Homemade enchilada sauce is just minutes away with my simple recipe. Not only does it taste better than store-bought, but it’s also quick & easy, too!

Homemade enchilada sauce in a bowl.


The other night for dinner I was strapped for time and had a hankering for Mexican food. I had leftover shredded chicken and flour tortillas but no enchilada sauce to make my favorite enchiladas. So, what is a girl to do? Make homemade enchilada sauce, of course!

I highly recommend making homemade enchilada sauce. Not only is it cost effective, but it’s also super quick & easy to make. And the best part? It’s SO much better than store bought! This recipe will make you about 2 cups worth which is plenty for making your favorite enchilada recipe with.

Make your own sauce at home. Not only does it taste better than store-bought, but it's quick & easy, too!

We can all agree that everything is better homemade, right!? Ok good, glad we are on the same page! This is definitely the case when it comes to enchilada sauce. It is so much better than the can of sauce you buy at a store. I promise you will not want to buy it at the store after you make this recipe. There is simply no comparison.


What I love about this enchilada sauce recipe is that you can easily double it and save the extra sauce for a rainy day when you are short on time or have a craving for some real Mexican food. This enchilada sauce is great to pair with overnight breakfast enchiladas, chicken avocado enchiladas, and enchilada stuffed shells

Red sauce with beef enchiladas.

Red Enchilada Sauce Questions Answered:

How to make enchilada sauce?

First, preheat some oil in a saucepan. Then sauté the onion for a few minutes after which you will add the seasonings and cook for just about 30 seconds. Next, stir in the tomato sauce and chicken broth and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Finally, remove the sauce from the heat and blend it using an immersion blender or regular blender with the lid on tight!

Finished enchilada sauce in a saucepan.

Can you freeze enchilada sauce?

You can freeze homemade enchilada sauce if you have any that is! Or, you can double the recipe and freeze the extras for next time. If you are storing it in a plastic container go ahead and secure the lid and stick it in the freezer. If you are storing it in a glass container it is best to leave a couple of inches of space at the top of the jar to leave room for expansion. Before putting it in the freezer first cool overnight in the fridge. Next, place it in the freezer on a flat surface with the lid off. Lastly, put the lid on when the sauce has become solid.

What is the difference between enchilada sauce and salsa?

Salsa is a tomato-based sauce full of chunky items such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, and lemon juice or vinegar. Enchilada sauce is a chili-based sauce that is smooth and may or may not include tomatoes.

Make your own enchilada sauce at home. Not only does it taste better than store-bought, but it's quick & easy, too!

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. 

Cook’s Note:

  • I got my cute, little canning jar at Home Goods. The brand is Fido and they come in a variety of sizes. You can also find these jars on Amazon.
  • At the end of this recipe, you’ll need to puree the homemade enchilada sauce with either an immersion blender or standard blender. If using a standard blender, make sure you hold the lid on VERY tight {read I totally know from experience}.
  • This recipe will keep for up to a week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Cook’s Tools:

  • medium saucepan 
  • wooden spoon
  • immersion blender
  • glass storage jars

Finished sauce in a pot and all of the ingredients needed to make it.

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Check out some of my personal favorite recipes:

Finished enchilada sauce in a saucepan.
4.07 from 16 votes

Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
24 people
Homemade enchilada sauce is just minutes away with my simple recipe. Not only does it taste better than store-bought, but it's also quick & easy, too!


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat preheat the oil. Add the onion and cook until the edges of the onion start to brown, about 3-5 minutes. 
    Sauté the onions and garlic.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    Add the chile powder, cumin, and other spices.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and keep at a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Pour in the chicken stock.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. If you don't have an immersion/stick blender, you can use a blender. Just make sure you hold the lid on *VERY* tight, trust me I know from experience!
    Finished enchilada sauce in a saucepan.
  • Keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


This recipe makes about 3 cups of homemade Enchilada Sauce. 


Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 98mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.6mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Great recipe! I’ve been making my own easy ench. sauce for some yrs…but changing it up now…luv your recipe!
    Excellent, thank you!