Homemade Enchilada Sauce

A Rich and Flavorful Base for Your Favorite Mexican Dishes



Preparation Phase & Tools To Use


  1. Medium saucepan
  2. Whisk
  3. Measuring cups and spoons
  4. Blender or immersion blender (optional, for a smoother sauce)
  5. Strainer (if straining for a super smooth texture)


Ingredients and Their Roles:

  • Vegetable oil (3 tablespoons): Used to cook the flour and spices, creating a roux that thickens the sauce.
  • All-purpose flour (3 tablespoons): Thickens the sauce, giving it body.
  • Chili powder (2 tablespoons): The primary flavor component, adding depth and color.
  • Cumin (1 teaspoon): Adds a warm, earthy flavor.
  • Garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon): Enhances the sauce with a subtle, aromatic flavor.
  • Onion powder (1/2 teaspoon): Adds sweetness and depth.
  • Dried oregano (1/2 teaspoon): Contributes a slight bitterness and complexity.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth (2 cups): The liquid base of the sauce, can be adjusted for desired thickness.
  • Tomato paste (2 tablespoons): Adds richness, acidity, and color.
  • Salt to taste: Balances and enhances all the flavors.


Step-By-Step Instructions:

  1. Make the Roux: Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking continuously, for about 1 minute until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. This cooks out the raw flour taste.
  2. Add the Spices: Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano to the roux. Continue to cook and whisk for another minute until the spices are fragrant. This step blooms the spices, enhancing their flavors.
  3. Whisk in the Liquid: Gradually add the chicken or vegetable broth to the saucepan, whisking continuously to ensure the mixture stays smooth and there are no lumps. Stir in the tomato paste until well combined.
  4. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Blend for Smoothness (Optional): For a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender directly in the saucepan or transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. If desired, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining solids.
  6. Season: Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and seasonings as needed.

Time and Servings:

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 cups



Nutritional Information & Health Benefits:

Homemade enchilada sauce is healthier than store-bought versions, which often contain preservatives and added sugars. This recipe uses simple, wholesome ingredients, allowing you to control the amount of sodium and adjust the heat level to your preference. Chili powder and cumin, the primary spices in this sauce, are known for their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Common Mistakes To Avoid & How to Perfect the Recipe:

  • Not Cooking the Roux and Spices Enough: Ensure the roux is cooked for a minute before adding spices, and then cook the spices for a minute to enhance their flavors.
  • Lumps in the Sauce: Add the broth slowly, whisking continuously, to prevent lumps. If lumps do form, blending the sauce can help achieve a smooth texture.
  • Over or Under Seasoning: Adjust the seasonings gradually, tasting as you go, to ensure a well-balanced sauce.


This homemade enchilada sauce is a simple yet delicious way to elevate your Mexican dishes. Its rich, deep flavor surpasses that of store-bought varieties and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Whether you’re making traditional enchiladas, a casserole, or using it as a flavorful base for other recipes, this sauce is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire. Enjoy the process of making it and the vibrant flavors it brings to your table!

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