Enchilada Sauce

 In Dairy Free, Easy, Recipes, sauce

For years my children would not eat anything with a “sauce.” Enchiladas were firmly in the camp of “don’t even try.” Then a few months ago my oldest kid asked me to make enchiladas. 

Challenge Accepted! I posted something about it on Instagram and my sister promptly texted me saying that no matter what I did, use Gimme Some Oven’s Enchilada Sauce. I made it and my kids said it was okay, but it was way to spicy for them. 

I began to tweak the recipe and found that I made many significant changes. I cut down the amount of chili powder and added a touch of sugar and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Chili powder can have a slightly bitter aftertaste and the sugar and vinegar somehow mellow the bitterness. Chili powder is found in the spice aisle and is a combination of dried chilis and spices ground into a powder. 

You may be surprised to find out there is no tomato in this recipe. The chili powder is the base of the recipe. I like to use reduced sodium chicken broth, but if you want to make vegetarian enchiladas, you could substitute vegetable broth. 

Shows the texture of Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce

Yield: 1 Quart
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This homemade enchilada sauce is made with chili powder and chicken broth. A small pinch of sugar and a splash of apple cider vinegar balance out the bitterness. This sauce is so good you will want to eat it with a spoon! The recipe makes enough for two 9 x 13 pans of enchiladas.

You can make one pan and freeze the sauce for another day, or make a double recipe of enchiladas and freeze one for a busy day.


  • 1/3 Cup Chili Powder (See Note)
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Avocado Oil (Or use vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 4 Cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth (or Veggie Broth)
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2-2 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt to taste. 


  1. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add oil and flour and cook over medium-high heat. Cook stirring constantly with a flat whisk for 1-2 minutes until bubbling.
  3. Add the chili powder mixture and whisk well to combine with the flour and oil. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the chicken broth a little at a time, constantly stirring to avoid lumps.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. Taste the sauce. It will likely need salt. Add salt 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired level of salt. It will take up to two teaspoons depending on the level of sodium in your broth.
  7. Turn off heat and use sauce to make enchiladas. This is enough sauce for 2 9 x 13 pans of enchiladas.


1. Chili powder is found in the spice aisle. It is a combination of dried chili peppers and spices.

2. If you like it spicy, you can add up to 1/2 cup of chili powder.

3. This makes enough sauce for 2 9 x 13 pans of enchiladas. You can freeze it for up to 2 months. If you are using a mason jar to freeze it, make sure to leave at least 1 inch of space at the top to prevent the jar from breaking in the freezer.

4. A Flat Whisk is the best tool for making this because it can get to edges of the pan and still keep the sauce from getting lumpy.

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Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

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