Take your enchiladas to the next level with this homemade enchilada sauce recipe! Chipotle chilies and garlic give this sauce plenty of flavor with just the right amount of heat. Say goodbye to jarred sauce and taste the delicious difference of enchilada sauce made from scratch.
Why Make Your Own Enchilada Sauce?
Want to know the secret to making the best enchilada soup? It’s all in the sauce. You can stuff your soup with all the meats, cheeses or veggies you want but if your sauce is bland, your dinner will just be so-so.
My Homemade Enchilada Sauce is guaranteed to add instant vibrant flavor to any meal!
Yes, you can just pick up a jar or can of red or green enchilada sauce at almost any grocery store and call it a day.
But while some store bought sauces taste good, they’re not created equally. Same thing goes for taco seasoning too!
The last thing you want is to bite into your enchilada soup to find out that the enchilada sauce you used is too spicy, not spicy enough or just generally lackluster.
When you make the sauce yourself you control the flavor and the heat. Add more chilies for more kick, adjust the garlic, salt or seasonings–it’s up to you!
Store bought enchilada sauce also tends to have added sugar, preservatives and a ton of sodium. If you’re trying to limit the amount of unnecessary sugar in your life, you need to ditch that canned stuff and try this easy homemade version instead.
It’s a cinch to make and perfect for using in any enchilada recipe!
- Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce – For a spicier sauce, use more chilies. If you prefer a mild flavor, just use the adobo sauce and omit the chilies.
- Canned tomato sauce – Check the label to make sure it’s plain sauce with NO added sugars.
- Garlic – Mince the garlic before adding to the sauce
Start by sauteeing the garlic in olive oil for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Then, add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring the sauce to a boil.
Let the sauce simmer for ten minutes, stirring every so often. Remove the sauce from heat and let it cool before adding to your enchiladas or other dish!
Tips & Tricks
- Freezing: This sauce can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months! Make a big batch of this sauce to stash away in the freezer for busy weeknights.
- To make a smoother sauce: Pulse the enchilada sauce in a food processor a few times after it’s cooled. I prefer the texture of the smoother sauce and if you use the whole chipotle peppers, I strongly recommend this added step for a perfect enchilada sauce texture.
- Check labels: Added sugars can sneak into everything from the tomato sauce to vegetable broth. Read the labels of your ingredients to make sure that this sauce is free of any unwanted added sugar!
You can warm your sauce in the microwave or reheat it on the stove top while stirring. If you’re adding the sauce to enchiladas, pour cooled sauce over before baking–no need to reheat first.
Stored in the fridge in an airtight container, enchilada sauce will stay good for about 5 days. Freeze for longer storage. It stays good in the freezer for 3 months!
If you prefer to make tomato sauce from scratch, feel free to use it in this recipe as a substitute for canned. I prefer the taste of plain tomato sauce here (as opposed to seasoned) so as not to disrupt the balance of flavors in the finished enchilada sauce.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 3 cups tomato sauce (canned, no added sugar)
- 2 Tbsp chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- In a saucepan, add olive oil and garlic over medium high heat. Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to medium.
- Add remaining ingredients to the pan and heat until boiling, while stirring continuously.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Allow to cool before using. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week. Use according to recipe directions.
- Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce- for a spicier sauce, use more peppers, for more mild, use just the sauce.
- Food processor- for a smoother sauce (especially if you used peppers) pulse the sauce after cooling in a food processor several times until smooth.
- Freeze leftover sauce for up to 3 months.
- Make sure all canned ingredients have no ADDED sugars.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 26Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 374mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
Nothing beats the taste of Homemade Enchilada Sauce! You’ll love this quick and easy sauce with no added sugars for making your Mexican inspired meals even more delicious.