Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchilada Sauce

Despite the fact that I have a recipe for crazy good slow cooker Shredded Beef Enchiladas with Red Enchilada Sauce, I wanted to develop an Easy Red Enchilada Sauce that I could throw together fast. I love myself when I plan ahead and am able to do the slow cooker thing, but I will  make a truthful confession that most of the time I don’t start thinking about dinner until I get hungry.

When my kids were growing up I was much more organized. I would always make out a menu for 2-3 weeks ahead and post it on the fridge. There was seldom any last minute pondering in front of the open refrigerator or freezer. My dinner menus were the only orderly, sane part of my life. Everything else was complete and utter chaos. You know what, though? I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Red Enchilada Sauce

A big part of my dinner successes were due to the fact that I kept many staples on hand. I relied heavily on items that I canned, froze, or dried each summer. Throughout the year, I would sometimes make “big batch” items such as chili or spaghetti sauce that I could freeze for use on busy days. I’ve always preferred my own homemade spaghetti sauce to that of store-bought spaghetti sauce and now I’ve come to prefer this homemade Easy Red Enchilada Sauce instead of a store-bought variety. The recipe makes about 6 cups of sauce–use some now and freeze some for later. 🙂

Red Enchilada Sauce

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 6 cups

Beef broth and chipotle chile powder are used in this recipe to bring increased depth to this enchilada sauce. Left-over sauce can be frozen for future use.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat a 3-quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic; saute until onion is translucent.
  2. Lower heat to medium low and add the remaining ingredients. With an immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth. Lower heat to medium low and bring sauce to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool before handling.
  3. Use now or divide between freezer-safe containers and freeze until ready to use. Note: be sure to leave at least 1/2-inch headspace in the containers to allow for expansion when freezing.

Red Enchilada Sauce

You may also like:

Restaurant-style Salsa
Easy Restaurant-style Salsa
Easy Mexican Chicken Soup
Easy Mexican Chicken Soup
Cheese Enchiladas
Cheese Enchiladas


  1. says

    Cooking for a household is like being a boy scout… Always Be Prepared. My fridge/freezer/pantry are always stocked with quick meals to make. Of course.. sometimes I’m lazy to make them. LOL! I wish I was as well organized as you having your menu prepared in advance. I do admit to doing the “scratching my head and looking around the kitchen” to make dinner. I don’t buy the store bought enchilada sauce… so this would be great to have around. 🙂

  2. Susan M says

    Oh my goodness I had no idea this would be THAT good! I am so glad I tried this sauce. Just like with the smothered burrito gravy, the Mexican oregano is a necessary ingredient and worth the time I spent searching for it. You made my coworkers very happy to be in on the taste-testing today. Thank you Terri!

Leave a Reply

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