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Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Updated on August 24, 2012

Finished Enchilada Sauce






Nearly done sauce


Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce

Well, I’ve called it enchilada sauce but as you will see it is a staple basic sauce. Or as my Aunt Pat use to say “Slap it on just about anything.”

Think beyond the enchilada. Think Fry Bread, a staple at fairs here in New Mexico. Think Frito Pie. These recipes will be later this week!

I’d love to facilitate a class called Let’s Get Sauced. Everyone has their own special gravy or sauce. I think there are so many wonderful sauces made in most cultures.

There is more to sauce than canned mushroom soup. Not that a can of mushroom soup can’t save you on occasion!

Basic Enchilada Sauce


1/4 C. oil I use canola oil here You could also use a lard or other vegetable shortening. I do not advise olive oil. Perhaps a bit of bacon drippings to supplement the oil, this would add a lot of flavor.

2 T. flour

8 ounces of tomato sauce

2 t. cumin

2 t. garlic powder

2 t. onion powder

¼ C. water ON RESERVE

Salt to taste


Heat up a sauce pan or a skillet on the stove. Place the oil in the skillet and let it heat up, don’t let it heat up to the point of smoking. This should take only a minute or less. Then whisk in the flour. You should have a thick paste. Cook about 30 seconds in order to cook the flour…the object is to not have raw flour when you go to the next step.

Whisk in the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the water. Keep the water on RESERVE.

Bring to a boil and ASAP turn it down to a slow simmer. Keep whisking! Don’t let it get dry or burn! Pay attention here! Now you can add the water in small bits as needed. Remember, you want this a thickened sauce!

Add the salt to taste.

NOTE: There are enchilada sauces that do NOT use tomatoes. The staple is a green chili sauce OR a red chili sauce. The above is definitely a 'slap it on anything' milder sauce!


I love variations, don’t you?

I have been known to add 8 ounces of drained tomatoes from a can of Mexican spiced/flavored commercial tomatoes rather than the tomato sauce. I then use a hand blender on the finished product to achieve the degree of smooth sauce that I want.

I almost always add my chiles to this sauce too. But I have lived here long enough to agree that chiles should be in almost everything.

One last thing, there are some darn good canned commercial enchilada sauces out there too. Do pre-taste these before you pour them on your Mexican style food as they may be too hot for you!

Now for the seasoned cook, I just described making a sort of rue and then going New Mexico with it. For those who are kinda new at this cooking thing, well you just learned to make a sort of rue, so the cooking shows have nothing on you.

Tomorrow we will make easy-peasey beans/frijoles.

Wednesday we will put all this together in the main fair/fiesta staple of Fry Bread and Frito Pie.

So good to eat….Fry Bread and Frito Pie!



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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thanks for the visit kitkat1141!

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for this recipe. I have a few recipes that call for enchilada sauce, but can't always find it. This will be put to good use. I plan on "slapping it on just about anything" as your aunt suggests!

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      I always bought enchilada sauce too. Thing is it is so inexpensive to make! But sometimes I don't have the time and I do like some commercial ones!

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Another great recipe! I buy enchilada sauce, usually. I made it homemade once. I'll have to try this recipe!

    • profile image

      Me 6 years ago

      Looks really good. Will try it soon.

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona


    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 6 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Great photos!