Well, this was a win.
This was my first time making enchilada sauce from scratch and it is DEFINITELY going to become a staple in my house. And guess what? It’s almost exactly the same as making marinara sauce from scratch. The base is crushed tomatoes, with Mexican-flavored spices added to it instead of the Italian herb blend you’d find in marinara. It can be made in bulk and frozen in mason jars, and adjusted to your comfort level with spiciness.
Once you have the sauce made, all you have to do is whip up some enchiladas by rolling things in corn tortillas, covering with the sauce and cheese, and baking! Dinner in under 30 minutes. Boom.
Speaking of which, I made chipotle chicken enchiladas with this sauce yesterday and will post about them later this week. One thing at a time. Meanwhile, here is a picture of the glory of yesterday evening’s al fresco enchilada and margarita dinner, now dubbed “Mexican Monday.” Stay tuned for more on that next time!
Most enchilada sauces have chicken or beef broth as a base, with tomato paste added for color and flavor. I did not have chicken or beef broth, so I adapted this one from Damn Delicious– her sauce has a crushed tomato base. The tomato flavor really stands out this way, and the texture is much thicker than your typical enchilada sauce. I used an immersion blender to puree the entire batch to be smoother (one of my top five favorite kitchen utensils, for sure. I highly recommend one!)
I used canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for an awesome smoky flavor. Like spicy? Add about 5 chipotle peppers. Have a delicate palette? Stick to two, but if you love smokiness and are just not getting it with only a few peppers, add a little smoked paprika or more adobo sauce if you want.
This recipe makes enough for two-three batches of enchiladas. Enjoy, and try not to eat it all by the spoonful while you are cooking it! Save some for a meal or two!
Chipotle Enchilada Sauce
- For the sauce:
- 1 onion diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28- oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2-5 canned chipotle chilis in adobo chopped, plus 1-2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce (depending on how spicy you like it. I used 5 chilis!)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make the sauce:
- Saute onion in olive oil until tender in a medium or large pot.
- Add garlic, saute for about one minute (or until fragrant)
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer for approximately 20 minutes
- To freeze, store in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 6 months.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.