The best Enchilada Sauce is one you make yourself. Homemade sauce lets you control the ingredients for a healthier version of that Taco Bell authentic experience. This recipe for homemade red enchilada sauce is quick, easy and delicious. Double the recipe to have some on hand for enchiladas, burritos, tacos and salads.
I created this homemade red enchilada sauce recipe years ago for my sister. She was addicted to the Taco Bell Sauce, you know—the one in those tiny white packages…..and I wanted her to have something equally tasty, but much healthier. I’m having quite a moment myself with this healthy enchilada sauce. As soon as you taste it, you’ll know why.
The spice mixture is spot on in this recipe. The star is chili powder. I like my enchilada sauce kinda spicy so I incorporate a bit of chipotle chili powder into my measurement. You’ll still get plenty of flavor, minus the heat if you use regular chili powder. A bit of cumin, oregano, salt and garlic round out the tasty spice mixture.
I like to zest the garlic with a microplane. If you don’t have one, use a garlic press or mince the garlic. I usually keep veggie stock in my freezer, which makes this recipe super quick and easy. If you’re going to use store bought stock, be sure to buy the low-sodium variety. Look for a brand with organic veggies, filtered water and little else.
How to make Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
STEP 1: Heat olive oil in small pan over medium heat. Add in arrowroot powder
STEP 2: Make a roux by whisking the arrowroot powder into the olive oil. Move quickly on this step so you’re just barely “cooking” the arrowroot. It shouldn’t turn brown.
STEP 3: Zest the garlic over the pan with the roux.
STEP 4: Add tomato paste and spices to the garlic and the roux.
STEP 5: Use a whisk to mix together the tomato paste, spices and roux to form a paste.
STEP 6: Slowly start incorporating stock into the paste. Divide the stock into thirds and pour the first part in now. Continue to whisk as the paste becomes thinner.
STEP 7: Fully incorporate each addition of stock to the tomato mixture before moving along.
STEP 8: Then add in another 1/3 of the veggie stock to continue to thin the enchilada sauce out.
STEP 9: After each stock addition, continue to mix well, breaking up any clumps, for a smooth sauce.
STEP 10: Pour in the remaining veggie stock and whisk to thin out the enchilada sauce.
STEP 11: Once all of the broth is incorporated, allow the red enchilada sauce to thicken as it cooks. This should take 3-5 minutes tops.
It’s really that simple to make enchilada sauce from scratch. No need for those little white packet when you can make it yourself so easily. Just think of all the yummy things you can do with it: enchiladas and enchilada bowls, tacos, burritos, taco salad and grain bowls….just to name a few. Make a double or triple batch and freeze some to have on hand for your favorite Mexican recipes. Let me know in the comments what you’ll use this homemade red enchilada sauce for.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder*
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups veggie broth*
- Heat oil iIn small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in arrowroot powder and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Zest garlic over the pan (alternately use a garlic press), add in spices and tomato paste and whisk continuously as it forms a paste. This will take about 15 seconds.
- Gradually add in I the stock (1/3 at a time) and whisk well to incorporate, trying to dissolve any clumps. Continue to whisk until sauce is smooth.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until sauce thickens, 3-4 minutes.
- Sauce will stay good in a glass jar, tightly sealed in the fridge for 3 weeks.
* This sauce is flavorful, but mild in terms of spicy hot. For a medium or hot spicier sauce, adjust the chili powder so that 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon is chipotle chili powder.
* If you purchase veggie stock, rather than make it yourself, buy low sodium. Also, reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon. If more stock is needed for sauce to be of pourable consistency, add in 1 Tablespoon at a time, up to another 1/4 cup.
* Sauce will thicken when it's in the fridge. Whisk in additional stock or water as needed when using.
Serving Size2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving Calories 19Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 88mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 1g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.