Enchilada Sauce Recipe

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┬ájalape├▒os 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.

Simple Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

  • 2 TBSP Vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP all purpose 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 (may need a little more if using homemade stock)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat. When the oil is hot, whisk in 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.

If you want a gluten free version of this recipe, skip the flour and follow the directions, but reserve 1/2 cup of the hot chicken stock and whisk in 1 TBSP corn starch. Add this slurry to the sauce and finish cooking as directed.

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.

It’s really quite versatile.



  1. dearmommybrain says

    Wish I had this last Friday when I was attempting to make enchiladas with a scant 1/2 cup of sauce! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Fortune Cookies says

    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!

    • says

      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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