Enchilada Sauce [RECIPE]

Enchiladas with enchilada sauce

Why buy canned enchilada sauce when it is so easy to make it at home? (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Although you can purchase ready made enchilada sauce at the grocer’s, it is helpful to know how to make it yourself for those times you can’t get to the store. It is easy to prepare, tastes great, stores in the fridge for up to a week and even freezes well. It also isn’t only for enchiladas. I use it when making other recipes too when I’m looking for a tomato sauce with a bit of zip, like with my beef and bean burritos. If you make the sauce in advance, just be sure to warm it before adding it to your recipe.

PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and peppers, sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute, stirring frequently so garlic doesn’t burn. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, bouillon cube and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until mixture is dark and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, stirring to combine for 1 minute. Add stock and stir; allow liquid to thicken. Add tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Cool until the sauce is nice and thick and reduced by about a third, about 10 minutes.
  2. Allow sauce to cool completely. Then transfer to a blender to puree. If you have an immersion blender, save time and puree right in the sauce pan. Once it’s smooth and creamy, you’re ready to go!

YIELD: 3 cups

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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