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Katie's Cucina

Spicy Enchilada Sauce

Spicy Enchilada Sauce - easy to make at home and only takes 15 minutes!  via

Last month, I had this brilliant idea for a recipe, but the only problem was that I needed enchilada sauce. I was out of the jarred variety and well I didn’t feel like going to the store. That is when I had an ah-ha moment, “wait I can make my own“. My husband looked at me in disbelief… you can make enchilada sauce? Of course, I proceeded to reply in a smart-alic tone… I mean come on. You can make everything yourself (or just about everything). So that’s when I proceeded to spend the following 10 minutes looking at recipes; comparing ingredients and preparation methods.

I did an inventory of all the ingredients on hand. Confirmed that I had everything and got to work. I think I amazed my husband with this one. In less than 20 minutes, our home smelled of Spicy Enchilada Sauce! Truly aromatic, in my opinion. I gave my husband a taste of the sauce and not only was he sold but high impressed. I’m not sure if I will ever use store bought enchilada sauce again. After learning how easy it is to make and then of course tasting the rich deep flavors. Nothing beats the homemade version. I used 1 jar for my Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers (recipe to come), and then saved the rest for ground beef and black bean enchiladas (also to come). I sealed the other two jars up and refrigerated them until the next day when I proceeded to cook more!

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Spicy Enchilada Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 3 cups

Spicy Enchilada Sauce


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat vegetable oil to medium heat then add flour, Stir with a wooden spoon, and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add chili powder, stir well, and cook for 30 seconds. Then add chicken broth, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, and onion powder. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes (the sauce will begin to thicken and smooth out). Serve on enchiladas or store sauce in sealed container for up to 3 days.


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19 Responses to “Spicy Enchilada Sauce”

  1. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme posted on April 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm (#)

    You have me craving enchiladas now! I love this spicy sauce, yum!

    • Katie replied on April 26th, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks Jennifer! It is 100 times better than the canned stuff!

  2. Nutmeg Nanny posted on April 28, 2013 at 9:47 pm (#)

    I love spicy sauces 🙂 must try this soon!

    • Katie replied on April 29th, 2013 at 7:11 am

      You can add additional cayenne pepper to the sauce to make it even spicier. This one has a mild kick at the end… nothing overwhelming!

  3. Courtney posted on May 1, 2013 at 12:32 am (#)

    This looks amazing! It would make a great gift for a summer party too… And those jars! Love!

    • Katie replied on May 1st, 2013 at 7:32 am

      Thanks Courtney! I never thought to bring this sauce as a summer party gift! Love the idea.

  4. Nikki posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:54 pm (#)

    My friend found a similar recipe we both use regularly now. I found that it also makes a great base for making chili!

    • Katie replied on July 9th, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Oh Nikki I love the idea of using it as a base for chili!

  5. Susan K posted on October 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm (#)

    Thank you for sharing. This looks like a great base for a lot of different recipes. Just curious as to why you say “store up to 3 days”?

    • Katie replied on October 28th, 2013 at 7:47 am

      THanks Susan for stopping by. Since the sauce does not have preservatives to extend its shelf life I like to stay on the safe side and only keep it refrigerated for 3 days. After that you could always freeze any leftover sauce you have.

  6. Ed posted on May 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm (#)

    Thanks for the great recipe. Would it be possible to can this?

    • Katie replied on June 9th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Ed–I would imagine you can, but I have no canning experience.

  7. Kathi posted on May 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm (#)

    Can you freeze it?

    • Katie replied on June 5th, 2014 at 6:50 am

      Yes you can definitely freeze the enchilada sauce!

  8. Allie posted on February 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm (#)

    I just wanted to tell you that I’ve made your recipe many times, and it’s delicious and easy! Thank you!

    • Katie replied on February 10th, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Allie so glad you love it!

  9. Jennifer Schweda posted on February 17, 2019 at 4:16 pm (#)

    Oh my gosh….so so good!!! I bought a can of mild and added hot sauce to it. Then I found your recipe and used it instead!! So glad I did, so delicious!!!! I made vegetarian stuffed peppers!!

    • Katie replied on February 18th, 2019 at 10:46 pm

      Hi Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad you enjoyed my spicy enchilada sauce recipe. I only make homemade enchilada sauce and you can tell–the flavors are so much more developed and intense!


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