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Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

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Making your own homemade red enchilada sauce is easier than you make think. This flavorful tomato based sauce is perfect for enchiladas, smothered burritos and more!

Chicken enchilada with homemade red enchilada sauce and melted cheese on top.

Making your own enchilada sauce means you can customize it to your tastes, and it is so much better than what is in the can. This homemade red enchilada sauce recipe is sure to win you over with its great taste and simple ingredients.

Saucepan with toasted flour, chili powder, and oil inside.

I have made homemade enchilada sauce before, but it was not like this!  My sister-in-law Jess sent me this recipe.

She asked her husband what her signature dish should be for a contribution for the blog and this was part of his vote (the chicken enchiladas will come tomorrow!)  

Saucepan after tomato sauce and water have been added to make the enchilada sauce.

She said it is slightly different each time she makes it because she rarely measure, she adds what looks and tastes right.  I can sympathize, that is how I normally cook as well.  

I tried it using the measurements she sent and it was delicious!! I hope you give it a try too.

Stirring spices into homemade red enchilada sauce.

Why make your own sauce?

You can adjust the seasonings to match your taste.

If you are going through the effort of making homemade enchiladas, you might as well add a few extra minutes to the process and make your own sauce too!

Red enchilada sauce in bottom of pan, ready for enchiladas.

It is versatile. Don’t just use it on enchiladas, use it on wet burritos, or make a batch to use on tamale casserole.

Or make a little bit extra so you can use it for enchilada pasta salad. There are so many tasty ways to use this sauce!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you store homemade enchilada sauce?

Store your enchilada sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can freeze it for longer, but it may affect the flavor and texture a bit.

Chicken enchilada with homemade red sauce and melted cheese on plate with fork, ready to eat.
Chicken enchilada with homemade red enchilada sauce and melted cheese on top.

Jess’s Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
Making your own homemade red enchilada sauce is easier than you make think. This flavorful tomato based goodness is perfect for enchiladas, smothered burritos and more!
4.84 from 6 ratings
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Cholula to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  
    2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Stir in flour and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium and cook until lightly browned, stirring constantly.
    2 Tablespoons flour, 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Add tomato sauce and water and stir well to combine.
    8 ounces tomato sauce, 1½ cup water
  • Add seasoning, tasting as your go. 
    1 Tablespoon cumin, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons white pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 38kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 517mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.84 from 6 votes (5 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Jaxon

Thursday 25th of April 2024

this is just great!

Unknown

Friday 12th of June 2015

I make enchiladas all the time, but I usually buy sauce. I'm going to give this a try. It sounds wonderful:-)

Carlee

Friday 12th of June 2015

It is really easy to make! Plus that way you can customize the flavor a bit. I hope you enjoy it!

Marigene

Friday 5th of June 2015

Sounds delicious...thanks for sharing!

Carlee

Friday 5th of June 2015

It is wonderful. The recipe for her enchiladas is up now. They are delicious!

Anonymous

Friday 5th of June 2015

I'm so glad the measurements worked out! Wish we could have been there to taste it. Maybe one day I'll make it with this actual recipe to see what it's like. :)

Carlee

Friday 5th of June 2015

They were so delicious, thanks for sharing!