Red Enchilada Sauce
Updated: Mar 27
Enchiladas are probably my most favorite Mexican dish! While my hubs loves verde (green) sauce, I loveeee red sauce. Nothing more comforting than a plate of hot, bubbly, and cheesy enchiladas!
Before moving to LA, I lived in north Jersey and before that, in NC. North Carolina - hands down, has the best Mexican food I’ve had! This is arguable, I know. I actually don’t love the Mexican food here in LA, I think it could be a lot better, especially being so close to Mexico! Anyway, I know majority of my friends and family followers on here are from NC so they know what I’m talking about, it’s seriously so good and on top of that, ridiculously cheap! My favorite go-to spots are El Amigo in Kannapolis, NC and La Hacienda in Greensboro, NC.
So when I left NC and moved up north, I knew I would find amazing Mexican food in NYC, since you can find almost every and anything in this great metropolis - boy was I wrong! (We lived in north Jersey but worked in the city). I tried several Mexican restaurants and while they were interesting and different, nothing ever quite hit the spot like that home flavor I was missing from my NC spots.
I was then on a mission to create my own red sauce at home. After googling several different recipes and going through a bunch of trial-and-error sauces, I’ve finally come up with one I love and satisfies my craving! It is extremely quick and easy too! Hope you guys enjoy!
Red Enchilada Sauce
2 Oz pack of dried Guajillo peppers
1/2 yellow onion, roughly diced
3-4 whole garlic cloves, cut in half
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of Mexican oregano
3 tbsp. vegetable oil (divided
)2 tbsp. all purpose flour
2-3 cups chicken or mushroom** broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. McCormick Chili Powder
Salt to taste
**Using mushroom broth makes this recipe vegan. I’ve never tried it with vegetable broth since I don’t love it and am not sure how it would alter the flavor in this recipe. Let me know how it is if you try it though! I understand mushroom broth is more difficult to find, I found it at Whole Foods via Pacific Foods.
1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. While you wait for the water to come to a boil, rinse the Guajillo peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Add the peppers to the pot and boil for 9-10 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In another pan, over medium heat, add one tbsp. of oil and sauté onions & garlic until onions are soft and translucent, not necessarily browned. Add oregano and cumin, sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add all contents into blender.
3. Drain the peppers and reserve the pepper water. Add peppers to blender along with the onion/garlic mixture and blend to a smooth paste. Add a few spoonfuls of the pepper water if you need more liquid to get the blender going. Set pepper mixture paste aside.
4. Heat remaining two tablespoons of oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add flour and sauté for 2-3 minutes until flour is toasted but not brown. Add the blended mixture and sauté for another 3-5 minutes, until it has thickened up a bit but shouldn’t be pasty.
5. Now add the chicken/mushroom broth, tomato paste, chili powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Start with 2 cups of broth and adjust accordingly to how thick or thin you prefer your sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes to enhance the flavor. Remove from heat and it’s ready for use!
*Disclaimer: This sauce doesn't taste great on it's own. It is a bit strong, maybe even smoky flavored when you try it by itself but trust me - when it all comes together with whole enchilada, it is delicious and has a really authentic flavor. It is worth the work, you won't want canned sauce anymore!*
***This sauce can be frozen for later use if it’s too much!***
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