Quickie Enchilada Sauce

I'm so thankful for all the Latin influences in our local cuisine - bright and fresh and flavorful. Often, when I'm craving food that tastes like home, I want something with a chile kick. Enchilada sauce is a great way to give a whole host of foods a little chile flair. When I have time, I prefer to make enchilada sauce with whole dried chiles, but I've found this corner-cutting version to be nearly as tasty, without all the work of toasting and soaking chiles.

I almost always have some of this enchilada sauce in the fridge, just because it makes such a great condiment. It's perfection braised with a roast in the crock pot. Try adding a spoonful to soups or omelets, or use it as a sandwich spread. Toss shrimp in it, or ladle it over stuffed onions or chiles. One of my favorite ways to eat enchilada sauce is to warm some in a pan, then fry an egg in it. Or for a more decadent breakfast, heat the sauce, throw in some shredded corn tortillas (or chips, if you must), and then cook an egg in it. Mmmm.

Quickie Enchilada Sauce

one medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. ancho chile powder*
1 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1 quart** diced tomatoes in their juice
1 tsp. palm sugar
1 Tbsp. lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, garlic, and chile powders in lard until veg are tender and the chile powders are fragrant. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer over medium heat for five minutes. Puree in blender, adjust seasonings.

To make this recipe less spicy, reduce the amount of chipotle powder used.

*If you are gluten-sensitive, be sure to call the manufacturer to make certain your chile powders are gluten-free.

**In order to minimize BPA risk, try to choose tomatoes which are home-canned or sold in a glass jar, rather than cans.

Because this is a really fast and inexpensive sauce to make at home, I'm sharing this recipe with Alea's Real Food Deals. Everyone loves a bargain, right? So please follow the link and save some money on real and wholesome food!


  1. Just in time! I love enchiladas as a way to use up left over chicken and beef. I usually use cumin in mine so this will be different. Thanks!

  2. K - This recipe is just a basic template. I think it'd be yummy with cumin. If you've got wee ones, I'd skip the chipotle powder altogether. But if you can find it, the ancho powder has a great chile flavor without being spicy.

    Believe it or not, I never make enchiladas with my enchilada sauce!

  3. This sounds great! I'm thinking that turkey enchiladas sound pretty good right now! Good point on the tomatoes - I dice and freeze tomatoes from my garden in 2 cup portions so I don't usually use comercially canned tomatoes.

  4. Do you peel your tomatoes before freezing, Alea? I usually can mine.

  5. Butter - yea - I haven't made enchiladas in like forever because I didn't want to use the sauce in a can - thanks!!

  6. Cans are scary, aren't they? I've heard that the industry has been quick to respond to consumer's fears about BPA. But I wonder what they'll be lining the cans with next? Let me know if you make the sauce.


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