Homemade Enchilada Sauce
5 (1)

Homemade Enchilada Sauce<div class="yasr-vv-stars-title-container"><div class='yasr-stars-title yasr-rater-stars'
></div><span class='yasr-stars-title-average'>5 (1)</span></div>

Our beautiful Homemade Enchilada Sauce is such an easy recipe to make, and tastes so much better than any store-bought sauce you can find. For years we used the store-bought sauce when it was Enchilada night, simply out of perceived convenience. However, since making this dish we’re completely converted. It is a very easy sauce to make, and the flavor is not even comparable to what you buy in the store. This sauce is delicious and elevates your Mexican home cooking game tenfold!

What is surprising about this delicious Sauce is it’s quite versatile. Sure 9 out of 10 times you’ll likely make it because you’re cooking up Enchiladas (try out beautiful Homemade Chicken Enchiladas recipe here – coming soon!). However, it’s an incredible baseline sauce for so many delicious Mexican recipes!

Simply as a dipping sauce with some crunchy chips, it is outstanding. Perfect to kick off a meal or to have a big bowl on while watching TV. It works wonderfully well on any kind of Tacos, but particularly Beef, Chicken or Pork. It’s an amazing Sauce to include in Homemade Burritos. In fact, as I’m reeling off Mexican dishes this sauce works well with I’m struggling to think of any it won’t pair great in!

Basically: this sauce is awesome, and you can enjoy it with any home cooked Mexican meals. It will completely elevate your dishes and trust us, once you’ve tried it you’ll never go back to that store bought enchilada sauce again

Enchiladas with spoon
This sauce forms the foundation for creating delicious Enchiladas at home that will taste so much better than using any store bought sauce, we guarantee it!

The key to getting the most flavorful Homemade Enchilada Sauce is Char-roasting the Vegetables in the oven

This secret to the immense flavor this beautiful sauce delivers is all in the techniques. By oven roasting the delicious vegetables you can produce a delicious, caramelized flavor. That flavor forms the basis for this delicious sauce, and truly sets it apart from any of that off-the-shelf Enchilada Sauces out there!

The key Vegetables we use in this delicious Sauce are Red Bell Peppers, Onions, and Tomatoes. Roast them all off in the Oven until they are tender, and slightly charred. The charred flavor gives a delicious smoky flavor to the sauce which is truly amazing

While oven Roasting Vegetables isn’t an overly difficult task in itself, the one challenge with this recipe is that the Vegetables cook at different times. So, you’ll just need to keep an eye on the Vegetables as they’ll be cooked at different times

After about 10 minutes the Tomatoes will be done. You’ll be able to tell as the skin will have turned slightly black and the insides will be incredibly tender. The Tomato skin will likely have split in a couple of places too, which is totally fine and what is to be expected

Then it’ll be time for the Red Bell Peppers to come out

10 minutes later the Red Bell Pepper should be done. The skin of the Peppers will be charred and blackened. You don’t want to remove the Peppers from the Oven until the skin is black. Don’t worry, as the skin will be peeled and discarded once it cools. Blackening Red Bell Peppers produces an unbelievably rich, smoky flavor that truly makes this Homemade Enchilada Sauce special

Finally, after a further 10 – 15 minutes the Onions can come out. Timing for the cooked Onions may vary a little depending on your oven, as well as how thick the Onions have been cut. Once they’ve turned a dark, caramel-brown color they will be done. You’ll need to turn the Onions about halfway through the cook (we’d suggest once you remove the Bell Peppers) to ensure an even cook throughout

Don’t be shy with the spices, it’s what separates a good Enchilada Sauce from a great one!

Good Mexican food needs to have that kick of heat to it. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming, but all good Mexican Food benefits greatly from some spice. The heat in our Homemade Enchilada Sauce comes from several different ingredients, and they pack a punch that’s for sure!

