The BEST Enchilada Sauce!

The best homemade enchilada sauce recipe!  It’s super-simple to make and a million times better than the canned stuff.  (Check out my recipe for Green Enchilada Sauce too!) My best tip for how to make a killer pan of homemade enchiladas? This homemade enchilada sauce recipe. ♡ It has been the secret ingredient in my favorite enchilada recipe […]

The best homemade enchilada sauce recipe!  It’s super-simple to make and a million times better than the canned stuff.  (Check out my recipe for Green Enchilada Sauce too!)

Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

My best tip for how to make a killer pan of homemade enchiladas?

This homemade enchilada sauce recipe. 

It has been the secret ingredient in my favorite enchilada recipe for over years and years.  And every time I make a pan of chicken enchiladas for a dinner party, or take some enchilada soup to a friend with a new baby, or whip up a quick batch of enchilada nachos or enchilada cups for a party…this enchilada sauce always gets rave reviews and someone inevitably always asks for the recipe.

It’s a million times better than anything you can buy in the can and is made with the coziest, warm chili flavors.  But best of all, this homemade red enchilada sauce recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make and calls for a few simple ingredients that you probably already have sitting in your pantry.  So if you have yet to try this recipe, I say it’s time!

Let’s make a quick batch together!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Chili powder (to make red enchilada sauce)

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:

To make this easy enchilada sauce recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Oil and flour: To make our roux, which will thicken the sauce.  Feel free to use any type of oil or butter that you prefer.  And see notes below if you need a gluten-free option for the flour.
  • Chili powder: Very important note — this recipe calls for American-style chili powder, which is actually a blend of various mild chilis and seasonings.  (It is not cayenne!)  I recommend investing in a good-quality brand of chili powder for this recipe, since it is the main seasoning used here.  And if you happen to be an international reader, please (please) note that you need to look for a specifically American-style chili powder.  Many readers have reported over the years that most international chili powder blends are typically more similar to straight cayenne and can be overwhelmingly spicy.
  • Garlic powder, ground cumin, dried oregano: These are the other dried seasonings that we will use in the sauce.
  • Veggie or chicken stock: I also recommend using some good-quality stock in this recipe, which will add some delicious depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Fine sea salt: And finally, don’t forget to season the sauce!  I typically add in about 1/2 teaspoon, but please note that the amount of salt you’ll need will directly relate to how salty your veggie/chicken stock happens to be.

Whisking Red Enchilada Sauce

How To Make Enchilada Sauce:

Here are the basic steps for how to make enchilada sauce (full instructions included in the recipe box below):

  1. Cook the roux and spices: In a small saucepan, we’ll cook the flour and oil together to form the roux, and then whisk in the spices to briefly toast them before adding in the stock.
  2. Simmer: Gradually add in the stock, while whisking the sauce to blend in any lumps.  Then heat to a simmer, and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until it has reduced and thickened a bit.
  3. Season: Season with salt (or any extra seasonings that you might like to add), to taste.
  4. Serve: Then serve it up in a pan of enchiladas or whatever recipe sounds good…and enjoy!

Jar of red enchilada sauce

Possible Variations:

This recipe is quite flexible, so please feel free to tinker around with ingredient amounts and customize it however you prefer!  For example, you could…

  • Make it gluten-free: You can either use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, in place of the AP flour.  Or you can nix the flour and instead add a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and cold water whisked together) to the sauce once it is simmering to thicken it.
  • Make it creamy: Whisk in 1/2 cup of heavy cream to turn this recipe into an epic creamy enchilada sauce.
  • Make it spicier: Feel free to add in a pinch or two of cayenne to make this sauce even spicier.  Or alternately, you can choose to use ancho chili powder in place of standard American chili powder.
  • Make it milder: American chili powder should naturally be quite mild.  But if you are wary of heat, feel free to start with 2 tablespoons (instead of 4 tablespoons) of chili powder in the recipe.  Then once the sauce has simmered, give it a taste and feel free to add more if you would like.
  • Make it smokier: Feel free to swap some of the American chili powder for chipotle chili powder, if you would like this sauce to have a smoky chipotle kick.  (Also note that chipotle powder is considerably spicier, so this version would pack more heat too.)
  • Add tomato sauce: If you would like to have a more tomato-y enchilada sauce, you are welcome to add 1/2 cup tomato sauce to the recipe in place of 1/2 cup of the stock.

Chicken enchiladas made with the best enchilada sauce recipe

Ways To Use Enchilada Sauce:

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use this easy enchilada sauce!

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Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Description

My all-time favorite homemade red enchilada sauce recipe.  It’s quick and easy to make, and a million times better than the canned stuff!


