Chunky Enchilada Sauce

This chunky enchilada sauce recipe is so easy and delicious that you won’t buy it from the store anymore. It’s thick, robust in taste and will become a staple in your house.

Near overhead view of the sauce in the jar, cheese, tortillas and vegetables

When I worked at the Mexican restaurant, I found the sauces they used on enchiladas, burritos and chile rellenos way too watery or soupy.

I started to dabble in making my own sauce while I still worked there, but didn’t really perfect it until I stopped being a waitress and bartender.

One of my most popular sauce recipes is my sour cream version, which I use for so many dishes. This recipe is my second most popular sauce.

The thing I love about this sauce – other than its chunkiness – is that you can add water or chicken broth to loosen it up if that is your thing. I enjoy biting into chunks of tomatoes and Christopher has been known to put this sauce in the rice and beans he regularly eats for lunch.

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Helpful tips

  • If you are gluten free, you can omit the oil and flour (roux) but know that your consistency won’t be as thick as mine.
  • You are going to whisk the oil and flour for at least a minute but two is better. You do this to lessen the floury taste, while forming a paste.
  • Add as much or as little chili powder as you want, depending on how much spiciness you can take.
  • If you don’t have garlic paste, substitute 2 – 3 cloves of chopped garlic instead.
  • You can find garlic paste in the produce section of the grocery store, near the fresh herbs.

How to make chunky enchilada sauce

Pre-step

Get a medium saucepan, whisk and rubber spatula.

Step one

Measure out 3 tablespoons of white all purpose flour and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Flour, olive oil, spices and herbs in small white plates

Step two

Add the oil to the saucepan and heat it on medium. Add the flour and whisk together for 2 minutes. (A)

Step three

Open a can of diced tomatoes and add it to the roux. (B) Stir the tomatoes and roux together.

Left - a pan with oil and flour whisked and bubbly. Right - pan with diced tomatoes added to the roux

Step four

Gather oregano, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic paste and can of green chiles. (C)

Step five

Add the herb, spices and garlic paste to the tomatoes (D) and stir.

Left - small white plate with spices and herbs, with cans of tomatoes and green chiles. Right - spices, herbs and garlic powder in with the tomato and roux

Step six

Drain the chili peppers, add them to the mixture (E), and stir.

Step seven

Bring the mixture to a slight boil, which takes about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. (F)

Left - green chiles added to the mixed roux, spices and tomatoes. Right - the chiles stirred in and heated

Once the sauce is done, I transfer it to a jar to let it cool unless I’m going to use it right away in a recipe, like enchiladas. In that case, I’ll jar it up after I’ve used what I need.

A jar of the red enchilada sauce and vegetables in a pan and tortillas and cheese in the background

I also enjoy this sauce on pork enchiladas, but I change that up with my sour cream sauce.

Vertical view of a large jar filled with the red sauce. There is a pan of vegetables, tortillas and cheese in the background

And the overhead shot.

Overhead view of a jar of sauce, cheese and vegetables in a pan

I hope you enjoyed this chunky enchilada sauce recipe.

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Jar filled with the enchilada sauce with tortillas, cheese and veggies in the background

Red Chunky Enchilada Sauce

This delicious red chunky enchilada recipe is so easy to make! You will never buy canned enchilada sauce again!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chunky enchilada sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 177kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 ounce green chiles

Instructions

  • Heat heavy saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add oil and heat for 1 minute.
  • Add flour, whisk for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add can of diced tomatoes and stir.
  • Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and crushed garlic. Stir together.
  • Bring to boil and then add green chiles and stir.
  • Lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Top on enchiladas
  • Serve
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
  • If you are gluten free, you can omit the oil and flour (roux) but know that it won’t be as thick as mine.
  • You are going to whisk those oil and flour for at least a minute but two is better. You do this to lessen the floury taste, while forming a paste. It’s okay if it’s not a thick paste as it is used to thicken up the sauce.
  • Hubby can’t take as much spice as I can, so if you like spicy, add as much chili powder as you like.
  • And if you don’t like spicy, just omit the chili powder.
  • You don’t have to use garlic paste if you can’t get it at the store, substitute it with 2 – 3 cloves of chopped garlic.
  • You can find garlic paste in the produce section of the grocery store, near the fresh herbs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1028mg | Potassium: 499mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1442IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg
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20 Comments

    1. Hi Colleen!

      Thanks! My hubby doesn’t like a lot of spice too but lately he’s been handling more and more. You can put in as much or as little chili powder as you want, that’s the beauty of it!

      Elaine

  1. Okay, I made this sauce but I used more chili powder since my husband loves spice! It was perfect! We’ve actually put it on pasta! 🙂

  2. I always like a thicker enchilada sauce so this recipe is perfect for me. Can’t wait to try this on our next mexican night!

  3. The enchilada sauce was so flavorful and aromatic! Adding this to almost anything gives a nice Mexican flavor! I need to make this again and again!