This homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe is far superior to the stuff you buy in a can. Made with just a few ingredients, it’s a pepper sauce not tomato based. Like some of the recipes which aren’t authentic.
This recipe only contains six ingredients. It really couldn’t be easier.
Do you use canned enchilada sauce? If you do, you need to try this recipe! It is really easy and the taste is unbelievable! Of course, the other added bonus is that you control ingredients in your meals!! No artificial anything!
What you need
- dried peppers – Ancho, Pasilla and Guajillo chili peppers are the best. You can substitute others but be aware that the hotter the pepper you pick, the hotter the sauce. The japones pictured are hotter and make a hotter sauce.
- garlic – peeled
- onion – cut into wedges
- tomatoes – you need both fresh tomatoes and crushed tomatoes.
- oregano – if you have Mexican oregano, use that.
How to make it
- Buy a mixture of peppers, I use what I can find. Today I found Chile Arbol and Guajillo. I also use serrano and ancho when I can find them. To prepare the enchilada sauce, all you need to do is char the peppers in a dry cast iron pan..
- Let peppers cool and char the vegetables in same pan, or on the grill. Once peppers cool, remove seeds. Turn and brown vegetables on all sides.
- Add onions, tomatoes and peppers to a pan.
- Add crushed tomatoes and herbs.
- Cook for about 30 minutes.
- Make sure the vegetables are soft and the peppers are reconstituted.
- Transfer to blender container. Break up into batches if you multiply this recipe. Process in your blender until smooth.
- I clean the pan that I browned the peppers and vegetables in between. Then add a few teaspoons of olive oil to the pan
- Then, strain the sauce through a fine sieve.
- Discard the solids.
- Cook it down for another 30-minutes, or so, until it gets nice and thick. That’s all there is to it!
*** See recipe notes for important substitutions!!
How to Store leftovers
You can place the enchilada sauce in a sterilized jar and store it in the refrigerator for a couple weeks. It also freezes beautifully! Freeze it in a canning jar (leave at least 1″ headspace), or place it in plastic bags. Freeze sauce at least 1 year.
When you want to use frozen sauce, thaw completely in the refrigerator and then reheat.
You can also add a few tablespoons of water to a saucepan. Cover pan with lid and slowly thaw sauce, over medium low heat. If sauce needs to thicken a bit, because of the added water, remove lid and cook on medium low, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency.
How pressure can sauce
This Enchilada sauce can also be pressure canned.
Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1″ headspace (space between the sauce and the rim of the jar). Wipe rim of jars clean with damp towel. Center lids on jars. Tighten band fingertip tight.
Place jars in pressure canner on rack with 2″ of water in the bottom. Place lid on canner and lock. Allow steam to vent for 10 minutes. Place the dial or weighted gauge on pot. Allow pot to come up to 10 psi (pounds per square inch) for weighted gauge and 11 psi for dial gauge, over medium high heat.
Process pint jars for 50 minutes. Turn off heat. Allow pressure to vent naturally. Leave for 5 minutes. Then remove lid. Let jars sit in pot for another 10 minutes to cool.
Carefully remove from canner and place on counter. Do not disturb for 12-24 hours. Then check seal. Lid should not flex up or down. If any do then jar is not sealed and should be stored in the refrigerator for about a week or frozen for longer storage.
For step by instructions, via video, head over to my YouTube video! There is also a video for assembling and cooking the enchiladas.
How to use it
Use this enchilada for any type of enchiladas you like, such as chicken, beef, pork, cheese, bean. You can also use it for taco dips, make an enchilada pasta dish, an enchilada or tamale casserole, and lots of other recipes.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more instructional videos! Recipe for pork enchiladas is here.
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If you have any questions or comments, please ask in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe
- 3 dried ancho clillies *see notes
- 3 dried guajillo or pasilla chillies
- 2 fresh tomatoes *see notes
- 1 c crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
- Toast peppers in a dry cast iron pan on both sides, remove and let cool.3 dried ancho clillies, 3 dried guajillo or pasilla chillies
- Quarter onion. Peel garlic. Halve tomatoes. Toast the onions, garlic and tomatoes in the same pan.2 fresh tomatoes, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves garlic
- Remove to a medium saucepan.
- Once peppers are cool enough to handle. Remove seeds and stem end and place in the saucepan with the onions and tomatoes.
- Add crushed tomatoes , marjoram and oregano. Almost cover the vegetables with water and bring to boil.1 c crushed tomatoes, 1/2 tsp dried marjoram, 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so until the peppers have reconstituted.
- Place the contents in a blender and cover the blender with a kitchen towel, in case it splatters so you won’t get burned. Blend on high at least a minute.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the solids. Discard the solids. The sauce will look thin at this stage.
- Add a few teaspoons of oil to a frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the strained sauce and fry for a few minutes.
- Reduce heat and simmer at least 30 minutes until sauce has thickened and coats the back of spoon.
- Let the sauce sit at least 2 hours for the flavors to mingle.
How to Pressure Can Sauce
- Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1″ headspace (space between the sauce and the rim of the jar). Wipe rim of jars clean with damp towel. Center lids on jars. Tighten band fingertip tight.
- Place jars in pressure canner on rack with 2″ of water in the bottom. Place lid on canner and lock. Allow steam to vent for 10 minutes.
- Place the dial or weighted gauge on pot. Allow pot to come up to 10 psi (pounds per square inch) for weighted gauge and 11 psi for dial gauge, over medium high heat. See altitude adjustment in recipe notes below.
- Process pint jars for 50 minutes. Turn off heat. Allow pressure to vent naturally. Leave for 5 minutes. Then remove lid. Let jars sit in pot for another 10 minutes to cool.
- Carefully remove from canner and place on counter. Do not disturb for 12-24 hours. Then check seal. Lid should not flex up or down. If any do then jar is not sealed and should be stored in the refrigerator for about a week or frozen for longer storage.
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This recipe is absolutely horrible. I’m sorry and don’t mean to be cruel, but this was a disaster. No salt?!!! And straining the sauce made it liquid. So so bad.
If you’d like to add salt, you certainly can. I assume you didn’t taste it though, since you said it was liquid. If you look at the process photos from the article, you can see that after straining, the sauce is very thin. That is why you cook it down for another 30 minutes to thicken it up. This is an authentic Mexican recipe from my godmother and a favorite of everyone who tries it. I’m sorry that you had problems with it.
can this recipe be canned with. HW bath?
No. It really needs to be pressure canned to ensure safety.
Hello this looks great. Can you clarify is it one cup crushed tomatoes or 1 can. Thanks
You need 2 fresh tomatoes and one cup of crushed tomatoes.
Any chance this canning recipe has been tested by a university or something for long term shelf life? I really like to use tested recipes when canning. I’m also curious how this compares in taste to something store bought which is what I am used to.
It is similar to Ball/ Kerr canning recipe. It is pressure canned as well. We find that it is hands down superior to any store bought enchilada sauce that we have found. Thanks for your question Jenelle.