Red Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchilada Sauce
red enchilada sauce the whole enchilada pinit View Gallery 1 photo

I want the whole enchilada, don’t you?

A store bought red enchilada sauce does not even come close. If you want the whole enchilada, make it yourself. It’s worth it!

Red enchilada sauce is either made with a roux, then bouillon and tomato paste are added, or with canned tomatoes. This recipe is with a roux and for me, it is much better than throwing all together with a can of tomatoes. The word enchilada comes from the word ‘enchilar‘ which means to add chile. So it should also have chili in it or something spicy too.

I have made it many times too spicy. That chili can really rock your boat if you add too much. I used to love spicy foods but now I prefer just a little spice. So I use Paprika and concentrate more on the exotic flavors like chocolate and cinnamon. If you prefer spicier, you just need to add a stronger chili powder.

Enchilada sauce has so many spices in it! Wow! Cumin, Garlic, Chili, Coriander, Chocolate, and Cinnamon all in one sauce! Now that is exciting! And what is soooo cool about the chocolate, is that there is only a hint of sweetness. There are so many other flavors fighting for your attention in a good red enchilada sauce that the chocolate and cinnamon only blend into this wonderful and splendid jamboree of spices. They do not dominate and nor should the chili!

Without these two ingredients in your red enchilada sauce, I’m afraid you don’t have the whole enchilada.

Or The whole kit and caboodle.

Or The whole 9 yards.

Or the whole ball of wax.

The whole enchilada is an american slang phrase and means everything. You get, you want, or you have all of something. You are not missing any pieces. Could be an object, could be a situation, a complex thing. If you got the whole enchilada, you got it all or you understand everything.

So think of this when you make your next enchiladas. Go for the whole enchilada!

Enchilada Recipes:

Seafoood Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas

I prefer flour tortillas with my enchiladas and I always coat them in milk before I add the filling. Its messy but I learned this somewhere and it really makes sure the tortillas are soft and not crispy. I have never had a mushy one either as some complain of. Perhaps has to do really with the sauce, if it is not thick enough (tomato can based) It really depends on what you want. If using corn tortillas, it is a whole other enchilada! But it is an enchilada and this sauce goes just as great with traditional corn tortillas too!

Other Mexican Recipes from Lovethatsauce:

4.3 from 2 votes

Red Enchilada Sauce

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 45 mins
Servings: 4
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


A red Enchilada Sauce made from a roux and not canned tomato sauce.



How to make Red Enchilada Sauce starting with a roux

  1. Get  all the ingredients in advance in front of you. This will make it much easier. 

    Mix the flour, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, smokey paprika, and oregano in a small bowl.

    Melt the butter and the olive oil at medium low heat in a sauce pan.

    Add the flour mixture and stir constantly for at least 2 minutes. It should be somewhat thick almost like a roux. If not thick enough add a little more flour.

    Mix in the tomato paste.

    Increase the heat to medium high and slowly add the chicken broth. Continue to stir as you mix in the broth.

    Add the chocolate and cinnamon

    Allow to cook for about 20 minutes so it reaches a nice thick saucy consistency. If you need to, you can always add a little more water to thin out the sauce

    Salt and Pepper to taste.

Keywords: enchilada sauce, chocolate, cumin, cinnamon

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? 

Did you make this recipe? 

Recipe Card powered by WP Delicious


  1. So interesting that there is only tomato paste and no tomato sauce. Was not sure about that but it was really good. I am saving this recipe!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *