Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Enchiladas are truly one of my most favorite things ever. And yeah, sure, I’m down to try fancier and gourmet versions, but my absolute favorite? Just good ol’ plain cheese. A good enchilada is not just about the filling though. In fact, I’d say the most important factor is the sauce. The sauce can totally ruin enchiladas for me and it’s always a risk trying a new place.

When it comes to canned or jarred enchilada sauces, I’m not really a fan. I’ve been making this homemade red enchilada sauce for a couple of years now and it beats any store-bought sauce, hands down! In fact, I think it even tastes better than some restaurant sauces I’ve had.

The key for the best tasting enchilada sauce is chili powder. You need a good amount of it to get that authentic flavor and the higher the quality, the better. I add about 3-4 tablespoons which may seem like a lot, but I promise this sauce is not very spicy at all. I do also add some tomato paste, which I realize many might argue is not truly authentic, but I love the flavor it adds. This is the perfect homemade enchilada sauce for any enchiladas you feel like mixing up!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Yield: approx. 3 cups

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Skip the canned sauce and make your own homemade enchilada sauce at home with this easy and delicious recipe!


  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3-4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste


  1. To make the sauce, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk to combine with the flour. Allow the flour to cook for about 1 minute. Pour in the broth and whisk to combine with the flour. Lower the heat to medium low.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and some salt. Allow the sauce to cook for about 20-30 minutes and until the sauce thickens and reduces (I typically let it reduce by a cup, but you can let it simmer and reduce longer if desired).


Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container up to 4-5 days.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 872mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Try this enchilada sauce with these enchilada recipes!
Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats
Stovetop Chicken Enchiladas
Vegetable Enchiladas