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Authentic Enchilada Sauce Recipe

This authentic enchilada sauce is the real deal.

It’s not at all like what you’ll find in Restaurants.

Made from dried chilies, onion, garlic and chocolate it is a very simple yet flavorful sauce.

This sauce comes together in under 30 minutes.

Give it a try for a truly authentic Mexican experience.

Use it on these easy queso fresco enchiladas.

dried chilies, onion, garlic and chocolate on a white plate

Truly authentic enchilada sauce does not have tomatoes in it.

If you want a sauce with tomatoes then you should try entomatadas.

Real deal enchilada sauce is very simplistic and only requires a handful of ingredients and each cook has their own way of making it.

I first learned how to make enchilada sauce from a friend many years ago.

She made hers super spicy using only arbol peppers.

Ever since then I’ve been experimenting with making my own sauces.

The one I’m sharing with you today is my go-to.

If you can’t find dried chile peppers at your local grocery store try going to a latin american market.

If you live in a big city you shouldn’t have a problem finding them.

Here is the brand I usually purchase

bag of chile guajillo

It is very important to make sure the dried chiles aren’t hard and brittle.

They should be soft and you should be able to bend them without them breaking.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try these:

How to Make Authentic Enchilada Sauce

The first thing you want to do is clean your peppers.

I do this with a damp paper towel.

After cleaning them take the stem off and remove the seeds.

Put the chilies in a pot with four cups of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Let boil for about ten minutes.

Then transfer the chilies to a blender with 2 1/2 cups of the water that was used to boil them.

Also add the piece of onion and garlic cloves.

Then blend for a few minutes.

While the sauce is blending add about two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pot and heat over medium heat.

Once the oil is hot strain the sauce into the pot and stir.

straining enchilada sauce

Add the chocolate to the sauce and reduce heat to low.

Let simmer for about 10-15 min.

Then stir the sauce and season with salt to taste.

I know that adding chocolate to enchilada sauce sounds so odd but it really compliments the sauce.

It doesn’t overpower the sauce at all.

It just adds to it and gives it a more complex flavor.

You could leave it out but I don’t recommend it.

The enchilada sauce is now done.

It is so good.

It’s really hard to keep myself from dipping my fingers in it and eating it all.

Now if all you’re used to is the enchilada sauce you get at restaurants or from a can then this is going to be a whole new experience for you.

homemade red enchilada sauce

I highly recommend you experiment with different dried chilies when making enchilada sauce.

Not only is it a lot of fun but you will become more familiar with the flavors of each different type of chile.

I suggest experimenting with guajillo, ancho and arbol peppers.

But be careful with the arbol variety those are extremely spicy.

The sauce will stay good in the fridge for a few days but we usually finish it sooner.

Tips

  • Make sure the chilies aren’t hard and brittle.
  • Always wash your hands after working with dried chilies. You can wear gloves if you wish.
  • Do experiment with different chiles so you can find out what your favorite combination is for your perfect enchilada sauce. (We all have different tastes!)

Authentic Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This red enchilada sauce is the real deal.

It is a truly authentic Mexican recipe that will impress friends and family.

It taste great with all types of enchiladas!

red enchilada sauce in a clear bowl

Don’t forget to join the Latin American Foodies Facebook group where you can share photos and recipes of the delicious food you make at home!

red enchilada sauce in a clear bowl
3.95 from 102 votes
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Authentic Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Learn how to make this authentic red enchilada sauce. It’s super delicious and so easy to make!

Course Main Course, Mexican
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword enchilada sauce, red enchilada sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 50 kcal
Author Carissa

Ingredients

  • 8 dried guajillo chilies cleaned with stems and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 piece onion white
  • 1/4 Abuelita chocolate tablet
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Bring chiles and about 4 cups of water to a boil over medium high heat and let boil for about 10 minutes or until softened.
  2. Transfer the chiles, 2 1/2 cups of the chile water, the garlic, and onion to a blender and blend for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pot over medium heat.

  4. When oil is hot strain the sauce into the pot and stir.

  5. Add the chocolate to the pot and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 10-15 min.

  6. Stir the sauce and season with salt to taste.

  7. Remove from heat. Once cool store any leftovers in a container in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure the chilies aren’t hard and brittle.
  • Always wash your hands after working with dried chilies. You can wear gloves if you wish.
  • Do experiment with different chiles so you can find out what your favorite combination is for your perfect enchilada sauce. (We all have different tastes!)
Nutrition Facts
Authentic Enchilada Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 50 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 19mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Vitamin A 175IU4%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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Enmoladas (Chicken Mole Enchiladas) - Thrift and Spice

Friday 3rd of September 2021

[…] Enchilada sauce is much simpler […]

Costillas de Puerco (Mexican Pork Ribs) - Thrift and Spice

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

[…] Guajillo is also used very frequently in my kitchen. I use them in my pork tamales, chilaquiles and of course in my authentic enchilada sauce. […]

Beverly

Sunday 18th of July 2021

Wondering if the recipe (made in larger quantity) can be canned by hot pack? If not, how long do you feel it would last in the freezer? I don’t know all the science around canning, and I don’t want to do that and have it go bad. Carissa, hoping you can help with answering the question. Thanks!

Carissa

Tuesday 20th of July 2021

Hi Beverly, I'm not familiar with canning at all so I'm not sure about that. I've never frozen this sauce before but if you decide to do so I think it should last at least a couple of months.

Teresa

Friday 9th of July 2021

THANK you for this "real" enchilada sauce. Yes, it takes more work than making sauce with tomato paste or tomato sauce, but I appreciate seeing an authentic (down to the Abuelita square) sauce. There are so many simplified versions on Pinterest for regional cooking that make substitutions - I guess it's a good alternative for folks who live in places where they cannot get authentic ingredients - fortunately I can! I will be trying this out.

Carissa

Tuesday 13th of July 2021

You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Amalia

Thursday 17th of June 2021

Thank you , the salsa taste amazing!! I filled with chicken and top them with cream and cheese!! Oooo delicious

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