Enchilada Sauce

"This is a very easy, quick enchilada sauce to use instead of the canned variety. We prefer to eat freshly made foods without alot of preservatives. This has a wonderful flavor."
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photo by anniesnomsblog
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photo by KAREN J. photo by KAREN J.
photo by anniesnomsblog photo by anniesnomsblog
photo by Scotland photo by Scotland
Ready In:
1 recipe enchiladas




  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add onion, oregano, chili powder, basil, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, parsley, salsa and tomato sauce.
  • Mix together and then stir in the water.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Use in place of canned enchilada sauce.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Terry L.
    how many enchiladas per servings


  1. SaraFish
    This is very good. Very easy and made with pantry ingredients (I LOVE that!). The sauce is flavorful but very mild. I suggest adding just a touch of cayenne pepper or jalapenos or something if you like an enchilada sauce with a little bite. The mildness was perfect for us, though. My 4-year-old really enjoyed it. I doubled the recipe and I'm glad I did because it made a perfect amount for a 9X13 pan of enchiladas. If I hadn't doubled the recipe, it wouldn't have been enough. The sauce was a little thinner than canned so I added a little cornstarch to thicken it just a bit and then it was perfect. Thanks so much for teaching me how to make fresh enchilada sauce at home!
  2. mandymershon
    I will never buy canned sauce again! This was so easy and delicious! I made it even easier by throwing it all in the blender and then heating it up. It was perfect! Thanks!
  3. Janine D.
    The only enchilada sauce I will use!
  4. Joy M.
    Wow! I followed the recipe, except for using an 8 oz tomato sauce instead of a 6 oz (the can was 8 oz) and taking the water to 1 cup instead of 1 1/2 cups. It was delicious! Easy and made the house smell fantastic!
  5. TracyFL
    My family and I really liked this recipe. Like others, I subbed chicken broth for the water and it worked well. Tweaked the ingredients to my taste and didn't add anything extra. I made the salsa myself with this recipe: http://www.food.com/59635 and because I included chili powder in that recipe, I knocked it back in this one to 1/2 tsp. I poured this sauce over ground turkey mixed with taco seasoning, cheese, and sour cream and it mixed wonderfully. Absolutely recommend this.


  1. dandr
    mmmm it's simmering on the stovetop right now. I doubled the recipe so we can have a 13x9 pan of enchiladas tonight, used a 6 oz can of tomato sauce and a 10 oz can of Ro Tel diced tomatos and green chilies instead of the sauce and salsa, and only 2 cups of water. It looks thin but I'm hoping it will thicken like other reviewers said.
  2. Enjolinfam
    I loved it!!! This has become our regular enchilada sauce. Only one important alteration is needed for us. Like others we found the sauce a little thin, but discovered if we used tomato paste instead of tomato sauce it came out just right. Thanks for this terrific recipe!
    I used tomato paste (used tomato sauce the 1st time & it was as thin & tasteless as the Old El Paso sauce that I was sick of!). I used 1/4 tsp italian seasoning instead of the oregano & basil, and only used 1/8 tsp parsley. I doubled the cumin, used 3 tsp chili powder, used garlic salt, 1/4 tsp onion powder for the onions & 1 cup water. It was THICK (most important to me!) & had a nice strong flavor. I can't wait to use it in my mexican lasagna recipe tomorrow night. Hope it makes all the difference in its taste. Am looking forward it using it in my enchiladas as well :-).
  4. AJay2464
    I have to admit that before I tried this recipe I had never understood the appeal of enchiladas. The few I tried always tasted like meat with "red glop" sauce. After tasting this sauce, I realize what I have been missing all these years. It is wonderful tasting and very simple to make too! I kept pretty true to the recipe except that: I used chicken broth instead of water, added more cumin and onion, and added 2 tsp of sugar. Awesome -- I literally licked the spoon!
  5. KWB5015
    Based on the way my hybrid tasted, I'm sure that the unadulterated recipe would be great! Thanks Kimke--I didn't know it could be so quick, easy and tasty! I tripled the recipe with the following substitutions: used powdered garlic and onion instead of fresh, used 'bukovitz'--crushed and dried paprika peppers--in place of chili powder, omitted the salsa (didn't have any), and mixed the olive oil with some Masa Harina (ground hominy flour--the mix used for making corn tortillas and tamales) and added it in as a thickener.


I live in Omaha NE and am an audiologist at Boys Town National Research Hospital. I love to cook, as does my husband Michael. In the summer, we have a large garden and try to use alot of fresh fruits/veggies in our cooking. We have a 5 year old daughter, Kate and almost 2 year old son Sam and enjoy introducing them to new foods. One of their favorites is fresh pesto smeared on crackers!
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