This authentic Red Enchilada Sauce is made with a simple broth, a blend of fragrant spices, and NO tomatoes. It’s a classic enchilada sauce that is better than anything you can get from a can!

jar of Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchilada Sauce

Alright, I’ll admit it, I’m kind of an enchilada sauce snob, so much so that a few years ago I learned to make my own, homemade, authentic, Red Enchilada Sauce.  This flavorful sauce is made with a combination of lightly cooked spices, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder, and broth, which are cooked together into a thick, delicious, sauce that you just can’t find in a can.

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how to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce

What is the Difference Between Enchilada Sauce and Salsa?

Salsa is a cooked, or fresh, mixture of chunky tomatoes, onions, peppers, and an acid, such as Pico de Gallo. Enchilada sauce is a chili-based blend of spices, broth, and sometimes tomatoes, that is cooked and pureed into a thick sauce.

What is in Red Enchilada Sauce?

This authentic red enchilada sauce only uses a blend of spices mixed with broth to create a rich, flavorful sauce. No tomatoes!

  • Vegetable or Canola oil
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion powder
  • Flour
  • Beef or Chicken broth
  • Red wine vinegar

Homemade Enchilada Sauce next to an enchilada casserole

How to Make Red Enchilada Sauce:

  1. The sauce starts with a roux made by cooking flour and a neutral flavored oil together. This roux helps to thicken the sauce to the perfect pourable consistency. Whisk the flour and oil together over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the flour begins to turn slightly golden.
  2. Next you’ll add your chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt, whisking them into the roux and letting them toast slightly in the skillet. 
  3. Slowly pour in the broth, whisking continuously to remove any lumps. I want to take a minute here to talk about the broth. I have tried this recipe with beef broth and chicken broth and I find that I like the chicken broth better. The flavor of the broth is miler so it doesn’t affect the taste of the enchilada sauce. The beef broth version is still very good but it does have a slightly darker color and a stronger flavor. Try it both ways and let me know which one you prefer!
  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Make sure to whisk often so it doesn’t burn as it cooks. 
  5. When you’ve reaches the consistency you like add a couple of tablespoons of  vinegar and stir it in . I have found that this splash of vinegar really brightens the flavors and brings them all together. 

pouring Homemade Enchilada Sauce on enchiladas

That’s it! Making authentic enchilada sauce is really that simple and the time it takes is totally worth it. The flavor is 100x better than anything you’ll find in a jar and it immediately improves any dish you add it to!

How to Store Red Enchilada Sauce:

Homemade Enchilada sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 2 months! To do this I suggest letting the sauce cool completely and then portioning it out into 1 cup servings before placing it in the freezer. Make sure to leave a little space in your container for expansion as the liquid freezes!

Recipes That Use Red Enchilada Sauce:

RED ENCHILADA SAUCE
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Servings: 5
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

Red Enchilada Sauce

This authentic Red Enchilada Sauce is made with a simple broth, a blend of fragrant spices, and NO tomatoes. It's a classic enchilada sauce that is better than anything you can get from a can!
pouring Homemade Enchilada Sauce
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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Vegetable oil or Canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 8 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 4 cups Chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Red wine Vinegar

Instructions

  • Place the oil in a skillet over medium high heat and let it warm up.
  • Add the flour and whisk it together with the oil to make a roux. Whisk the flour and oil together over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the flour begins to turn slightly golden.
  • Add your chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt, to the skillet whisking them into the roux and letting them toast slightly in the skillet.
  • Slowly pour in the broth, whisking continuously to remove any lumps.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Make sure to whisk often so it doesn't burn as it cooks.
  • When you've reaches the desired consistency add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and stir it in .
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 97kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 701mg, Potassium: 366mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 90.6%, Vitamin C: 2.1%, Calcium: 6.2%, Iron: 17.4%
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: enchilada sauce without tomatoes, homemade enchilada sauce, how to make enchilada sauce, red enchilada sauce