How to Make Enchilada Sauce from Scratch

Ingredients and Tools Required for Making Enchilada Sauce

To make a delicious enchilada sauce from scratch, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

In addition to these ingredients, you will also need a medium-sized saucepan, a whisk, and a wooden spoon. You may also want to use a blender or immersion blender to achieve a smoother texture.

Before you begin making the enchilada sauce, make sure you have all of the ingredients and tools on hand. This will help ensure a smooth and stress-free cooking experience.

Step-by-Step Guide for Making Enchilada Sauce

Here is a step-by-step guide for making enchilada sauce from scratch:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes to make a roux. Be sure not to burn the flour.
  3. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, and oregano to the roux and whisk for another 30 seconds to combine.
  4. Slowly pour in the chicken or vegetable broth while whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it thickens.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the sauce cool for a few minutes.
  8. Use a blender or immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth.
  9. Return the sauce to the saucepan and reheat if necessary before using it in your favorite enchilada recipe.

By following these steps, you can make a delicious and authentic enchilada sauce from scratch that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Tips for Customizing Enchilada Sauce to Your Taste Preferences

While the classic recipe for enchilada sauce is delicious on its own, you can customize it to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect enchilada sauce:

  1. Adjust the spice level: If you prefer a milder sauce, you can reduce the amount of chili powder or use a mild chili powder instead. If you like it spicy, add some cayenne pepper or a few chopped jalapeƱos.

  2. Add more herbs and spices: If you want to add more flavor to your enchilada sauce, you can experiment with different herbs and spices. For example, you can add some smoked paprika for a smoky flavor or some coriander for a citrusy flavor.

  3. Use different liquids: While chicken or vegetable broth is the most common liquid used in enchilada sauce, you can use other liquids as well. For example, you can use tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes to give your sauce a thicker texture and a more pronounced tomato flavor.

  4. Make it creamy: If you prefer a creamier sauce, you can add some heavy cream or sour cream to the mixture. This will give your sauce a richer, creamier flavor.

By following these tips, you can make a customized enchilada sauce that is perfect for your taste buds.

Storing and Freezing Enchilada Sauce for Future Use

If you make a large batch of enchilada sauce, you may not use it all at once. Here are some tips for storing and freezing enchilada sauce for future use:

  1. Refrigerating: You can store leftover enchilada sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure the sauce has cooled down completely before storing it in the refrigerator.

  2. Freezing: Enchilada sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow the sauce to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container or a freezer bag. Label the container with the date and the contents before freezing it.

  3. Thawing: To thaw frozen enchilada sauce, transfer it to the refrigerator the night before you plan to use it. Alternatively, you can thaw it in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.

  4. Reheating: You can reheat enchilada sauce on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave. Be sure to stir the sauce occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

By following these storage and freezing tips, you can enjoy homemade enchilada sauce anytime you want without having to make it from scratch every time.


Making enchilada sauce from scratch may seem daunting at first, but with the right ingredients and tools, it’s actually quite easy. By following the step-by-step guide and customizing the recipe to your taste preferences, you can create a delicious and authentic enchilada sauce that is sure to impress.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs, spices, and liquids to find the perfect combination that suits your taste. And if you make a large batch, don’t forget to store and freeze the leftover sauce for future use.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a pro at making enchilada sauce in no time!

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