Enchilada Sauce Is Easy to Make Vegetarian or Not

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

Intro: Enchilada Sauce Is Easy to Make Vegetarian or Not

I have tried different brands of enchilada sauce and have never found a brand that I love. I think it is the amount of chili powder they use that I don't like. As the price of enchilada sauce has increased, I have been making my own. It is easy to make and the advantages of controlling the ingredients and making one that I love are a plus for me.

Enchilada sauce is generally made using chicken stock but because I am visiting my daughter who is a vegetarian, I have been making it using tomato sauce. I like it both ways. This instructable will show you how to make enchilada sauce. If you prefer using chicken stock; the method would be the same; all you do is substitute the chicken stock in the place of the tomato sauce. Let's make some sauce!

Step 1: Author's Notes

Tips and notes:

Over the years I have become a better cook because I make it a point to use fresh ingredients whenever possible. If I use a store bought brand of something like enchilada or spaghetti sauce I will crank it up a few notches by adding fresh cilantro, onions and peppers. I add the fresh blended ingredients at the tail end of the cooking time to give it that fresh flavor whenever possible. It lends to that home-made deliciousness.

New Mexican grown peppers are widely considered the best; Another advantage of making your own enchilada sauce. When I was not able to purchase locally grown peppers I would order them online because I use them a lot in my recipes.

When I have a recipe I like that uses several different kinds of spices and that I use often; I make the seasonings in large batches to save me prep time in the kitchen.

The first time I make the enchilada sauce; I measure according to the recipes instructions. I measure each spice and combine the spices in a bowl. Then I measure how many teaspoons or tablespoons it is so I can determine how much will be needed from the large batch when I make the sauce or recipe. I triple the recipe a few times until it fills the jar. I keep the recipe in my cookbook so I can make it again when I run out. This method is perfect when you can't find locally grown peppers in your area, some which are sold fresh, roasted or dried.

Step 2: Ingredients and Utensils

What you will need:

3-4 Tablespoons Chile powder (New Mexican grown is very good)
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Cayenne pepper if not using Serrano pepper
1 29 oz can Hunts Tomato Sauce or chicken broth (not shown in picture)
Juice from 1 lime

1-2 garlic cloves crushed
3-4 diced green onions
1/ 4 Cup diced cilantro
1 Tablespoon Masa flour or regular flour
2 tablespoon cooking oil; I used Olive oil

You will also need a blender, sauce pan, whisk, large spoon, and a jar or container with a lid to store overnight or several days until you make the enchiladas.

If you will be using fresh peppers, do not add cayenne pepper unless you like the sauce very spicy.

Step 3: Measure Dry Ingredients

Measure the Seasonings:

I did not do it this time but wished I had . . . . to avoid mistakes I usually measure the ingredients and place them in custard cups; this way I don't ruin the whole batch, Then I will pour them into a bowl and whisk to combine the ingredients.

3-4 Tablespoons Chile powder ( from New Mexico is the best)
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper if not using fresh Serrano peppers

Step 4: Mix

Combine the seasonings:

Combine the Chili powder, Kosher salt, Rosemary, Paprika, Onion powder, Cumin, and Garlic powder into a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. If you are not going to be using fresh Serrano peppers add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and set aside.

Step 5: Prepping the Vegetables

What you will need to do:

Wash the lime, cilantro, green onion, and peppers
Crush the garlic cloves
De-seed the peppers and dice
Dice onions
Dice cilantro
Juice the lime

Step 6: Starting the Sauce


Add 2 Tablespoons Olive oil to the sauce pan
Turn heat to medium
Add the crushed garlic
Sauté the garlic for about a minute and turn the heat to low; remove from heat if needed
Add the Masa flour to the oil and whisk the mixture removing any lumps
Slowly add the tomato sauce and the seasonings and whisk together smoothing the lumps (return to heat)
Cook the mixture stirring frequently, until the color changes to a rich dark red color, about fifteen minutes
Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding this in the next step.

Step 7: Blend Ingredients


Add the cooked tomato sauce mixture and the fresh vegetables to the blender and blend until smooth.

The sauce may be refrigerated for several days until use. I usually refrigerate the sauce overnight before I make enchiladas because it taste so much better the second day.

Step 8: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

I doubt that I will be able to home can my own this year but I will be canning my own enchilada sauce in the future using home grown organic tomatoes. I hope this instructable has inspired you to make some enchilada sauce.

This is an entry for the Mexican food contest if you think it is worthy of your vote. Thanks in advance.

I wish to thank Instructables, our sponsors, contributors, and all my visitors for making this a great place to share. Thanks for stopping by and do have a safe and Happy Spring!




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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago on Step 8

    I was reading though the steps and asking myself, can this be canned! Then the comment on canning. LOL! Will need to try this one for sure.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Step 8

    Thanks for taking a peek. Yup the sauce made with this can be canned. I have not tried it yet though. Have fun.



    4 years ago

    omg this is such a convenient recipe!! looks so much better than the store bought version:)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    It is. Thanks so much for commenting and have a healthy happy spring!


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek. This sauce is very good. I hope your day is beautiful!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Well documented and good idea sunshiine! Very clear pictures and instructions, thank you for sharing :-)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Hunter! I enjoyed making this one very much. Hope your enjoying your day.