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Slightly spicy with a strong tomato presence, Homemade Enchilada Sauce is a great sauce to have on hand to help make meal prep faster and easier.  In addition to enchiladas, this sauce is a great base for casseroles, pasta, meat, and soup dishes.  And, it’s freezer friendly too!

An enchilada, in essence, is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables or combinations of any of those items.

The cool thing about enchilada sauce is that you’re not really limited to just making enchiladas.  With this sauce on hand, you can whip up a batch of chili in no time at all by just adding in canned kidney beans or black beans, a little frozen corn, and even cooked quinoa or ground beef.

What about topping your favourite burger or hotdog with this spicy sauce?  Or pour it over some oven-baked chicken breasts during the last fifteen minutes of cooking time?  It tastes great with a roast pork, or even spooned over a plate of scrambled eggs. 

How about this idea: spread some enchilada sauce on a store-bought pizza crust.  Top with tomatoes, red onions, grilled chicken, and a little cheese.  Doesn’t that sound great?  Or if you’re not in the mood for pizza, how about tossing some cooked pasta, grilled chicken, and roasted red pepper slices in this sauce for a great tasting, easy weeknight pasta dinner?

Probably one of my favourite things to do with this sauce is to brown some ground beef with diced green peppers and chopped onions.  Pour in a good amount of sauce and stir together.  Next, transfer the sauce to an oven-safe baking dish.  Top with shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and gooey.  Serve with corn chips for a game day Beefy Enchilada Dip!

With a sauce as versatile as this Homemade Enchilada Sauce on hand, you have a variety of delicious meal-time favourites right at your fingertips!

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Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Slightly spicy with a strong tomato presence, Homemade Enchilada Sauce is a great sauce to have on hand to help make meal prep faster and easier. In addition to enchiladas, this sauce is a great base for casseroles, pasta, meat, and soup dishes. And, it’s freezer friendly too!
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Lord Byron's Kitchen


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups canned tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Using a roomy, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk in the flour and allow the flour to cook in the oil for about a minute or so.
  • Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Next, add the vegetable stock and the tomato paste. Whisk the ingredients together until the tomato paste has no lumps remaining. Allow the mixture to come to a low boil.
  • Reduce the heat to a low simmer, place a cover on the sauce pan, and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency/thickness, allow to cool slightly before transferring to a glass jar with a good sealing lid. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Otherwise, transfer sauce to freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 30 days.


For freezing purposes, it’s a good idea to freeze into 1-cup portions. This way, you won’t need to thaw the entire batch for one recipe.


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This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. I've only made homemade enchilada sauce I couple times but you're Right that it is much better. It is a little extra trouble but so worth it. I never really thought about making it ahead and freezing it. That's definitely a great idea to save time. Loved seeing your version of it :)
  2. This looks and sounds awesome. I will have to give it a try. So far I have never been impressed with store bought versions. They always taste "off" for some reason. But ... homemade is always this is the answer.
  3. I love how versatile this enchilada sauce is. The possibilities are indeed endless and it makes sense to make a huge batch, divide it in pouches so they're ready when the need arise. Would definitely love to use this as base for mexican-style pasta sauce!
  4. I make something very similar but with slightly different seasonings for Italian based dishes but I'm loving the Mexican tweaks here. Me and Hungry Hubby love enchiladas so will most def give this a try - thanks for sharing Byron!
  5. I'm a huge fan of everything homemade, especially sauces. I'm not sure why people actually buy sauces when homemade stuff is sooo much better... and not to mention it has no additives in homemade :) Byron, this enchilada sauce looks AMAZING... Thick and full of tomato flavor. Tomatoes are such a healthy little veggies.
    1. My sentiments exactly, Natalie. I try to make all of my own sauces, condiments, and spice blends. Soooo much better!
  6. I certainly wish I had some of that sauce this morning -- we're having scrambled eggs. And we love spicy!! I guess with hardly any imagination at all you can find countless dishes in which to use the sauce. I'm pinning so I can make a big batch!! Have a great Sunday Byron -- spring is just around the corner.
  7. You are right enchilada sauce is highly versatile, I think you are king when making sauce and dip from scratch. I need to give it try to make it from scratch usually grab a bottle from store.
    1. I much prefer to make sauces and condiments from scratch. It's so much better and without all of the chemicals found in store-bought varieties. I'll take the 'king' compliment, though. :)
  8. Okay, I'm a self-confessed homemade sauce junkie ;) and you just added one more sauce to try on my list. I absolutely love Mexican food (can have it everyday) but I've never made an enchilada sauce at home. Your recipe looks so simple and I do have all the ingredients - so guess this is going to be made real soon :)
  9. Enchilada holds a very special place in my heart. This is one of the first international cuisine recipe that I had tried when I was newly married and it was a very liked dish. I still make enchiladas every other week and I was very excited to see your recipe for homemade enchilada sauce. I knew that you will be making it vegetarian and I was looking forward to it. I am bookmarking this recipe and going to try it soon :)
    1. Thank you, Sandhya. I try to make more vegetarian dishes than meat-based dishes, just because whatever I cook for my blog, we end up eating. So mealtimes are always in the back of my mind when deciding what recipes to add to my blog.
  10. I'm such a fan of making my own sauces and spices and you've got loads of both of your blog and I love it. This enchilada sauce looks perfect. I love that I can control the ingredients and they're pantry staples so I don't have to find myself running to the store when I have a hankering for enchiladas!
    1. Thanks, Megan. I love to have homemade sauces and seasonings on hand. They really do cut down on weeknight cooking time, and most certainly allows for healthier eating.
  11. With recipes like this, there really is no need to buy the yucky canned stuff. You make it look super easy, and I can almost smell it from here! (the enchilada sauce, not... um, anything else) Filing away for the next Fiesta party I throw!
  12. Itching to try this one. However in my house, we don't use vegetable oils (other than olive, sesame and coconut) due to the way they are produced, and more exotic oils like avocado are really expensive. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute for the "vegetable oil" called for here? Thanks in advance.
    1. Hi Joe, you can certainly switch out the vegetable oil and add olive oil. But, try to use a very light tasting olive oil. :)

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