Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

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A tasty homemade enchilada sauce that can be made in minutes, and used for all sorts of things – including perfect vegetarian enchiladas!

Jar of homemade enchilada sauce with a spoon lifting up a spoonful.

Not going to lie – I do occasionally use jars of shop-bought sauce. When I’m cooking for my family at the end of a long day, sometimes a jar of sauce is my best friend. But when it comes to enchilada sauce, I always make my own from scratch. Homemade enchilada sauce is so easy to make, and literally takes a couple of minutes. It’d be silly not to!

Jar of homemade enchilada sauce with fresh cilantro and tortillas

Homemade enchilada sauce

In my opinion, you can really tell the difference between homemade enchilada sauce and the shop-bought version. I’ve found that shop-bought enchilada sauce is sometimes a bit gloopy, whereas my homemade version is perfectly rich and silky.

Plus, if you’re making the sauce yourself, you can adjust it to your own personal tastes. Do you like your enchiladas to be so spicy that your tongue goes numb? Add a touch more chilli powder or cayenne (just don’t get carried away, you don’t want to ruin your dinner!).

Bit more of a wimp? Just add a touch less.

You can also play around with adding different spices, maybe even a few dried herbs, until you end up with your perfect sauce.

Spiced roux in a saucepan being cooked for homemade enchilada sauce

Easy enchilada sauce

Despite what you might expect, homemade enchilada sauce is actually incredibly easy to make. The process is pretty similar to making a white sauce – you start by making a simple roux with fat and flour, except this time you add plenty of tasty spices as well.

I used smoked paprika, chilli powder, ground cumin and garlic granules – but feel free to make it your own!

Next, a squeeze of tomato puree.

Tomato roux in a saucepan being cooked for homemade enchilada sauce

Make it saucy!

Then, all that’s left to do is to add some vegetable stock until your sauce reaches your desired consistency.

Just like when you’re making a white sauce, you ideally want to add the stock gradually to ensure you end up with a smooth sauce – I usually add about a third of the stock at a time. At first, it will thicken into a paste…

Thick tomato paste in a saucepan being cooked for homemade enchilada sauce

…then when you add a bit more, it will produce a thick sauce…

Thick homemade enchilada sauce being cooked in a saucepan

…and finally, it will make the enchilada sauce smooth and silky. You can add as much or as little liquid as you need to get your ideal sauce.

Homemade enchilada sauce being cooked in a saucepan

What can I use homemade enchilada sauce for?

The obvious answer is: enchiladas! This easy homemade enchilada sauce is perfect poured over any kind of vegetarian enchiladas to give them heaps of flavour.

But of course, it can be used in lots of other ways as well. Here are a few ideas:

What else would you do with your homemade enchilada sauce? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Jar of homemade enchilada sauce with a bunch of fresh cilantro

Homemade enchilada sauce

A tasty homemade enchilada sauce that can be made in minutes, and used for all sorts of things – including perfect vegetarian enchiladas!

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

4.88 from 8 votes
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Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 76kcal
Author: Becca Heyes


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste)
  • 250 ml (~ 1 cup) vegetable stock
  • Black pepper


  • Place the oil in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and spices, and mix thoroughly to produce a fragrant paste. Cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly, then add the tomato puree, and cook for a further 1 minute.
  • Add the vegetable stock a little at a time (I usually add it about 1/3 at a time), mixing well until smooth each time before adding a bit more. When you’ve added all of the liquid, you should have a smooth, silky sauce.
  • Season with plenty of black pepper (you probably won’t need any salt unless you used low-sodium stock), and use to make enchiladas (or something else!).


Nutrition Facts
Homemade enchilada sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 76 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 0.9g5%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 28mg1%
Carbohydrates 3.1g1%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 0.2g0%
Protein 0.6g1%
Calcium 0mg0%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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This homemade enchilada sauce would be perfect for making my enchilada stuffed shells:

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4.88 from 8 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Thanks for the recipe, our daughter in law is vegan, and it’s nice to be able to make her a vegan meal, as we aren’t.

  2. This is quick and easy but sooo hot! I wish I’d questioned the amount of chilli powder and halved it – my mouth is still burning! But it was tasty.4 stars

  3. I have been using this recipe for years! Before the name change on the blog. I find making sauces intimidating but this is so simple to make and has such a depth of flavour. Smoked paprika is very worthwhile in this recipe. I never buy store bought enchilada sauce and make sure to always have these spices on hand.5 stars