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!

Print
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.

Fresh Salsa Verde

This fresh tomatillo salsa (salsa verde cruda) recipe is easy to make in 5 minutes with 100% raw ingredients, and it tastes refreshingly light, sweet, and full of fresh flavors! A few years ago while we ate our way around Mexico City for the first time, I fell head-over-heels in love with the city’s salsa […]

This fresh tomatillo salsa (salsa verde cruda) recipe is easy to make in 5 minutes with 100% raw ingredients, and it tastes refreshingly light, sweet, and full of fresh flavors!

A few years ago while we ate our way around Mexico City for the first time, I fell head-over-heels in love with the city’s salsa verde cruda.

As in, green salsa made completely with raw (“cruda”) ingredients. ♡

By contrast to most salsas verdes that you find in the States, which are almost always made with roasted tomatillos, the raw salsas verdes that we were served in Mexico City tasted ultra-light and sweet and refreshing.  Lucky for us, salsa verde cruda was served at almost every restaurant that we visited.  But our hands-down favorite was the salsa verde from Contramar.

I actually bought a copy of Chef Gabriela Cámara’s cookbook after our meal just so that I could learn how to make this salsa when we went home.  As it turns out, her recipe is incredibly simple.  But it does include one fun trick to make the texture of this salsa even more light and crisp — adding in a bit of lettuce!  We made a batch of it this week with and without the lettuce and can vouch that it really does make a lovely difference.  And when served up with a batch of salty tortilla chips (or drizzled on tacos, burgers, kabobs, french fries, you name it), I’m telling you, this vibrant salsa verde is downright irresistible.

So bring home a bag of fresh tomatillos, and let’s blend up a quick batch together!

(more…)

Peanut Chipotle Salsa

This creamy peanut chipotle salsa recipe is quick and easy to make, and full of the most irresistible savory, smoky and sweet flavors.  Serve as a dip, sauce, spread, or whatever sounds good! Fellow salsa lovers, I have a new one for you to try today. And yes, it includes peanuts! ♡ This one is […]

This creamy peanut chipotle salsa recipe is quick and easy to make, and full of the most irresistible savory, smoky and sweet flavors.  Serve as a dip, sauce, spread, or whatever sounds good!

Peanut Chipotle Salsa Recipe with Tortilla Chips

Fellow salsa lovers, I have a new one for you to try today.

And yes, it includes peanuts! ♡

This one is a bit of a cross between salsa macha (a traditional chile peanut sauce from Veracruz) and my favorite red salsa recipe.  It’s made with a standard base of tomatoes (I use canned), onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin and a hint of oregano.  But then there’s also a generous scoop of natural peanut butter added in, which adds the most intriguing je ne se quoi depth of sweet nutty flavor and creaminess to this salsa, and pairs perfectly with the cilantro and lime.  Then when combined with the smokiness and subtle heat from a chipotle pepper in adobo, whew, you guys — this salsa is downright irresistible.

It’s also super quick and easy to whip up in the food processor or blender.  And while we have mostly just been enjoying ours with tortilla chips (and the occasional margs, for happy hour), this salsa can also be used a million different ways as well.  It works great as a dip for fries, chips, crackers, veggie sticks, or any of your other favorite dippers.  Or it can also be used as a sauce for your favorite tacos, burgers, kabobs, baked potatoes, roasted veggies and more.  The flavors are so well-balanced here that it’s a super versatile salsa that you can serve with just about anything.

So if you’re looking to mix things up from the usual red or green salsa routine, grab some peanut butter (or you could also use other favorite nut butters) and give this recipe a try!

(more…)

Homemade BBQ Sauce

This Kansas City-style homemade BBQ sauce recipe is super quick and easy to make, and full of the best tangy, smoky and slightly-sweet flavors that everyone is sure to love! Friends, have you ever tried making homemade BBQ sauce? If not, it’s time. ♡ And as a KC girl, I’m going to vote that you […]

This Kansas City-style homemade BBQ sauce recipe is super quick and easy to make, and full of the best tangy, smoky and slightly-sweet flavors that everyone is sure to love!

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Friends, have you ever tried making homemade BBQ sauce?

If not, it’s time. ♡

And as a KC girl, I’m going to vote that you make this Kansas City-style bbq sauce recipe!  It’s super-easy to make — just stir everything together and simmer for about 15 minutes — and it’s full of that famous tangy, smoky and slightly-sweet blend of flavors that we all love in Kansas City.

We use this sauce regularly in our house to make traditional bbq chicken, pulled pork, ribs and baked beans.  But it also works great as a pizza sauce (hello, bbq chicken pizza ♡) and as a glaze (on meatballs, meatloaf, etc).  And of course, you’re welcome to get creative and add it into everything from soups to salads, tacos, burgers, casseroles and more.

