Somewhat Simple

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

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Making homemade red enchilada sauce is so quick and easy, and it is the perfect way to punch up the flavor in your favorite Mexican recipes!

No matter what Mexican dish you plan on making, a side of Mexican Rice, Homemade Salsa and chips and a tall glass of Horchata should also be on the menu.

a jar of homemade red enchilada sauce

Authentic Red Enchilada Sauce

As much as I hate how cliche it is to say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I did, in fact, win my husband over by cooking with, and for him! On our first date, we baked snickerdoodles (my favorite cookie) together, and sparks flew over the flour and sugar and butter. At some point during the first month that we were dating, I made homemade enchiladas for him, and that pretty much sealed the deal. 🙂

I grew up eating some form of Mexican food at least once a week for dinner, so enchiladas were standard fare for me, but they were totally new and mind-blowing to him! Having grown up in a family that didn’t eat Mexican food often, they quickly became one of his favorite foods, and I still make them for him several times a month. Our kids love them just as much as we do, and I love that they are so easy to make!

Since enchiladas are so simple to make, the sauce has to be fantastic, and this red enchilada sauce is the best! It has the perfect hint of spice, without being overwhelmingly spicy for my picky children. It’s super flavorful, and makes the absolute best enchiladas. Since it only takes a few minutes to make, it’s also perfect for a busy night! However, if you prefer a Green Enchilada Sauce, this is a great recipe too.

a pan of baked red enchiladas

How to Make Red Enchilada Sauce

Warm It Up – This easy red enchilada sauce could not be any simpler to make! You’ll start by warming up the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Spices – Next, sauté your onions and garlic until they’re soft and have become fragrant. Then, add in the spices and then cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Make It Red – Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it has thickened a little.

Puree – Using an immersion blender, puree the red sauce until it is nice and smooth.

Recipe Tip & Storage

Blending – If you don’t have picky children like mine, you can totally leave the sauce as-is instead of pureeing it, but my kids freak at the first sight of an onion. It’s delicious either way!

Storing – You’ll want to store this red enchilada sauce in the fridge if you don’t plan on using it right away. The sauce will thicken as it cools

Recipes For This Enchilada Sauce

Red Homemade Enchilada Sauce
5 from 9 votes

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Making homemade enchilada sauce is so quick and easy, and it is the perfect way to punch up the flavor in your favorite Mexican recipes!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword enchilada
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 16 oz
Calories 15 kcal


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and sriracha, and cook 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, and bring to a simmer. Simmer five minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  3. Puree using an immersion blender or a blender (with the center piece of the lid removed to allow steam to escape). Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 15 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 297mg13%
Potassium 105mg3%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 263IU5%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

jars of freshly made red enchilada sauce

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