Friday, January 16, 2015

Recipe for Enchilada Sauce

Considering the fact that I had only once eaten Mexican food in my first 21 years of life, I like to flatter myself and think I have become quite the Tex-Mex chef since getting married and moving half-way across the world. 

This is a recipe I created by combining my favorite elements from various other recipes, when I needed some enchilada sauce and didn't have any in the house. It is all I have used in years now - I just can't go back to the store-bought kind.

It makes a large batch, but I typically freeze portions of it in quart size freezer bags, to pull out and use as necessary. 

The basic idea is that you start with a roux that is thickened with equal parts of flour and chili powder. Then, equal parts of chicken broth and tomato sauce are added for the liquid to make the sauce. Add seasonings, and presto - it's done. 

(If you don't know what the heck a roux is, just follow the instructions and pretend to know. Your sauce will be none the wiser, and will still turn out perfect.)

You don't have to use home-canned tomato sauce and homemade broth. That's just what I had in the house, but it works equally well with ready ingredients


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup mild chili powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth/stock
4 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp cumin

1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy pot. 

2. Add the chili powder and the flour, stir to combine. Allow this "roux" to cook for just a minute, until fragrant. 

3. Gradually stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth while whisking continuously. The sauce will start out very thick as the dry flour and chili powder absorb all moisture, but you turn the perfect consistency by the time all the fluids are stirred in.

4. Add the seasonings, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Done! Enjoy :)

Click on image, then select "Print"

By the way, the sauce tastes wonderful in THIS recipe, for which I also use my easy biscuits.


  1. Thank you for the sauce recipe, do you have a recipe for how to make the enchiladas?

  2. I decided to try some even though there were some cans in the cupboard. Super delicious and easy to make. Thanks for taking the time to post this recipe!

  3. Sounds awesome. Please will you post more recipes? I live on my own and struggle to think of healthy nutritious meals as I'm not the best cook :) x


  4. Thank you for the enchilada sauce recipe! I made it last night, and it was terrific - the whole family loved it. I made a half recipe, and used half of that to make enchiladas for us. I'm going to use the other half to make a crockpot version for church! Thanks for posting - I love trying your recipes!


  5. How do you make this thm friendly?

  6. Thank you for the delicious recipe! I tried it last weekend, and my family enjoyed thoroughly! Since I have seen you post grain-free recipes before, I thought I would share that I used paleo "Plaintain Wraps" instead of corn tortillas and made sort of an enchilada casserole with ground meat and Poblano peppers. My little boy cannot eat grains, so I thought I had kissed enchiladas goodbye until I discovered this. To make the wraps, I mix three green plantains with 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 cup water and 1 tsp. salt in a high-speed blender, spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Then, I simply lay one large baked "wrap" in the bottom of my casserole dish, layer meat and peppers and lay another sheet on top, bake and serve. The wraps can also be used to make tacos, or, if you add a little cinnamon and vanilla and top with fruit, they make decent grain-free crepes. You have helped and encouraged our family in so many ways with your blog, I hope that this will be something that is helpful to you. God bless you and your dear family!


    1. Willow, thank you for sharing these tips. I had never heard of plantain wraps before, so thank you for telling us about them.

      One question, what did you use in place of the flour to make the sauce grain free? Another reader above asked about how to make this sauce THM friendly, and by cutting out the flour, that should make it plan friendly. Please share your advice.

      Thank you in advance!

    2. Zsuzsanna, I should have been more specific about the grains. My son has experienced success on a grain-free diet for some time, and we used this recipe as our first experiment to discover whether we can add back small amounts of grains. I actually used sorghum flour in place of all purpose flour and palm shortening in place of butter, so unfortunately, it was not completely THM. A person wanting to "THMify" the recipe, though, might try plantain flour.

  7. This was AMAZING! We hosted Valentine's dinner for 2 other couples at our house, perfect opportunity to make enchiladas with your fantastic sauce. I made a double batch of enchiladas and was still able to freeze enough for 2 more meals. All of our guests gave it rave reviews, so I promoted your blog. If enchiladas help me point people to the Lord, even better!


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