Red Enchilada Sauce

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This is a very quick and easy Red Enchilada Sauce that’s perfect for all your recipes. It’s full of flavor without the complicated mess! You’ll never need to buy the canned version again!

Want to have a Mexican night in? Use this Red Enchilada Sauce with chicken or beef to make enchiladas! Or make these Cheese Enchiladas!

A jar of homemade enchilada sauce.

Just As Easy As the Cans From the Store!

Have you ever been in the middle of making a recipe and realize you are missing some of the key ingredients?? Like making enchiladas and you don’t have any enchilada sauce??

I am a pro at doing this. I don’t know why I don’t check my pantry first before I start making dinner and you would think I would learn my lesson after the millionth time. Oh well.

A lot of times I don’t have the convenient canned version of something on hand but I do have ingredients to make a homemade version. And you know what, most of the time the homemade version is so much better!

Top down view of a jar of homemade enchilada sauce.

Homemade Just Tastes Better

I have been working on perfecting this enchilada sauce for a little while now. First off I didn’t want something that was too fussy otherwise it would be so much easier to use the canned version.

It also wanted good flavor and I accomplished this by using good spices and also toasting them to help bring out their flavor. I don’t recommend using the store brand chili powder as it doesn’t have much flavor.

Honestly, I won’t buy store bought red enchilada sauce again. This is that easy and we all like this recipe better than any canned version. It makes some killer cheese enchiladas!

Homemade enchilada sauce being poured over cheese enchiladas.

Use this sauce to make Cheese Enchiladas and serve them with Quick and Easy Refried Beans and Spanish Rice for a complete meal. Don’t forget any toppings you may want on your enchiladas!

We like to top our enchiladas with sour cream, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, or guacamole. But you do you!

Also, I am not claiming this to be an authentic enchilada sauce, just our family’s favorite. 🙂

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This quick and easy Red Enchilada Sauce is a perfect substitute for the canned stuff. It's full of flavor and so easy to make! #redechiladasauce #homemadeenchiladasauce

Red Enchilada Sauce

Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: homemade enchilada sauce, red enchilada sauce
This is a very quick and easy Red Enchilada Sauce that's perfect for all your recipes. It's full of flavor without the complicated mess! You'll never need to buy the canned version again! 
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 467kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons good chili powder (not the store brand)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • cups (355ml) vegetable broth/stock (can also use chicken broth/stock)
  • 1 (8oz) (227g) can tomato sauce


  • In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. While the butter is melting, in a small bowl combine the flour, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and sugar.
  • When the butter has melted add whisk in the spice mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes to bring out the flavor of the spices. Whisk in the vegetable broth and tomato sauce and cook until thickened slightly. Should lightly coat the back of a spoon. 


  1. It’s best to have everything measured out and ready to go before starting this recipe so nothing burns. 
  2. Use this red enchilada sauce as you would any canned version.
  3. I am not claiming this to be an authentic enchilada sauce, just our family favorite.
  4. Nutrition Facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate. Nutrition information is for the entire batch of sauce. 


Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1992mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6549IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 5mg
This quick and easy Red Enchilada Sauce is a perfect substitute for the canned stuff. It's full of flavor and so easy to make! #redechiladasauce #homemadeenchiladasauce

20 thoughts on “Red Enchilada Sauce”

  1. I made this last night and it was amazing. It tastes so much like the Lawrys one I used to buy but better.
    This is for sure my new recipe!

  2. 3 stars
    So i must have possibly added too much cumin- it was very pronounced. But i added 1/2 cup more of broth, 4oz green chilies because i missed the umph.

  3. I generally make enchilada sauce using 1 28 oz can tomato sauce and simmer it till it thickens a bit, using pretty much the same spices. However, I make my own chili flakes by going to a Mexican mercado and buy a few bags of each of the dried peppers. Then I run 2 bags of the milder peppers through the blender until they are like the pizza restaurant peppers and add the hotter peppers to add or adjust heat. I particularly like the wrinkled brown chipotle peppers. I add the mix to almost everything.

  4. 5 stars
    So tasty! Beats the heck out of the canned stuff. I would like it a little more red Chile taste. Do you think it would cause a problem if I added more of the Chile powder or would I have to change the measurements of everything?

    • I am Hispanic, to me what kills the sauce, is the tomato sauce. The rest of the ingredients work just fine. I add paprika for a little kick. Just my opinion.

  5. 2 stars
    I too am sorry. It wasn’t bad but the flavor of the tomato sauce was over powering. I usually make mine from rehydrated chilis.
    Maybe that’s why. Not enough heat.

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you for this delicious sauce recipe. It tastes delicious! I added heaps of each ingredient and added pepper to give it more spice also used chicken broth. Pouring it over ground beef enchiladas from left over taco meat. Thanks again it made a super tasty meal for my leftovers.

  7. 1 star
    I’m sorry, I did not like this recipe. 🤮 I won’t be making it again. I feel like all that I could taste was the cumin.

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious! We really enjoyed this. I made a quadruple batch today to divide and freeze. Thank you for sharing your recipe..


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