Enchilada Sauce Recipe

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Dear Home Ec 101,

Do you have an easy recipe for homemade enchilada sauce? I’ve been trying to avoid MSG and haven’t had any luck finding any.


Missin’ Enchiladas in Ensenada

Heather says:

Sure, this recipe for enchilada sauce is super simple, and provided you make your own chicken stock, you have complete control over the ingredients. It’s pretty much a ratio recipe, so you can scale it up or down as needed, as written you end up with just about three cups of enchilada sauce.

I’ve used this recipe for years and it’s very simple. Unfortunately, I have no idea where it came from and it’s probably not perfectly authentic, but it makes really good enchiladas.

If you want to add some heat, feel free to add some diced jalapeños to the oil as it heats. As it is, all of the minions dig this version, so I leave well enough alone for the moment.

2021 Update: A quick note about MSG, I know we talked about this in the past, some have strong feelings about avoiding MSG. I don’t actively try to avoid it, but I am always happy to help people who are trying to avoid specific ingredients for whatever reason. (In other words, I found the source of my migraines have them completely under control and if someone is trying to control

Simple Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

  • 2 TBSP Vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP masa flour
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 rounded tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chicken stock or 1 can chicken broth – heated (I just use the microwave)
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low low heat. When the oil is hot, whisk in the masa flour and chili powder. Cook for one – two minutes just long enough to get rid of the raw flour taste. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

As written, this recipe for enchilada is gluten-free. If you don’t have masa flour on hand you can use all-purpose flour, just don’t serve it to your GF friends, they won’t be happy.

If you are making beef enchiladas, go ahead and use beef stock or broth in the recipe and for vegetarian -stay with me here, this is a stretch- vegetable stock.

Not only is this sauce good for enchiladas, we love it on our oven chimichangas.

It’s really quite versatile.

This versatile sauce recipe is great for: enchiladas, chimichangas, and wet burritos, it's also known as red sauce.


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7 thoughts on “Enchilada Sauce Recipe”

  1. Sounds yummy! I have needed this. Will probably be making it tomorrow evening. Especially since the kids didn't like the sausage i cooked for supper tonight. Spoiled little twits….

  2. Listen, my mom is Mexican. I grew up with 14 aunts and uncles cooking authentic Mexican food in my house on a regular basis. Your enchilada sauce is pretty much exactly the same thing my family does when they are in a hurry and not going to roast and grind their own chilis to make the sauce from scratch, except there would be some minced onion and garlic instead of garlic powder…Good job on improvising!

    • Thanks, that's encouraging. If you look at most of the recipes on here, you'll see that I rarely use powdered onion or garlic. I should experiment with this one, but I love how easy it is.


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