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Top view of a pot of red enchilada sauce garnished with cilantro leaves in centre

Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Shweta Arora
This homemade red enchilada sauce is easy, delicious, and full of authentic Mexican flavor! It takes less than 30 minutes and is perfect to use with all of your favorite Mexican recipes. Better than store-bought sauce, freezer-friendly, vegan, and easy to make gluten-free.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Condiment, Sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 cups
Calories 85 kcal


  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce approximately 2 cups
  • 1-2 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable, or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 cups water or vegetable broth


  • In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, add oil and once hot add the flour and keep mixing until light golden in color. This might take a couple of minutes, so be patient and don’t step away from the stove.
  • Add the tomato sauce, spices, followed by 2 cups of water or veg/chicken broth, and mix well. Use a whisk to mix if that's easier.
  • Bring it to a boil and simmer for 10-15 mins or until the sauce thickens to your liking. Stir intermittently to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan.
  • If you feel the sauce is too thick add one more cup of water and simmer for another 5-10 mins.
  • Mexican Red Enchilada Sauce is ready. Use it to make your Enchilada or any other favorite Mexican Dish. Alternately cool completely and refrigerate for later use.


Measure out all the ingredients and seasonings before you start making the red enchilada sauce as the recipe comes together really quickly.
You can make this enchilada sauce using fresh tomatoes too although the color and taste may differ slightly but still taste great.
Alternately use tomato paste (2-3 tablespoons) instead of tomato sauce. 
Adjust spices to your preference. If you like your sauce extra spicy use a combination of cayenne and chili powder. 
You can add a pinch of sugar to balance the tartness from tomatoes and impart slight sweet flavor. Start with ½ teaspoon and adjust to taste. I have skipped it. 
You can thicken the sauce to your desired consistency. But simmer it well so the flavors marry. 
To store this sauce let it cool completely and transfer it to a air tight jar or container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to 3 months.


Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
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