How to Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Say adios to the canned stuff.

I don't know about you, but when making enchiladas I usually reach for a can of prepared enchilada sauce. But with this flavorful homemade sauce, you can kick the can to the curb. With just a few pantry staples, a handful of spices and 20 minutes, you can make a next-level enchilada with a rich and delicious homemade sauce.

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1 Make a Slurry

A slurry is a thin paste used as a thickener for sauces, soups and stews. To make the slurry, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and cook for 1 and 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently.


2 Add Spices

Add 2­ – 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 6 ounces of tomato paste. Stir until well blended.

Be sure to use the spice blend sold as "chili powder" or "chili powder blend," not cayenne pepper or other pure chili pepper powder. Adjust the amount of chili powder to suit your personal taste and desired level of spiciness. Keep in mind that different brands or varieties of chili powder may produce different flavor or color results. Experiment to see what you like best!

3 Whisk in Liquid

Gradually whisk in 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, whisking until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Stir in 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

Water may be substituted for the broth, though chicken or vegetable broth will give the sauce a richer flavor.

4 Simmer Until Thickened

Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes until sauce is thickened.


5 Use & Enjoy

Use the sauce with your favorite enchiladas recipe, or use it as a base for enchilada-inspired soups, stews and casseroles.

This enchilada recipe is one of our favorites.

Homemade enchilada sauce may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebookTwitter or Google+.