We introduce heat to the sauce first with the addition of Chipotle Peppers. We use the Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, which gives the dish a beautiful smoky, spicy flavor. The Sauce adds a subtle richness to the sauce and gives it that unique Mexican flavor immediately once added

We then hit the sauce with Chili Powder and Smoked Paprika for even more heat. For our recipe below we have been a little conservative with just 1 tsp. of each spice. If you love your spice then we highly recommend adding a little more. As always, taste as you go until you reach the desired seasoning

One thing to note is the sauce will taste very spicy once cooked. Don’t be deterred by this thinking that you’ve over-spiced it. A beautiful Homemade Enchilada Sauce like this will ultimately be going into an Enchilada Recipe. The ingredients in the Enchiladas will really mellow out the heat. Particularly ingredients like Cheese

So, it’s totally ok if the sauce is a little bit spicier than you would prefer as it will mellow out once combined into a classic Mexican dish

Homemade Enchilada Sauce with Spices
The beautiful spice combination of Cumin, Chili Powder, and Smoked Paprika add amazing flavor and heat to the sauce

Replace Chicken Broth with Vegetable Broth to make this sauce 100% Vegetarian

We use Chicken Broth in this recipe to add flavor to the sauce. We highly recommend that you make your own homemade Broth instead of the store-bought stuff. It will taste so much better and is easy to do. If you want a 100% Vegetarian Sauce we recommend using Vegetable Broth instead of Chicken Stock

Both broths will flavor the sauce very well, however the Chicken Broth does add a bit more texture and flavor overall, so would be our recommendation for those who are ok with eating meat.  The broth is a critical ingredient in the broth as it helps smooth out the overall texture and adds a lovely flavor

We recommend cooking down the sauce for at least 20 minutes once all the ingredients have been combined

Certain Enchilada Sauce recipes ask you to simply combine the blended ingredients and heat through until warm. We’ve found that while you can get a totally workable sauce, the flavor comes off a little watery. Once the Vegetables have been blended, add them back into a Saucepan alongside the spices and Chicken Stock and let it reduce. Drop the heat on low, partially cover and cook it down for 20 minutes. The flavor will be stronger

If you have time, another great trick is to prepare the sauce a day in advance and refrigerate it before use. Like any good vegetable-based sauce, the flavors will concentrate overnight and become even more richer and decadent a day later

Homemade Enchilada Sauce on spoon
This recipe will produce an ample amount of tasty Homemade Enchilada Sauce. You can freeze what you don’t need for future meals!

This recipe produces quite a significant amount of Sauce. It’ll produce more than enough sauce for a hearty Enchilada meal that will easily feed 4 people, and you’ll have leftovers! The sauce freezes very well, so we suggest freezing what you don’t eat and saving it for your next inspired home cooked Mexican meal

Recipe Details


4 people

Prep time

5 minutes

Cooking time

50 minutes

Total time

55 minutes

Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe


  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, deseeded and cut in half
  • 1 Onion, Quartered
  • 3 large Tomatoes
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth (recipe here)
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 2 tbsp. Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
  • 400g / 14 oz. Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt

Equipment needed: Blender


  1. Place the Tomatoes, Onion, and Red Bell Pepper on a large Sheet Pan and drizzle with Olive Oil and a pinch of Salt. Place in the Oven at 375F and roast
  2. After 10 minutes, remove the Tomatoes. After another 10 minutes, remove the Bell Pepper. Finally, after another 10 minutes remove the Onions. Set aside to cool
  3. Once cooled, peel the skin away from the Bell Peppers and discard. Place the roasted vegetables into a blender along with the Garlic and ½ of the Chicken Stock. Blitz until smooth
  4. Place the mixture into a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Season with Salt to taste and then set aside to cool

Note: For a more concentrated flavor, prepare the sauce 1 day in advance and refrigerate overnight. The flavors will develop further and become richer, leaving for an even more spicy, delicious Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Happy Cooking!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *