How To Make Fresh Enchilada Sauce?

With a tiny piece of Mexican chocolate and real whole dried chiles, this recipe for authentic enchilada sauce is produced. ideal for tacos, enchiladas, and more!

I finished! I created a pot of real enchilada sauce that tastes exactly like my mother’s!

I’m thrilled to share it with you after many attempts to get it just right.

This sauce is made without tomatoes, unlike many other enchilada sauce recipes. Instead, just a few ingredients—dried chiles, garlic, salt, and Mexican chocolate—provide all the savory and rich tastes.

(For a 10-minute variation using pantry staples like chili powder, tomato paste, and stock, see this simple enchilada sauce recipe.)

What ingredients are in the red sauce on enchiladas?

It is a sauce made with ancho, pasilla, New Mexico, and/or Cascabel chiles, as well as tomatoes, stock, onions, garlic, cumin, and other spices.

all combined and cooked until thickened. It produces a multidimensional image.

a rich, multi-layered flavor tapestry that brings life to everything it touches. Enchilada

Even though enchilada sauce is simple to get at any grocery store, making it at home is virtually as simple and much delicious!

What is the key to making delicious enchiladas?

Typically, red, green, or brown sauces are used in enchiladas (brown being the Tex-Mex style featuring a mix of gravy and chiles). Make sure your sauce is a good consistency—about that of cream—and has some wonderful kick, whether you use tomato, tomatillos, or simply the peppers themselves as the base. Please create your own. The food in jars is frequently too sweet, salty, and artificially preserved.

Treat Your Tortillas Right

The most crucial piece of advice is to briefly cook the tortillas in hot oil before filling and rolling to prevent soggy enchiladas. By doing this, a thin barrier is created, preventing the tortillas from absorbing too much sauce and becoming soggy.

Pick decent, fresh corn tortillas first; preferably, choose ones that are produced without preservatives using nixtamal. Then, fry the tortillas for about 10 seconds on each side, or until they just begin to crisp and brown, in medium-high-heat oil. If you’re worried about them absorbing too much oil, you can drain them on paper towels, but don’t be concerned—they don’t.

Fill ‘Er Up

The enjoyable part is choosing a filling that matches your preferences. There are basically no rules here; you can choose from meats, vegetables, cheese, or a mix of any of the above. Consider texture and balance. To avoid having to hack through your enchilada to eat it, meats should be ground or slow-cooked and shredded; vegetables should be pre-cooked. The sauce and your palate should determine how spicy you make the filling. Freshly sliced jalapenos can give mild sauces a boost, while vegetables like sweet potatoes may help hot sauces.

Do Skimp on the Sauce

No, contrary to what you might have heard from most American recipes, authentic enchiladas are not meant to be drowning in sauce. For 8 enchiladas, approximately 4 cups of sauce are required.

Spread about a cup of sauce lengthwise down the middle of your baking sheet before frying your tortillas. After the tortillas have been fried, dip them into your sauce, coating the entire surface. By using this technique, you can make sure that the sauce is distributed evenly, and your tortillas will be less prone to crumble. The remaining sauce should be poured over the rolled tortillas after you have filled, rolled, and placed each tortilla (seam-side down) on the pan. Finally, sprinkle cheese on top.

Balance Things Out with Garnishes

When your casserole comes out of the oven, top it with a ton of garnishes to make it look pretty and help the flavors blend. Sliced radishes, salty pickled red onions or jalapenos, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro thin down a rich, cheesy sauce while adding vibrant color and a burst of flavor. Tex-Mex flavor is added to straightforward beef enchiladas by adding sour cream and finely diced raw onion. If you have a hot sauce, think about adding something chill, like avocado slices or crema (Mexican sour cream). Extra shredded cheese is never a bad idea for vegetable enchiladas!

Why does the sauce on my enchiladas taste bitter?

Start with the most crucial step first: roasting! A heavy nonstick skillet (I prefer cast iron) should be heated over medium-high heat. Leave out the oil. The dried peppers should be spread out on the skillet and lightly toasted for a minute or two on each side, just until fragrant. They will turn bitter if burned, so it’s preferable to under-toast them than to over-toast them. Take out and place aside. After that, add the tomatoes, onion, and garlic to the skillet and toast until just lightly browned.

Slice the peppers open, remove the stems (if using hot peppers, wear gloves), and remove and discard all of the seeds and membranes (contrary to common perception, the seeds are bitter, the membranes are hot). In a bowl, place the peppers.

When the peppers are tender, pour the boiling water over them, cover the bowl, and let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Blend the peppers, their liquid, onion, tomato, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients (apart from the chocolate, if used) until completely smooth.

Note: At this stage, decide for yourself if your sauce need straining. I don’t bother filtering the sauce because my Vitamix blender does a great job of blending it into a very smooth purée.

When the sauce is ready, add it to a pot with a tablespoon or so of hot oil. Allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered. If you’d like it a little thinner, add a little more water. The sauce ought to have the consistency of heavy cream.

Optional: Add a small piece of semi-sweet chocolate at the very end and whisk until it has melted for an extra flavor boost.

It can be frozen for several months or kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I like to freeze approximately a cup of it in each freezer bag, making it easy to grab one when I need it.


Homemade chile sauce is frequently criticized for tasting bitter. That might be as a result of the chili peppers’ peels or the fact that they were burned during the toasting process. Whatever the cause, if you find your chile sauce to be overly harsh, try adding some brown sugar.

How may enchilada sauce be thickened?

Add cornstarch if your sauce is still too thin after using the simmering technique. For these kinds of cooking snags, cornstarch works well because it is a flavorless natural thickening agent.

However, cornstarch cannot be used in isolation. The cornstarch needs to be made into a paste before being added to the enchilada sauce.

Equal parts of cold water and cornstarch should be combined. In order to create a paste, stir briskly.

The paste should then be gradually added to the enchilada sauce, stirring after each addition. Give the cornstarch a minute or two to warm up and completely incorporate into the sauce so that it can thicken.

Add more as necessary until your sauce has the consistency you want. Remember to avoid adding cornstarch too rapidly or too much at once to avoid making your entire batch of sauce pasty.

What kind of cheese is used in enchiladas at Mexican restaurants?

Queso blanco, which is mild and a little salty, is a favorite for both cooking and snacking. It is frequently used as a filler for chicken breasts, peppers, enchiladas, and burritos as well as a topping for enchiladas and empanadas.

How can you avoid breaking tortillas when making enchiladas?

“I experimented with a new recipe last night. According to the recipe, you should microwave them for one minute wrapped in a damp paper towel. As soon as they were put together, they started peeling and breaking. In my kitchen, this seems to be a recurring theme. Why am I misusing this?” Clare

After heating, place tortillas on a stack and cover with a moist cloth or paper towel until you’re ready to use them. I’m assuming you removed the stack from the microwave, unwrapped it, and then rolled or filled each tortilla individually, leaving the remaining tortillas exposed and vulnerable to peeling and breaking. When working with one at a time, don’t leave the full stack out; instead, keep the unused section loosely covered with the damp cloth.

What distinguishes red from green enchilada sauce?

The sort of chili that was utilized is the primary distinction between red and green enchilada sauces. Red chilies are used to make the red enchilada sauce (in this recipe, ground red chilies or chili powder). Because green enchilada sauce is created with green chilies, tomatillos, and occasionally jalapenos, it typically has a wider range of heat. It doesn’t have to be hot but it can be.

The best tortillas for enchiladas are…

Although flour tortillas also work, corn tortillas are the standard for enchiladas. Choose 6- or 7-inch corn tortillas or 7- or 8-inch flour tortillas; they will fit most pans the best.

What varieties of enchilada sauce are there?

Here are 5 distinct homemade enchilada sauce recipes: the traditional, a creamier version, a green version, a charcoal version, and of course a slow-cooked “set and forget” version. Each one is vegan or has simple vegan substitutes.

My Simple, Traditional Enchilada Sauce. It only takes a few minutes to put everything together in a pot, then you just need to let it simmer for 10 minutes.

The Faux Martha’s Tomato Jalapeo Enchilada Sauce. This recipe has a few more ingredients than the Essential Classic version, giving it a richer flavor, a nice balance of sweetness with a hint of tartness (from the vinegar), and a creamier, paler appearance that I particularly appreciate. (Use almond milk instead to make it vegan.)

Over The Big Moon’s Tomatillo Cilantro (Coriander) Lime Enchilada Sauce. This recipe includes directions for canning. Make a large quantity and keep it for a year!

Sumptuous Spoonfuls’ Fire Roasted Red Enchilada Sauce. This sauce has a rich depth of flavor, and I adore the deep crimson color. It is made by charcoal-roasting tomatoes, red peppers, and cocoa.

Enchilada Sauce in the Slow Cooker from Elliott Crafty Creations. Set it and forget it, then savor the enhanced flavor that comes with slow cooking.

My Best Ever Authentic Guacamole Recipe, which features a secret step that makes it so great, might also be of interest to you.

What makes my enchiladas soggy?

Everyone will adore this tasty midweek meal of homemade enchiladas. Enchiladas are one of the simplest Tex-Mex dishes to prepare and are excellent as comfort food since they are so versatile—you may use chicken, beef, or a traditional cheese—and so easy to create. While they can be simple to cook, even a small error can result in soggy, shattered enchiladas. Check out this list of frequent errors and how to correct them before you start rolling up your tortillas so that you can consistently make the best enchiladas.

Choosing the Wrong Tortillas

Tortillas can be made from either corn or flour. Although some recipes call for flour tortillas, enchiladas are traditionally made with corn tortillas since they are more reliable and traditional. In contrast to flour tortillas, which are more like a blank canvas, corn tortillas have a distinctive flavor that plays a crucial role in the enchilada experience. You won’t have shattered or oozing enchiladas since corn tortillas can hold their shape when rolled.

Not Frying the Tortillas

Each corn tortilla should be swiftly fried in any oil you choose for about 10 seconds on each side, or until it begins to get crispy but is still malleable, to minimize ripping or sogginess. In addition to adding a barrier to prevent the tortilla from absorbing too much sauce, this also boosts flavor slightly. To prevent the tortillas from becoming greasy, after you remove them from the oil, place them on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.

Using Canned Enchilada Sauce

In a pinch, canned enchilada sauce is convenient to use, but homemade enchilada sauce produces the greatest results. Three alternatives are available when creating homemade enchilada sauce: red, green, and brown. While green sauce is often created with green chiles, red sauce is typically made with tomato sauce and chili powder. Combining brown gravy and chili sauce, brown sauce is a Tex-Mex enchilada chili gravy.

Enchilada sauce is simple to create from scratch, but there are ways to improve the flavor of bottled sauce if you prefer. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 can red enchilada sauce, 1 cup chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stirring sporadically, bring to a boil, then simmer until sauce is thick. This approach doesn’t sacrifice flavor and can be quicker than producing a fresh sauce.

Not Dipping the Tortillas in Sauce

The tortilla should be completely covered in enchilada sauce after being fried and drained. By dipping the tortillas in the sauce, you can ensure even distribution and use less sauce in the baking dish, keeping the tortillas from getting soggy.

Overstuffing the Tortillas

The finest part of an enchilada is the filling, but you shouldn’t load them too full. Any filling, including chicken, beef, vegetables, and cheese, is OK, but if you add too much, the tortillas may rip and leak. Two or three tablespoons of filling should be used to fill your tortillas.

Adding Too Much Sauce

The most common reason for wet enchiladas is that individuals soak their enchiladas in sauce before baking them. Your tortillas won’t need much additional sauce since you’ve already covered them in it. In order to prevent sticking and completely cover the enchiladas, spread roughly one cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Place the tortillas, seam side down, in the dish after stuffing and rolling them. Add cheese and 2 to 3 cups of sauce on the top. Enjoy baking the enchiladas according to the recipe’s instructions!