So many ways to use homemade bbq sauce.  So let’s make a batch! (more…)

Alfredo Sauce

My favorite recipe for homemade Alfredo sauce.  It’s easy to make in just 15 minutes, full of the best creamy and garlicky flavors, and always ultra comforting and delicious. After sharing my favorite marinara sauce recipe with you yesterday, today I’m sharing my go-to recipe for its creamy, cheesy, ultra-comforting counterpart… …my favorite homemade Alfredo […]

My favorite recipe for homemade Alfredo sauce.  It’s easy to make in just 15 minutes, full of the best creamy and garlicky flavors, and always ultra comforting and delicious.

Alfredo Sauce Recipe

After sharing my favorite marinara sauce recipe with you yesterday, today I’m sharing my go-to recipe for its creamy, cheesy, ultra-comforting counterpart…

…my favorite homemade Alfredo sauce. ♡

Now I will be the first to note that this Alfredo sauce recipe is “American-style,” a la the Olive Garden version that zillions of us grew up loving.  By contrast to its Italian-style origins, in which the sauce was created in Rome with just butter and cheese (more similar to my cacio e pepe recipe), American-style Alfredo sauce is famously a bit more indulgent and complex.  Heavy cream and/or milk are typically added to make the sauce creamier, differing levels of flour are added to create a roux and make the sauce thicker, and a number of different seasonings are often added (especially a hint of white pepper and nutmeg) to give it an extra flavor boost.  So while this may come as a surprise to some, the American-style version of this sauce would definitely not be considered authentic in Italy.  But hey, I think we can all agree that the creamy version of this sauce has become an iconic favorite of its own. ♡

That said, though, all American-style Alfredo sauce recipes are definitely not created alike!  I don’t know about you guys, but I have been served far too many Alfredos over the years that were gloppy and greasy and devoid of good flavor, which simply will not do.  (Especially when indulging in a cream sauce…I want it to be amazing!)  So today, I’m sharing my favorite homemade Alfredo recipe that I have tweaked over the years to perfection.

My version is made with a base of half milk and half cream, so that it’s still rich and creamy but not overly heavy.  It’s seasoned with plenty of garlic plus a hint of white pepper and nutmeg, all of which serve to balance out those creamy flavors nicely.  It’s just slightly thickened with a tablespoon of flour, which you are also welcome to leave out entirely if you prefer.  And best of all, it’s made with lots and lots of freshly-grated Parmesan, which is really the main flavor we all want and love in a good Alfredo.

Oh and bonus?  The entire recipe is incredibly easy to make and comes together in just 15 minutes.  And, of course, it tastes a million times better than anything that you can buy in a jar.  Perfect for tossing with pasta, topping grilled chicken, spreading as a white pizza sauce, mixing into lasagna and baked ziti, or whatever else sounds good.

I’m telling you, this Alfredo sauce is always a winner.  So let’s make some!

(more…)

Marinara Sauce

This homemade marinara sauce recipe is easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and slow-simmered with the BEST tomato, basil and garlicky flavors. Friends, do you have an amazing homemade marinara sauce recipe in your repertoire? If not, bookmark this one. ♡♡♡ It’s the classic marinara sauce that I have made countless times over the […]

This homemade marinara sauce recipe is easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and slow-simmered with the BEST tomato, basil and garlicky flavors.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

Friends, do you have an amazing homemade marinara sauce recipe in your repertoire?

If not, bookmark this one. ♡♡♡

It’s the classic marinara sauce that I have made countless times over the years and it is my absolute favorite.  It’s incredibly easy to make with a few classic ingredients, which also happen to be naturally gluten-free and vegan.  It’s made with a blend of herbs and seasonings that perfectly compliment those slow-simmered rich tomato marinara flavors, without completely overpowering them.  It only requires about 10 minutes of active hands-on prep time, giving you time to work on the rest of dinner while the sauce simmers on the stove.  And best of all, this marinara sauce is just so incredibly nostalgic and comforting and flavorful.

Serve it up with your favorite pasta, pizza, lasagna, meatballs (new recipe coming tomorrow!), parmigiana, subs, or whatever sounds good.  And while you’re at it, I also highly recommend doubling the recipe anytime you make this marinara sauce, as the leftovers keep beautifully in the fridge or freezer for later.

So many good reasons to make this marinara sauce…so let’s do it!

