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Make this homemade enchilada sauce in minutes, with simple ingredients from your pantry. This easy enchilada sauce recipe is made with tomato paste and always gets “Mmmmmms” when we make it for friends or family.
Don’t pay $10 for an enchilada at the Mexican restaurant because you don’t think you can make your own JUST as delicious at home. Because you can. You TOTALLY can. You can make it better from scratch (at home).
When I was in grad school, my roommate made enchiladas a LOT. We loved them. She would make a big pan of them and we’d have lunches ready for the whole week.
It didn’t take long after we went our separate ways for me to miss having homemade enchiladas, so I asked for the recipe. And this is what she said,
“Put some oil in a pan with some garlic. Then add a BUNCH of cumin and some chili powder. Stir it around, add tomato sauce and it’s done!”
I never knew it was so easy! Over the years I’ve used that “recipe” to develop this recipe. This recipe is the product of many years of testing. I switched out the tomato sauce for this tomato paste (because that’s what I always have on hand).
Why I love this Enchilada sauce recipe
I love this enchilada sauce recipe for several reasons.
- It’s so quick. It only takes five minutes.
- It’s completely customizable. Add a little more cumin or chili powder if you’d like. And if you want more spice, add a bit of cayenne.
We’ve gotten pretty into meal planning and enchiladas are on our regular rotation.
ingredients needed to make this sauce
- Tomato paste (we use this kind and love it because it only has one ingredient!)
- Avocado oil (or olive oil)
- Garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Salt (we use this kind because it still has trace minerals in it – unlike refined table salt)
tools needed to make this sauce
How to make This Easy enchilada sauce Recipe
It really couldn’t be easier. Here’s the overall method. Use the pictures below to help every step of the way.
- Heat the oil and spices
- Add the tomato paste
- Add water & stir to combine
1. Heat oil in a small saucepan and Add Granulated Garlic, cumin and chili powder.
Stir the spice/oil combination and heat it for about a minute, while stirring. You can use garlic powder or granulated garlic. Don’t use garlic salt.
2. Add the tomato paste and water
Next, turn the heat down to low and add the tomato paste and stir to mix the spices throughout. You can use tomato sauce if you’d rather. Try to get the kind without preservatives if you can.
3. Add water
Add water. Stir until everything is mixed together (try to get the clumps out).
Make Enchilada Sauce ahead and storage
Make a double or triple batch and freeze it for when you want it. You can store it in any airtight container (mason jars work great). You can also freeze it in the mason jars (with some room at the top) and pull it out a day or two before you want to use it.
Put the enchiladas together
To make the pan of enchiladas, first drizzle a little sauce on the bottom of your 13×9 pan (love this design…especially the handles). Then take your tortillas and roll them up with the filling inside. Line the enchiladas in the pan and then cover it with more sauce. Top with cheese. Cook it until the cheese is melted on top. OR omit the cheese for dairy free enchiladas.
Back to the sauce…I like making sure the sauce is in three places.
- On the bottom of the pan.
- Inside the filling.
- On the top of the rolled enchiladas.
With the sauce in these places, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have amazingly flavored homemade enchiladas! Wasn’t that easy!?
- 2 Tbsp oil (avocado oil or olive oil)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp cumin
- 12 oz tomato paste
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan on medium heat.
- Add spices to the oil and cook until fragrant, while stirring (about 1 minute).
- Turn off the heat and add the tomato paste, stir to get spices mixed in tomato paste.
- Add water and stir until clumps are gone and everything is mixed well.
- Use single ingredient tomato paste (should only have tomatoes in it).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/4 C
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g