Enchiladas & Enchilada Sauce

By Christina Collins

Enchiladas are have two main components that need to be prepared; the enchilada sauce & the enchilada filling.

First, let’s talk sauce

Simply put, enchiladas are only as good as the enchilada sauce that smothers them. And since I love chicken enchiladas, I had no choice but to find a great recipe for enchilada sauce. So that’s what I set out to do. I tested countless recipes, compared homemade versions to pre-made versions, I tried it all until I was satisfied with what is now my forever enchilada sauce recipe. That’s the recipe you’ll find below.

Now, how ’bout that filling?

Enchilada’s can be made with just cheese, beans, pork filling, etc etc etc. I make them two ways- one version is insanely laborious and it only makes an appearance once- twice a year. Whereas the version I call “Easy Enchiladas” is on regular rotation around here. To make Easy Enchiladas I use my 3 ingredient slow cooker salsa chicken as the filling. (It doesn’t get easier than that recipe!) Once you have the chicken filling ready to go and the sauce made, it’s time to assemble.

Time to roll.

  1. Use a basting brush to create a layer of enchilada sauce on a baking sheet
  2. Roll the shredded chicken into store bought tortillas and position side by side. (I like to buy tortillas that are a corn / flour blend. If I can’t find those, I use pure corn tortillas which are both authentic and gluten free.)
  3. Top with enchilada sauce, smother with cheese. Bake at 375 until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.
  4. Serve with sour cream, sliced jalapeños and your favorite hot sauce.

Feaster’s Tips:

Enchiladas can be made in entirely in advance up until baking time. They are are one of my favorite dishes to prepare and bring over to a friend’s house with a pitcher of margaritas!

Enchilada Sauce
Prep Time
3 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 Cups
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt – to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth too!)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Measure out tomato paste and broth.
  3. Heat a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat and warm the oil until it’s it’s hot enough that a light sprinkle of the flour/spice mixture sizzles on contact. (Never leave your oil or it will overheat!)
  4. Once ready, whisk in the dry ingredients to the oil and cook until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute.
  5. Whisk the tomato paste. Then slowly pour in the broth while whisking constantly to remove any lumps.
  6. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
  7. Cook, whisking often, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly and a spoon encounters some resistance as you stir it. (The sauce will thicken some more as it cools.)
  8. Remove from heat, then whisk in the vinegar and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Add salt to taste.

Recipe Notes

Enchilada sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or, freeze it for up to 3 months. Let it cool to room temperature before transferring to refrigerator or freezer. 

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