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Cook the roux and spices: Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Add in the garlic powder, cumin and oregano and cook for 1 more minute, whisking constantly.
  2. Simmer: Gradually pour in the stock, whisking constantly to combine until no lumps remain.  Continue cooking until the sauce reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer (the sauce should continue lightly bubbling) for about 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce has slightly thickened.
  3. Season: Give the sauce a taste and season with salt, as needed.  (I typically add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, but the saltiness of the sauce can vary depending on the brand of stock that you use.)
  4. Serve: Use immediately in your favorite recipe and enjoy!


Notes

Chili powder (important note): As mentioned above, this recipe calls for traditional American chili powder — which is not cayenne.  American chili powder is actually a blend of spices and is quite mild, whereas international chili powders are usually incredibly spicy.  So if you live outside of the United States, please look specifically for an American-style chili powder blend.

Gluten-free option: Feel free to use a 1-to-1 all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour.  Or alternately, you can thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cold water and cornstarch whisked together, then added to the sauce once it has reached a simmer).

Storage instructions: Let the sauce cool to room temperature.  Then transfer it to a mason jar or food storage container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.  Unfortunately this sauce separates a bit once it has frozen, so I don’t recommend freezing it.

The BEST Green Bean Casserole

This easy Green Bean Casserole recipe is made 100% from scratch with lightened-up ingredients, including a delicious creamy green bean filling and a crispy onion topping.  It’s also easy to make ahead and always a crowd fave. Move on over, canned creamy soup, frozen green beans, and packaged fried onions. This green bean casserole recipe […]

This easy Green Bean Casserole recipe is made 100% from scratch with lightened-up ingredients, including a delicious creamy green bean filling and a crispy onion topping.  It’s also easy to make ahead and always a crowd fave.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Move on over, canned creamy soup, frozen green beans, and packaged fried onions.

This green bean casserole recipe is made entirely from scratch, and tastes a million times better than the old-school classic casserole full of processed ingredients.  And it is my hands-down favorite♡♡♡

Mainly, I just love this recipe because it legitimately tastes fresh and flavorful.  For too many years, I always took a pass on the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving because it was so mushy and bland and boring.  But turns out — when this casserole is well-seasoned and made with scratch ingredients, it comes to life and is bursting with fresh flavors!

Instead of soggy frozen green beans, fresh green beans are the star of the show here, which are ever-so-briefly cooked in order to preserve their crisp texture and bright flavor.  Instead of cream of mushroom soup, fresh mushrooms are sautéed and folded into a lightened-up creamy alfredo sauce.  And instead of dry, packaged, palm-oil-fried onions, a fresh red onion is sautéed with panko breadcrumbs, which then toast up to golden perfection as the casserole bakes.

Altogether, it adds up to an absolute showstopper of a green bean casserole.  I make it every Thanksgiving, and friends and family all agree that it’s the best!

(more…)

French Onion Soup

My favorite homemade French onion soup recipe that’s easy to make and full of the richest caramelized onion flavors. Who’s ready for a cozy bowl of homemade French onion soup? ♡ We actually just arrived home late last night from spending a week in Provence with our parents.  And amidst the most delicious week of meals […]

My favorite homemade French onion soup recipe that’s easy to make and full of the richest caramelized onion flavors.

French Onion Soup Recipe

Who’s ready for a cozy bowl of homemade French onion soup? ♡

We actually just arrived home late last night from spending a week in Provence with our parents.  And amidst the most delicious week of meals together around the table in our little cottage — with fresh croissants and baguettes picked up from the local bakery, farmers market wild mushrooms and artichokes the size of your head, approximately one million French cheeses, herby olives, fresh raspberry tart, plus the loveliest crisp local rosés — I also channeled my inner Julia Child and simmered up a batch of my favorite French onion soup for dinner one evening.  And it was delightful.

I actually first shared this recipe here during my very first year of blogging — now ten years ago! — and have made it countless times since.  And it’s always, always a winner.  Nowadays, I tend to make it vegetarian (using veggie broth instead of traditional beef broth) so that both my husband and I can enjoy it.  And after living in Barcelona for a few years, we’ve also come to love the Spanish twist on this recipe as well, which includes cracking an egg into each soup bowl and then broiling it (with or without cheesy toast) until the egg is perfectly poached on top of the soup.

However its made, French onion soup is a classic and will forever remain one of my all-time favorite comfort foods.  So if you’re looking for a well-tested recipe to add to your repertoire, I can vouch that this one’s a keeper!

