Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

An easy and gluten free homemade Red Enchilada Sauce ready in just 20 minutes! Let's ditch the delivery and eat Mexican at home!

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Today, I'm sharing with you an easy 15 minutes homemade Red Enchilada Sauce! 

Do you ever wonder what Mexican restaurants add to their silky red Enchilada sauce which makes it so delicious and deep red yet not overly spicy? I have decided to unveil those secret for you today. 

In simple words, if you good quality paprika, corn starch and tomato sauce at home?! You can make a homemade batch of Enchilada sauce in just 15 minutes! Top it over Enchiladas, nachos or serve on side with burrito. This sauce may be called Enchilada sauce but is far more useful than just coating rolled tortillas. This is why, another name for this sauce is - Mexican red sauce. Or I can call it make-everything-delicious-sauce! :)

OMG! You Guys! It is finally election week! This year's election campaign was such roller coaster…. I was on edge of my seat watching CNN every-day. For record, last two months, I have visited CNN website more than my own blog. Lol! Good part is : turmoil will finally be over on Tuesday and every one will be back to regular business. (hopefully)

I honestly believe, in free countries, everyone should use their right to vote. If you are eligible to vote. Please do use your right and vote for your favorite candidate.

homemade red enchilada sauce | chefdehome.com

Now, don't let me even get started on our Presidential candidates this year and let's get back to our Enchilada sauce!

huhh! Election stuff is stressful! Food is so better…. knows no boundaries. That's why you will see an Indian girl sharing Mexican, best-ever,  red enchilada sauce recipe! :)

Red Enchilada sauce is one of the popular sauce in the Mexican cuisine and often referred as red sauce instead of red enchilada sauce. Since it is often slathered over rolled filled tortillas, I mean,  enchiladas. So it is mostly known as red enchilada sauce.

Honestly, recipe for sauce is so simple… I want to just direct you to Recipe Card and say 'Happy Cooking'. You are most welcome to jump to the recipe and enjoy homemade Enchiladas for dinner tonight! Or stay with me and let's talk about how to make Enchilada sauce even when you don't have or like corn starch or chicken stock or tomato sauce.

Before I go on, I must say such simple recipes require using good quality ingredients . So for good flavor please use quality ingredients.

Tomato Sauce:

Enchilada sauce ingredients are very easy to find. I like to use prepared tomato sauce as base because it adds a lot of flavor without much effort. If you can't find tomato sauce, you can use tomato puree. In this case I recommend cooking sauce a little longer with little more chicken stock to develop flavor. More stock because it will dilute the sauce and help it cook longer without changing the consistency of final sauce.

Chicken stock:

To make Enchilada sauce vegan/vegetarian, I replace chicken stock with vegetarian stock. This is only one ingredient which is not vegetarian and can be easily replaced.

Corn Starch:

Corn starch gives thickness and that silky texture to this sauce without adding any flavor or colors. To keep sauce lumps free. I mix corn starch with 2 tbsp water and then add to sauce. A good whisk ensures sauce lump free, silky and shining. Corn starch is also gluten free. Now, If you don't like corn starch you can use cooked AP flour (has gluten)

When using all-purpose flour, I cook 1.5 tbsp flour in 1.5 tbsp oil whisk continuously until raw texture of flour goes away but flour is still pale yellow and has not started to brown. Darker slurry can change the color of enchilada sauce. So, please watch while cooking flour and oil. You can also use butter (has dairy) instead of oil for cooking flour.

Paprika is yet another important ingredient to get beautiful red color of enchilada sauce. I used organic paprika for this recipe which was not very hot. If paprika you using is on hotter side, add half of what mentioned in the recipe. You can add more later - half way through cooking taste and add more if you like.

Storing Homemade Enchilada Sauce:

I always make a double batch of sauce and use about 1 cup or little more for a family-size Enchilada Casserole. Remaining, I transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. If sauce seems thicker when using… just reheat with few tbsps of chicken/vegetarian stock.

That's it! You guys! Blushing Red Enchilada Sauce is ready to rock your taco Tuesdays! I recommend making a homey enchilada casserole with coat of this sauce and serve a comforting fall dinner!

You know what?! I'm so tempted looking at these pictures! I might make Red Sauce Enchilada for dinner tonight!

Have a wonderful start of weekend!

homemade red enchilada sauce | chefdehome.com

PS: Are you planning to sit on edge of your seat watching election results tomorrow? Then, I recommend making some dinner ahead. Ready a batch of red enchilada sauce, roll tortillas with some sauce, meat/veggies, wrap in plastic. On Tuesday, add more sauce and general sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and homemade dinner will be ready!

Happy Cooking! -Savita

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Mexican () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 1.5 Cup - Serves: 4
(No. of servings depends on serving size.)


Smart Swap: Replace chicken stock with veggie stock to make sauce vegetarian.


  • Step for Recipe - Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce 1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl except corn starch and chicken stock
  • Step for Recipe - Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce 2. Heat a sauce pan, add all mixed ingredients from the bowl and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and corn starch. Whisk quickly so that starch does not form lumps. Increase heat to medium high, bring mixture to boil then cook until sauce thickens and have lush red color of paprika surfacing on top.
  • Step for Recipe - Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce 3. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly. Refrigerate in air-tight container.
Savita's Notes:

Sauce stays good in air-tight container for up-to 1 week.

This sauce is not overly spicy. If you like spicy, mix in more chili power per taste.


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1 Response

  1. I have never eaten enchiladas but have been meaning to make some for so long. Nice to have found the right sauce. :)