Never buy store-bought enchilada sauce again! This easy homemade red enchilada sauce is full of flavor yet mild enough for the whole family to enjoy.
One of my favorite foods in the world is enchiladas. My absolute favorite version is one stuffed with veggies, beans, and cheese, but I’ll take them any way – beef enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, enchiladas verdes – you name it.
Enchiladas are so easy to make at home, so they make a perfect weeknight meal. Bonus? They’re also a great freezer meal to make ahead for yourself or for a friend who just had a baby or lost a loved one.
Easy, comforting, delicious. Yep, enchiladas really are the best.
But the one thing I’ve never loved about homemade enchiladas is that many of the recipes just call for “enchilada sauce” without providing a sauce recipe. While the store-bought sauces are fine and definitely work when you’re in a last minute time crunch, they simply don’t compare to homemade sauce. That’s why I created this homemade red enchilada sauce.
Disclaimer: I’m in no way saying this sauce is any sort of authentic. I’m just saying it’s easy and totally delicious.
This sauce is made for busy families just like yours. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, and can be made way ahead of time if you prefer. You can prep it a few days ahead and store it in the fridge if you want. Even better, this sauce freezes great, so you can even make it several weeks or months ahead and store it in the freezer until you need it!
Additionally, this homemade red enchilada sauce is made with all wholesome ingredients – tomato paste, vegetable broth, flour, olive oil, and spices. That’s it! Unlike many of the store-bought sauces, it has no added colors or sugars to speak of.
As is, this recipe makes a very mild sauce, so it’s kid-friendly and suitable for everyone in the family. However, you can easily adapt the recipe to suit your preferences simply by adjusting the spices. Prefer a spicier sauce? Add some red pepper flakes or chipotle chili powder. Or, if you need a gluten-free sauce, simply substitute a gluten-free all-purpose flour for the flour in the recipe.
Try this once, and you’ll be making it again and again, because it’s just that easy.
The ONLY trick to getting this right is that simple meal prep secret of measuring out all of your ingredients before you start cooking. Often we home cooks get carried away trying to be speedy and attempt to just measure as we go. While tempting to do, that doesn’t work well here. Unless you want burnt flour, take five minutes to measure out your ingredients first, and the actual cooking part will be a total breeze.
To sum up, this homemade red enchilada sauce is easy, wholesome, kid-friendly, and super tasty. So what are you waiting for? Whip up a batch, pour generously over your favorite enchiladas, bake and serve. Your family’s new favorite meal has arrived.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Heat olive oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat until oil is shimmering.
- Add flour, tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper to saucepan and whisk for one minute. (The ingredients will immediately start to clump together, and that's okay.)
- Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, pouring in about ½ cup of broth at a time.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency.
This recipe was adapted from the Garden Grazer’s Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas.