That’s not an exaggeration, and 75 is probably a conservative estimate. Follow the few easy steps below and in about 20 minutes start to finish you’ll be tasting some truly incredible enchilada sauce. I promise you’re going to love this sauce.
What Do You Need to Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce
You probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry as we speak. Well, you might not have the Mexican oregano but everything else is pretty standard. Not sure what Mexican oregano is? Check my blog about the difference between oregano and Mexican oregano.
Other things like butter and apple cider vinegar might seem out of place, but trust me on this one. In this recipe, it’s the little nuances that make all the difference in the world to the flavor of this homemade enchilada sauce.
How to Store Homemade Enchilada Sauce
I don’t normally add a section on storage to my recipes. I felt it necessary to do so for this recipe because this enchilada sauce will stain your typical plastic storage containers. Assuming you haven’t already lost the lid to the plastic storage container, staining them is another reason to toss them.
Here’s a hint for those lost lids…they’re hanging out with the missing socks. Seriously, how is it that socks and storage ware lids seem to just walk off in the middle of the night? UGH! I digress, you’ll want to store this sauce in a mason jar, like how I store my homemade pickled red onions.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Serves: 4 | Active Prep Time: 5 min | Cooking Time: 10 min
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp butter
How to Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce, Step-by-Step
Step 1: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
Step 2: Add the oil to a medium-sized saucepan and place it over medium heat just until oil begins to shimmer. About 2 minutes or so.
Step 3: Add the dry ingredients to the warm oil and whisk constantly until well incorporated, forming a paste. At this point the color will be a deep mahogany, and you’ll be able to smell the chili powder really coming alive.
Then, whisk in the tomato sauce and allow it to cook for another minute before slowly whisking in the chicken broth.
Step 4: Turn up the heat to medium-high, and whisk in butter — bringing the sauce to a low boil.
Step 5: Reduce heat to low, and add the vinegar, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. While the sauce is cooking whisk it often to prevent any burning. The sauce will seem thin as it cooks, but it will get thicker as it cools.
Step 6: Remove the sauce from heat, and use it for my smoked chicken enchiladas recipe, on your next breakfast burrito, or on pizza. I’ve even thrown some in a slow cooker with a pork loin and let it go to work. This sauce is good for so many things, don’t limit it to just enchiladas.
Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce:
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside.
- Add oil to a medium-sized sauce pan and place over medium heat just until oil begins to shimmer. About 2 minutes or so.
- Add dry ingredients to warm oil and whisk constantly until well mixed and color is a deep mahogany. Whisk in tomato sauce and allow to cook for another minute before slowly whisking in the chicken broth.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high, whisk in butter and bring the sauce to a low boil.
- Reduce heat to low, add vinegar and cook for an additional 5 minutes, whisking often to prevent any burning.
- Remove from heat, and use for my smoked chicken enchiladas recipe, or over your next breakfast burrito.