Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors. Once you make it like this, you’ll never buy the store-bought stuff again. Ever since I discovered the beautiful world of dried chilies when I made homemade chili, I have wanted to try my hand at making enchilada sauce from scratch. During my sabbatical at the beginning of the year to create this new blog space,  I was able to try my hand at enchilada sauce using chilies.

The homemade enchilada sauce I made before called for chili powder. Usually, chili powder is a blend of ground chile pods and other spices like cumin, peppercorn, and salt. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my old sauce recipe, but my curiosity was going to get the best of me if I didn’t try it just once with real chilies.

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

How to Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce

The Chili Puree:

When handling chilies put on a pair of disposable gloves.

You can skip this step if you like heat. If not, open up the chili lengthwise with kitchen scissors, then remove the stems, seeds and any light-colored veins inside the chilies. This step will remove most of the heat from the fruit. If you like spicy food, set aside some of the seeds to add a little extra heat. You can add a lot or just a little of the seeds to make things hotter.

Toast the chilies in a dry pan or skillet for 30 to 40 seconds on each side.

chilies in a pan

Place the chilies into a bowl or jar with a lid; soak the chilies in very hot water for about 30 minutes.

pouring hot water for chilies

If you are using a bowl and the chilies float too much use a clean heavy object to hold them down into the hot water. This will ensure that both sides of the chili become pliable.

I found that using my KitchenAid Immersion Blender beaker to be the perfect tool for the job.

soaking the chilies

Remove the chilies from the soaking water. Ensure that stems are removed and add the chilies plus some of the soaking water to a blender and puree. Make a half cup of chili sauce by adding a little of the soaking water at a time.

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

Pour the puree into a sieve. Using the back of a spoon stir and push the liquid through to strain the puree. This will catch any large bits of skin or seeds that did not grind up. 

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.
This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

You should now have ½ cup of chili puree to make your enchilada sauce.

The Enchilada Sauce:

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute.

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

 Add chili puree and cook for 30 seconds.

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine.

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.
This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings as needed.

Method Substitution: If you are in a time crunch use ¼ cup of the chili powder in place of the chili puree. This is a delicious time-saving alternative.

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it's so good, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

Using the chiles instead of the chili powder provided a much richer sauce. Totally worth the effort! Stay tuned to find out about the two recipes I used this sauce for… 

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This homemade enchilada sauce made of dried New Mexico chilies has bold, beautiful flavors and it’s so good, you’ll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.
Course Condiment, Ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Chilies, Enchilada Sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 84kcal

Ingredients

Chili Puree (SEE RECIPE NOTES)

  • 4 New Mexico chilies
  • hot water to heat and cover chilies

Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chili puree (recipe to follow) (SEE RECIPE NOTES)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (you could use chicken stock if preferred)
  • 10 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

The Chili Puree

  • When handling chilies put on a pair of rubber gloves.
  • You can skip this step if you like heat. If not, open up the chili lengthwise with kitchen scissors, then remove the stems, seeds and any light-colored veins inside the chilies. This step will remove most of the heat from the fruit. If you like spicy food, set aside some of the seeds to add a little extra heat. You can add a lot or just a little of the seeds to make things hotter.
  • Toast the chilies in a dry pan or skillet for 30 to 40 seconds on each side.
  • Place the chilies into a bowl and soak the chilies in very hot water for about 30 minutes.
  • If the chilies float too much use a clean heavy object to hold them down into the hot water. This will ensure that both sides of the chili become pliable.
  • Remove the chilies from the soaking water. Ensure that stems are removed and add the chilies plus some of the soaking water to a blender and puree. Make a half cup of chili sauce by adding a little of the soaking water at a time.
  • Pour the puree into a sieve. Using the back of a spoon stir and push the liquid through to strain the puree. This will catch any large bits of skin or seeds that did not grind up. You should now have ½ cup of chili puree to make your enchilada sauce.

The Enchilada Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chili puree and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings as needed.

Notes

Method Substitution: If you are in a time crunch use ¼ cup of the chili powder in place of the chili puree. This is a delicious time-saving alternative.
Yield: 2 ½ cups of enchilada sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 7.8mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1.4mg
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The Mountain Kitchen

Hi, my name is Debbie, Author and Photographer at The Mountain Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious homemade recipes using clean food ingredients, and stories about mountain life.
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