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Mason Jar of Authentic Enchilada Sauce

Easy Authentic Enchilada Sauce

This recipe for authentic homemade red enchilada sauce is easy to make and so delish! It's quick and only uses a few simple ingredients. It freezes well and can be used in multiple dishes. I promise you will not go back to canned enchilada sauce! 

Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Josephine Ramirez and Tammy Small


  • 8 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • reserved water from chiles
  • 1-2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tsp cumin


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. (about 4 cups)

    While water is heating up, cut stems off of the chiles and remove the seeds. Rinse chiles.

  2. When water comes to a boil remove from heat and add chiles. Let them soak until they are soft, about 15-20 minutes.

  3. Place chiles, garlic, and a little salt in a blender. Reserve the water used to soak the chiles. Blend chiles and garlic.

  4. Here is where your personal preference will come into play. Add reserved water to blender until you reach your desired consistency. I use about 1-2 cups of water depending on the size of the chiles. I leave the sauce a little thick because the tomato sauce will thin it out.

    If you are not adding tomato sauce, you will need to more add more water.

  5. Transfer sauce to a pot. Add cumin and tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes.

    I use about 2-3 cups of tomato sauce. Taste as you go. Experiment and add as much or as little as you like. You can add more of the reserved water if your sauce is too thick.

  6. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. It freezes well. I like to freeze some in an ice cube tray and then transfer to an airtight container. Perfect for grabbing a few cubes to add to soups, chili, stew, or to top eggs.

Recipe Notes

We recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible.