Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I found a recipe, from one of my favorite vegan authors, Dreena Burton, for Avocado & Pinto Bean Enchiladas and thought, “That sounds damn good.” Dreena’s recipes generally center on whole-food ingredients (she doesn’t use much tofu or seitan and rarely uses fake vegan products, save for Daiya cheese), so I it surprised me to find “1 jar prepared enchilada sauce” in her recipe list.

This is not my enchilada. It belongs little blue hen on Flickr

I took a look at what the offerings in my local store, saw that prepared enchilada sauces are (not shockingly) full of sodium and preservatives, but that they didn’t seem hard to replicate. I took a look at a few recipes online, and was really inspired by this one, from This Week for Dinner.

It was delicious and so easy to prepare. Enjoy!
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Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (mild or hot Mexican–I used 1 T. of each)
  • 8-oz strained tomatoes
  • 1¼ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • cayenne pepper, if desired, to taste
  1. Heat 2T of oil in a medium saucepan on med heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.
  3. Add flour, chili powder, cayenne (if using) and remaining oil, stirring constantly. Cook for a few more minutes to blend flavors.
  4. Add tomatoes, cumin, and salt. While stirring, add water a little at a time, making sure to stir and blend to desired consistency. If the sauce seems too runny, stop adding water. If it seems too thick, add more.
  5. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Season with additional salt if necessary.

What’s your favorite filling for enchiladas?

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2 Responses to Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  1. Billie June 7, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Thanks for posting this! My mother in law and I were wondering how to make our own enchilada sauce!! YAY!

    • HealthfulMama June 8, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Glad I could help!

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