Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Since it is the holidays, I decide to make enchiladas with green and red sauce. However, I only had a can of green sauce in the pantry. I figured I had to have the ingredients to whip up some red sauce so I took to the internet to do some research. 

With a can of tomato sauce in one hand and my phone in another, I was surprised to find out that one of the most authentic sauce recipes didn’t contain any tomato sauce at all. Instead, the base of the sauce is chicken stock with a bit of tomato paste. This sauce couldn’t have come together any easier. 


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and gluten-free flour blends all work!)
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder (scale back if you’re sensitive to spice or using particularly spicy chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional but recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Measure the flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and optional cinnamon into a small bowl and place it near the stove. along with your tomato paste and broth.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, warm the oil until it’s it’s hot enough that a light sprinkle of the flour/spice mixture sizzles on contact. This might take a couple of minutes, so be patient and don’t step away from the stove!
  3. Once it’s ready, pour in the flour and spice mixture. While whisking constantly, cook until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute. Whisk the tomato paste into the mixture, then slowly pour in the broth while whisking constantly to remove any lumps.
  4. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, whisking often, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit and a spoon encounters some resistance as you stir it. 
  5. Remove from heat, then whisk in the vinegar and season to taste with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Add more salt, if necessary. I actually added just a tad more tomato paste when I added the vinegar for a bit more of that tomato flavor. 

Casey Van Damme

I was born and raised in the Northwest and wouldn't give up my home in Seattle for anything. But, my love of Mexico and travel has instilled a taste for tequila and spicy food in me. I am always trying to make old favorites healthier and love sharing my adventures.

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