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How to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce

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Learn How to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce A Tex-Mex lover’s dream come true. Homemade sauce is basically just a spiced up roux – thickened with flour, and full of Mexican flavors! Use it in enchiladas and burritos, in soups, stuffed peppers, or Tex-Mex casseroles. 

A good sauce is the answer to delicious food. For instance, my homemade basil pesto sauce MAKES a good pizza. And my Pizza Sauce from Scratch is AMAZING on a variety of pizza recipes!

Overhead shot of a spoonful of sauce leaning on a jar, with onion and jalapeños nearby.

The BEST Enchilada Sauce (Tex-Mex Style!)

A fusion of United States cuisine and Mexican cuisines, Tex-Mex involves the heavy use of ingredients such as shredded cheese, meat (particularly beef and pork), beans, spices, and flour tortillas. Dishes such as burritos, nachos, hard tacos, fajitas, and chimichangas are all Tex-Mex inventions.

My kitchen is definitely leaning most towards Tex-Mex (comparing other cuisines), as I incorporate more and more of these dishes. I have a separate category page, called Tex-Mex Recipes, because it’s really just my favorite. BTW, I’m TRYING to lighten up on the spice level, and have modified many of my recipes, including this one, so that folks of all spice preferences will like them.

This sauce? It’s THE key to so many delicious things. Want a great chicken tortilla soup? THIS is your secret ingredient, and trust me – it will wow your family!

Overhead shot of a measuring cup of sauce.

Ingredients needed for Homemade Enchilada Sauce:

  • Olive Oil – The oil I go through in large quantities!
  • Veggies – Onion, jalapeno, and garlic. To make the sauce spicier, include the seeds of the jalapeño (which is what I personally do).
  • Spices – Chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Flour – This is needed to thicken the sauce.
  • Chicken Broth – I like to use the lower-sodium variety.
  • Tomato Paste & Tomato Sauce – This combination makes the sauce…saucy!
Labeled ingredients for the homemade enchilada sauce.

How to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce:

This sauce is SO easy, and totally worth it. Make it soon, and use it in all the things!

Step 1
Cook the veggies. To a medium sauce pan, cook the onion and jalapeño in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Step 2
Add spices. Add chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and stir well.

Step 3
Thicken with flour. Add flour, and stir for a minute or two until fully absorbed.

Step 4
Add liquids. Pour in chicken broth, tomato paste, and tomato sauce, and turn up heat. Cook until it becomes sauce-y.

Step 5
Puree. Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to puree the sauce until smooth.

Step 6
Store. Store this delicious sauce in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it in a variety of dishes. You can freeze the sauce as well.

Pro-Tip: If you like a spicier sauce, include some of the seeds from the jalapeño.

Ways you can use this enchilada sauce:

A spoonful of enchilada sauce dripping into a large jar of sauce.

Try this sauce recipe next! Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce

xoxo ~Sue

A spoonful of red enchilada sauce.

How to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Learn How to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce – A Tex-Mex lover's dream come true. Homemade sauce is basically just a spiced up roux – thickened with flour, and full of Mexican flavors! Use it in enchiladas and burritos, in soups, stuffed peppers, or Tex-Mex casseroles. 
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 cups
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion – diced
  • 1 large jalapeno – seeds removed and diced
  • 1 clove garlic – diced
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

Instructions

  • Heat sauce pan to medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, and jalapeño and cook until soft. Add garlic and stir for another 30 seconds. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and stir for one minute, allowing spices to soak in.
  • Add flour and stir for 2 more minutes. Mixture will appear to be dry. Add chicken broth, tomato paste, and tomato sauce, and cook for 15-20 minutes, allowing sauce to thicken. Remove and let cool slightly.
  • Take immersion blender (or pour into regular blender) and puree enchilada sauce until smooth.
  • Store sauce in jars or airtight container.

Notes

  • To make a spicier sauce, include the seeds (or some of them) of the jalapeño.
  • This sauce freezes well for three months.

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 612IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

10 Comments

  1. Jackie Thill says:

    I’ve made this recipe quite a few times but didn’t realize I hadn’t reviewed it. It’s a favorite in our house, and especially now as the cool weather arrives. The enchilada sauce is absolutely worth making, and it is what makes this soup special. It has just the right amount of heat (spice), flavor and texture. Don’t forget the tortilla chips for added crunch. I’m doubling the recipe so I can freeze the extra sauce/broth for another night.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Jackie! Using this enchilada sauce in my tortilla soup is required, in my opinion!

  2. Terry Fleitman says:

    We made your enchilada sauce last night and it was fantastic! I doubled the recipe and now have lots leftover for tortilla soup. I’m also popping some in the freezer to use with left over Thanksgiving! Yum!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so glad you tried the sauce, Terry! It absolutely MAKES the tortilla soup, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 🙂

  3. You had me at homemade!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      The BEST. 🙂

  4. Made this to use in the chicken tortilla soup and it made it, will be trying the enchiladas soon as well.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      So glad you tried it, Shari!! 🙂

  5. Mike Ringsdorf says:

    Yes….. I am all about homemade. Love it. Let’s get this party started and have the enchiladas tonight!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yes sir! Coming right up!! 🙂

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