Homemade enchilada sauce is so easy to make and adapt to suit your own tastes, plus it’s simple to prepare a big batch and freeze to simplify future dinner prep. Make this once and you’ll never buy over-priced, over-processed enchilada sauce at the store again!
In the interest of making a lot of food from scratch and simplifying meal prep at the same time, one of my most valuable “tricks” is to curate great sauce recipes that can be made in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer until meal time.
Many classic sauces can be made in just 15 or 20 minutes – easy enough to do a few days in advance, especially if most of that is inactive time, but long enough that making the sauce and then assembling dinner is not always an option on a busy night. No wonder store-bought jarred sauces are so popular!
Unfortunately, those same jarred sauces usually contain a lot of added sugar, sodium, preservatives, and who knows what else. So, while I don’t shy away from using them in a pinch, it feels SO GOOD to be able to make your own versions easily at home, know exactly what’s in them, be able to easily adjust the heat level or flavor profile to your own preferences, and feel the pride of putting something homemade on the table.
This enchilada sauce is one of my MVPs for all of those reasons. It’s simple, from scratch, and delicious! Using fresh, quality spices imparts tons of flavor. I of course love the sauce just as written, but have included a couple of suggested adaptations depending on what suits your family.
The recipe is below and pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t belabor anything more here. Some blog posts were meant to be short! 🙂 Just do yourself a favor and find out how simple it truly is to make delicious enchilada sauce from scratch. You’ll be proud, amazed, and never look back to the store-bought stuff!
More Homemade Sauces
- Simple Weeknight Marinara Sauce
- Healthy Zucchini Basil Pesto
- Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto
- Classic Basil Pesto with Lemon Zest
More Mexican Recipes
- The Easiest Flour Tortillas From Scratch
- Sheet Pan Chipotle Lime Shrimp Fajitas
- Homemade Pico de Gallo
- Simply Perfect Guacamole
If you’ve tried this sauce or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium preferred
- Before you get started, combine all the seasonings--chili powder through oregano--in a small bowl or prep dish. (The sauce comes together quickly and you'll want to have them all ready to go.)
- Warm oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then whisk in the flour until smooth and thick, approximately 1 minute.
- Stir in the seasonings, then gradually whisk in chicken broth. Allow to bubble, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is a deep red and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Use immediately, refrigerate for 3-4 days, or freeze for 3-4 months!
- This sauce is highly adaptable! Possible variations include adding 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (whisk it into the butter-flour mixture before adding the rest of the seasonings) for more of a tomato flavor, or 1-2 teaspoons ground chipotle chili powder (just add along with the other spices) for a smokier flavor. You could also add some chopped fresh tomatoes and/or cook a small amount of chopped onion in the oil before adding the rest of the ingredients if you want a slightly chunky sauce!
- This should stay good in the freezer for 3-4 months. That said, the longest I’ve ever managed to keep this sauce in the freezer before using it is about 3 weeks - we really like enchiladas! Simply defrost in the fridge for about 24 hours before using.
- Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.