Marinara Sauce Recipe | 1-Minute Video

(more…)

How To Make Your Own Balsamic Ketchup

I have a deep love and appreciation for ketchup. (You’ve seen my Cranberry Chipotle Ketchup recipe, right?) So naturally, when I saw that Heinz was introducing a ketchup made with balsamic vinegar, I decided that I needed to try it immediately. A…

I have a deep love and appreciation for ketchup. (You’ve seen my Cranberry Chipotle Ketchup recipe, right?) So naturally, when I saw that Heinz was introducing a ketchup made with balsamic vinegar, I decided that I needed to try it immediately. And then I found out it wasn’t available everywhere; it seemed the stores I frequent are not stores that carry it. Obviously, I had to try to make it myself. Obviously! I adapted this balsamic ketchup recipe from Serious Eats’ Homemade Ketchup. Are you ready to make ketchup? Let’s get started! You will need these things: 2 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 (28 oz) can tomato puree 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp ground mustard 1/8 tsp ground cloves, for that certain je ne sais quoi (yes, the “quoi” in ketchup is cloves—of this, I am certain) 1/8 tsp allspice 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add the tomato […]

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce

Recipe by me, photos by Rikki Snyder. I know this is very uncool of me, but I love canned cranberry sauce. Love it! When Thanksgiving is over and it’s on clearance, I always buy a few cans. I love the satisfying PLLLLOP! it makes as it comes out …

Recipe by me, photos by Rikki Snyder. I know this is very uncool of me, but I love canned cranberry sauce. Love it! When Thanksgiving is over and it’s on clearance, I always buy a few cans. I love the satisfying PLLLLOP! it makes as it comes out of the can and I love how it stands up on its own and how you can carve it up into slices, just like a turkey. It is a thing of beauty, cranberry sauce is. But just because I enjoy the canned stuff, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate homemade cranberry sauce too. It’s kind of like apples and oranges, though. Two different things! And I love them for different reasons! Now, if you haven’t made your own cranberry sauce before, you might be thinking that it’s really complicated and not something you’d be able to do in your own kitchen. That’s what I used to think, anyway. But cranberry sauce is one of those magical things that seems like it should be really difficult, but it’s way easier than you’d think. Seriously, guys, if you have the skillset required to open up a can of soup and heat it on the stove, […]

Meaty Mushroom Marinara Sauce

For a long time, I refused to eat tomato sauce. I ate my pasta plain and when I got pizza, I would carefully separate the cheese from the crust, scrape off all the sauce, and then reassemble each slice. Even now, I’m still picky about tomato sauc…

For a long time, I refused to eat tomato sauce. I ate my pasta plain and when I got pizza, I would carefully separate the cheese from the crust, scrape off all the sauce, and then reassemble each slice. Even now, I’m still picky about tomato sauce. My pasta sauce needs to be full of veggies. Full of them! The veggie to sauce ratio must be high! Unfortunately, a lot of store-bought pasta sauces skimp on the veggies. Mushroom sauces are my favorite because I like the meatiness that the mushrooms add to a pasta dish, but usually store-bought sauces either have a few token slices in each jar or tiny little diced mushrooms that you can’t even taste. Sad! So I decided to make my own mushroom marinara. Yes, it takes more time than opening up a jar, but this recipe makes a lot of sauce, so you can whip up a batch on the weekend, then freeze it in small portions to use throughout the week. Not only is this tastier than buying pasta sauce, it’s much cheaper too. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

This Bourbon Caramel Sauce recipe is easy to make in 10 minutes and tastes irresistibly delicious drizzled on everything from ice cream to fruit, brownies, pies, cheesecakes, coffee drinks, and more. Guys, this bourbon caramel sauce. ♡♡♡ We’ve been making it on repeat this summer to drizzle over ice cream, grilled peaches, brownies, fruit crisps and […]

This Bourbon Caramel Sauce recipe is easy to make in 10 minutes and tastes irresistibly delicious drizzled on everything from ice cream to fruit, brownies, pies, cheesecakes, coffee drinks, and more.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Guys, this bourbon caramel sauce. ♡♡♡

We’ve been making it on repeat this summer to drizzle over ice cream, grilled peaches, brownies, fruit crisps and more.  And oh my goodness, this stuff is just magic.  I can vouch from experience that it instantly kicks just about any dessert dish up a delicious notch.  And the extra bourbon and sea salt mixed in there will have everyone around the table asking you for the recipe stat.

But here’s the best news — this homemade caramel sauce recipe is super easy to make with ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen.  Plus it can be ready to go in just 10 minutes or so from start to finish.  It’s one of my favorite back-pocket dessert recipes that’s easy to whip up in a moment’s notice, and it is always a crowd fave.

Let’s make some caramel sauce!

(more…)