(more…)

Easy Pumpkin Soup

 Y’all, I’m reaching waaaaay down into the Budget Bytes archives with this one. I first posted this Easy Pumpkin Soup in 2009, just a few months into my blogging journey. When October 1st hit this year, I knew I wanted to redo this recipe because it’s so symbolic. This super simple soup is a great […]

The post Easy Pumpkin Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

 Y’all, I’m reaching waaaaay down into the Budget Bytes archives with this one. I first posted this Easy Pumpkin Soup in 2009, just a few months into my blogging journey. When October 1st hit this year, I knew I wanted to redo this recipe because it’s so symbolic. This super simple soup is a great example of where I was in my cooking journey ten years ago. Food was all about being easy, simple, and comforting to me at that time, and I know a lot of people can relate to that today as well.

First posted 10-17-2009, updated 10-3-2019.

Three bowls of easy pumpkin soup garnished with sour cream and pumpkin seeds, on a blue background.

I’m not going to tell you that this is the most mind blowing soup in the world because it isn’t. It’s basic, but sometimes that’s what you need. It’s a great starter soup for those who are just learning to cook or just like to keep things simple. If you want something more fancy or with more complexity, I have some suggestions for customizing this soup below, plus links to over fun pumpkin soups I’ve made over the years!

It’s All About the Broth

The broth provides most of the flavor in this soup, so make sure you’re using a full-bodied broth with a lot of flavor. I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth, but if you happen to have homemade chicken broth or bone broth, those would also be amazing. If you want to make this soup vegetarian, feel free to use vegetable broth or stock.

What to Serve with Easy Pumpkin Soup

I love this pumpkin soup as a tomato alternative to the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. Because the soup is so light, it also makes a great starter for a larger, heavier, or multi-course meal. I also found myself reheating a mugful of this pumpkin soup as a light between meals snack.

One bowl of easy tomato soup with sour cream swirled in and a gold spoon in the middle

Pumkin Purée vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling

Make sure that you buy pumpkin purée for this recipe, not pumpkin pie filling. They both come in a can, have very similar labels, and will be on the shelf right next to each other, but are two very, very different things. Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and seasoned with pumpkin pie spice. Not something you want in this soup. ;)

How to Make a Thick Pumpkin Soup

This is not a thick soup. It’s a soupy soup. If you’re looking for a thick texture, like potato soup or a bisque, use two cans of pumpkin purée and double the spices and salt.

Add-Ins and Flavor Options

There are a lot of fun things you can do with this “base” soup, when you are feeling comfortable and want to branch out. You can make it a creamy soup by replacing some of the chicken broth with heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk. Change the flavor profile by adding curry powder, Cajun seasoning, or even Thai curry paste. 

You can have a lot of fun with add-ins and toppings, too. I kept it simple with pumpkin seeds and sour cream, but you could do sriracha, Tabasco, add spinach, crispy chickpeas, shaved parmesan, croutons, or crumbled bacon.

Try these other pumpkin soups: Spicy Coconut and Pumpkin Soup, Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup, and Chicken and Pumpkin Soup.

 

Easy Pumpkin Soup

This flavorful and easy pumpkin soup takes less than 30 minutes to make and is the perfect simple side for a gooey grilled cheese sandwich! 

  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.26)
  • 1 small yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree ($0.79)
  • 3 cups chicken broth ($0.39)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • salt to taste ($0.02)

Toppings (optional)

  • 4 Tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds) ($0.60)
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream ($0.11)
  1. Dice the onion then add it to a medium sauce pot with the butter. Sauté the onion over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (about 3 minutes).

  2. Add the pumpkin purée, chicken broth, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine the ingredients, then allow the soup to come up to a simmer.

  3. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed (I added 1/4 tsp).

  4. Serve the soup topped with pepitas and a swirl of sour cream.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Three bowls of Easy Pumpkin Soup garnished with sour cream and pepitas, a small bowl of pepitas on the side.

How to Make Pumpkin Soup – Step by Step Photos

Sautéed onion in butter in sauce pot.

Dice one small yellow onion and add it to a medium sauce pot with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (about 3 minutes).

Can of pumpkin purée

Make sure to read the label on your can of pumpkin purée very carefully. Pumpkin purée is not the same thing as pumpkin pie filling, and they usually have very similar looking labels. Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and has pumpkin pie spice, neither of which will be good in this soup! Ha!

Pumpkin purée and chicken broth added to soup pot

Add one 15oz. can of pumpkin purée and 3 cups of chicken broth to the soup pot.

Spices being stirred into the soup.

Also add 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.

Salt being added to the simmered soup.

Allow the soup to come up to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, taste the soup and add salt as needed. I added 1/4 tsp. Remember, a little salt can really make flavors pop!

One bowl of Easy Pumpkin Soup garnished with sour cream and pepitas

Serve the Easy Pumpkin Soup with a few pepitas (pumpkin seeds) sprinkled over top and a swirl of sour cream!

The post Easy Pumpkin Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.