Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Ditch the cans and make this homemade enchilada sauce instead! All it takes is 6 pantry ingredients and 10 minutes. Get the recipe now.

Even if you’re short on time, I promise this homemade enchilada sauce is worth the extra effort!

Growing up we had enchiladas a lot. With two picky kids, it wasn’t always easy finding recipes that the whole family would eat, but enchiladas were always a safe bet.

Jar of homemade enchilada sauce

While we’d alternate between shredded beef and chicken, we almost always used canned enchilada sauce.

And even in college when I was starting to really get into cooking things from scratch, I never through to make my own homemade sauce as I figured the ingredients would be too expensive on a college-budget and it’d take too much time.

I was very wrong about both.

While I’m sure there are phenomenal enchilada recipes out there that use freshly roasted chile peppers and other higher-end ingredients, this homemade enchilada sauce is for those of us who want a simple, yet homemade, meal in as little time and as cheaply as possible.

Spices for homemade enchilada sauce

What You’ll Need to Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce:

  • Canola or avocado oil
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • Tomato paste
  • Vegetable broth (can also use chicken for non-vegetarians

How to save leftover tomato paste

Speaking of tomato paste, I’ve been so sad that our local grocery store stopped selling the tube versions.

I rarely ever use a whole can of tomato paste in one go, so I loved being able to just squeeze out as much as I needed, knowing that the rest wouldn’t go bad before the next time I needed some.

However, I’m pretty happy with my solution.

While I know putting leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays is nothing new, I took it one step further and used these herb freezing trays from Pampered Chef.

The lid is perfect as it helps cut back on freezer burn and the disks easily pop out. I put 1 ounce of paste into each well so that I don’t have to worry about measuring it out when it’s time to cook.

Freezing tomato paste in ice cube tray

How to use homemade enchilada sauce

I use it at least once a month in either these healthier chicken enchiladas or my favorite veggie enchilada casserole.

It’d also be delicious for a breakfast spin on enchiladas, smothered over a veggie burrito, or used to add flavor to pulled pork or chicken.

What other creative ways do you use enchilada sauce? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Jar of simple homemade enchilada sauce

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Store bought enchilada sauce is usually high in sodium and filled with preservatives, colors, and thickeners. Ditch the cans and make your own enchilada sauce at home!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Homemade enchilada sauce
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Kelli


  • 2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour can use all-purpose instead
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth


  • Place oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chili powder, cumin, and flour. Cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add tomato paste and broth and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  • Sauce can be used immediately or made ahead of time. Store in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Simple homemade enchilada sauce Pinterest image

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Hi, I’m Kelli McGrane MS, RD! My mission is to show you that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. I believe getting to know your food is the first step to a healthy relationship with it. Follow along in my journey to learn all I can about ingredients and cooking with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

Please contact me at kelli@thehealthytoast.com to request a copy of my resume or media kit, or to inquire about rates and services.

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