Homemade Enchilada Sauce is so much better than any of the store-bought brands! The key to great enchiladas is the sauce you use, and this homemade recipe really sends even the most basic enchiladas over the top. It’s so easy to make in under 30 minutes with a handful of inexpensive ingredients!
Make the very best enchiladas every time when you use this homemade sauce recipe! I love this sauce with our easy Black Bean Enchiladas! A handful of simple ingredients like tomato paste, vegetable broth, and a medley of bold spices come together to create the most mouthwatering concoction that can transform even the plainest of enchiladas into a restaurant worthy entree. And with just about 5 minutes of prep time and another 15 minutes of cook time, you know that this is a certified quick and easy recipe! While opening a jar of store-bought enchilada sauce may be a little easier, the minimal extra effort that this homemade recipe requires is well worth it. If you love making sauces from scratch, try our easy Salsa Verde too!
Can I make enchilada sauce gluten-free?
Sure thing! Just make sure to swap the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour and you’re good to go. I also recommend always double checking the labels of your other ingredients just to play it safe.
How to Make Enchilada Sauce
Make the roux. Heat oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the flour and spices. Whisk constantly for 1 minute.
Add the tomato paste and broth. Whisk in the tomato paste to the pot for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth, whisking constantly so there are no lumps.
Simmer to thicken. Increase the heat to reach a gentle simmer. Whisk the sauce for 11-13 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Never let it come to a boil.
Cool, then serve or store for later. Remove the pot from the heat. The enchilada sauce will thicken as it cools. Once it’s fully cooled to room temperature, you can store it for later or use immediately. Enjoy!
How To Store This Sauce For Later:
Once the enchilada sauce has fully cooled to room temperature, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you reach for some with a spoon, make sure it’s clean - any new bacteria introduced to the sauce will cause it to spoil rapidly.
Want it in your kitchen for even longer? Feel free to freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to date and label! When you’re ready to use your frozen enchilada sauce, allow it to slowly thaw in the fridge first.
Ingredient Notes for Enchilada Sauce
Olive Oil - You can swap this with avocado oil if you’d like.
Spices - You’ll need a mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper, salt, and a pinch of cinnamon to create the very best flavor here. And no, don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the cinnamon! It’s just there to help create the best warm depth of savory flavor. Feel free to add a little bit of cayenne pepper if you’re craving a spicy kick as well.
Vegetable Broth - I like to use low-sodium (or sodium-free if you can find it) vegetable broth for the best flavor. We’re already sprinkling in some additional salt, so we don’t want to go overboard and accidentally make a salty enchilada sauce.
Tomato Paste - Don’t swap this with any other tomato-based ingredient! This is needed for the best flavor AND consistency.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- To make your roux you will need a medium-sized pot over low to medium heat. Add the oil. This will take 2-3 minutes to get the oil hot enough. You can sprinkle a pinch of flour to make sure it sizzles. Once the oil is hot add all the flour and all the dry seasonings. Whisk constantly for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste to the pot. Whisk for 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the vegetable broth. Whisk constantly so you don’t have any lumps.
- Increase the heat so you have a gentle simmer. Whisk the sauce for 11-13 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. You do not want this to boil.
- Remove from the heat. It will thicken as it cools.
- Once the sauce has cooled place the sauce into an airtight container if you are not using it immediately.