Homemade Enchilada Sauce 101: A Step-by-Step Guide

homemade enchilada sauce
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If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, you know that a good enchilada sauce can make all the difference in your dish. While store-bought options are convenient, there’s something incredibly satisfying about making your enchilada sauce from scratch. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll create a flavorful homemade enchilada sauce that will elevate your enchilada game to a new level.


let’s gather the ingredients before we start with the recipe 

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar (adjust to taste)

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

Assemble all your ingredients and have them measured and ready to use. This will make the cooking process much smoother.

Step 2: Heat the Oil

Take a medium-sized saucepan. Now heat some vegetable oil in it over medium heat. Take a whisk to stir in the flour in it. Continue to whisk as the mixture cooks for about one minute or until it’s a light golden brown.

Step 3: Add the Spices

Simmer the heat to low, and gradually add these ingredients – chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Stir continuously to prevent burning, and cook for about 30 seconds until the spices become aromatic.

Step 4: Mix in the Broth

Slowly pour the chicken or vegetable broth while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Once all the broth is added, bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Add in the Tomato Paste

Incorporate the tomato paste into the saucepan and whisk until it’s fully incorporated into the mixture. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. If you think the sauce is too thick, try adding a bit more broth to reach your preferred thickness.

Step 6: Sweeten to Taste

You can taste the sauce and adjust the flavor if needed by adding more sugar. The sugar will balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and spices. Begin with 1 teaspoon and then add if needed. 

Step 7: Strain (Optional)

For an extra-smooth sauce, you can strain by using a mesh sieve to remove any remaining lumps or bits of spice.

Step 8: Cool and Store

Allow your homemade enchilada sauce to cool before using it in your enchilada recipe. You can easily store the leftover sauce in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas

Now that you have your enchilada sauce ready let’s put it to good use with a delicious Chicken Enchiladas recipe:


  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • Homemade enchilada sauce (as needed)
  • Sour cream, sliced black olives, and chopped green onions for garnish


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Now, in a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of each cheese, diced onions, diced bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and chopped cilantro. Mix well.
  • Take the corn tortillas and warm them in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until they’re pliable.
  • Place a spoonful of the chicken mixture you made chicken mixture onto each tortilla, roll them up, and place them seam-side down in a baking dish.
  • Pour your homemade enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas, ensuring they’re generously covered. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  • Now, in the preheated oven, bake the tortillas for around 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  • Serve hot, garnished with sour cream, sliced black olives, and chopped green onions.

Now, you have not only mastered the art of making enchilada chili sauce but also created a mouthwatering dish to enjoy with your family and friends. Homemade enchiladas with your own sauce are sure to become a family favorite!

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