I set out to make the very best Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe and have nailed it! I LIVE for a good enchilada, so I needed the very best enchilada sauce to go with them. This is a red chili enchilada sauce that is slightly thick, and has a perfect balance of spice, warmth and tang.
It is the perfect sauce that you need to compliment your favorite enchilada recipe.
Pictured below are the things that you need to make this Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce, plus some tips on a few ingredients:
Fresh Lime: This is not the time to game the system and use bottle lime juice. Grab a fresh lime… or grab a whole bunch of fresh limes and make some margaritas to go with your enchiladas.
Chili Powder: Do not skimp on the chili powder, it is the spice that gives red enchilada sauce 75% of it’s flavor! If you like something a little smokier you can opt for an ancho chili powder.
Chicken Broth: Use a chicken broth or stock, or make your own stock! Or to make this a vegetarian enchilada sauce use a vegetable broth.
Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe Step by Step
You will be amazed at how simple it is to make homemade red enchilada sauce! Follow these steps or jump down to the recipe card for all the complete instructions:
- In a sauce pan heat the vegetable oil over medium low heat for a minute or two.
- In a small bowl mix together all the dry spices and flour.
- Sprinkle in the warm oil and stir together for about 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the chicken broth and increase the heat to medium high.
- Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Will thicken as it heats.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and vinegar.
- Taste for additional seasoning.
That’s it! The whole process takes about 10 minutes and is so simple.
Storing or Freezing
Store your enchilada sauce in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you want it to last a lot longer then you can pop it in a freezer safe baggie or container and keep for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
Changing the Flavor Profile
We always recommend that you taste before serving to make sure the spices and flavor profile suite your tastebuds. Some people like their enchilada sauce a little spicier, some like it saltier and some like it tangier.
Here are some options to troubleshoot the flavor:
- Saltier: add a pinch or two of kosher salt or onion salt.
- Tangier: add a splash of white vinegar or lime juice until your desired flavor.
- Smokier: add a ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika or use ancho chili powder instead of chili powder.
- Even Smokier & Spicy: puree some chilies in adobo and add to the sauce while simmering.
- Spicy: add dashes of your favorite hot sauce, a couple pinches of cayenne pepper.
- Spicy 2: simmer some fresh jalapenos in the oil and discard before adding the flour mixture.
Using Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Use this Homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe in any recipe that calls for a red enchilada sauce. This recipe makes about 2 cups or 16 oz.
Here are some enchilada recipes to try it in:
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Skillet Enchiladas
- Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
- Smothered Burritos
Doubling & Tripling
If you are serving a crowd and need more sauce you can absolutely double or triple this recipe.
Then you can use it all or freeze some for later.
Recipe Card Tip: hover your cursor over the “serving” area of the recipe card below. Move the slider up to increase/double/triple the recipe ingredients.
More Delicious Mexican Sauces and Dips
Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- sauce pan
- 2 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon each: onion powder and garlic powder
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- In a saucepan over medium heat add the vegetable oil and heat through.2 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- In a small bowl stir together the flour, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.2 tablespoon all purpose flour, 2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon each: onion powder and garlic powder
- Sprinkle the flour/spice mix into the warm oil. Stir it together to make a roux, continue to stir and heat for about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the chicken stock until it is smooth and completely incorporated. Increase the heat to medium high and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally It will continue to thicken as it simmers.2 cups chicken stock
- Finally remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and lime juice.2 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Let it cool slightly, it will thicken more as it cools
- It is ready to use with all your favorite enchiladas and burritos! This recipe yields 2 cups or 16 oz.
- See notes for recipe ideas.
- You can make this enchilada sauce ahead and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To keep you sauce for longer pop it in a freezer safe baggie or container and keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Thaw in the fridge overnight to use.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.