The Best Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe -
The Best Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe

The Best Red Enchilada Sauce

Recipe by  

"This smoky and savory enchilada sauce is simply delicious! My family won't eat out at Mexican restaurants anymore; they make me cook!"

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 3 1/2 cups Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    1 hr 25 mins


  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Arrange the ancho chiles on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 minutes; remove the stems, pulp, and seeds from the toasted peppers. Place peppers in a bowl and pour enough hot water into bowl to cover completely; allow to soak for 1 hour.
  3. Combine the ancho chiles, tomato paste, corn oil, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, and about 1 cup of the beef broth in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a saucepan with the remaining beef broth and place over medium heat; simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 26, 2010

New Mexico and California chilies work too. Look for LARGE dark red dried chilies **To save time, after roasting and cleaning the seeds out, lightly simmer the chilies for 20-30min in the broth. Once soft add the chilies and the broth you cooked them in to the blender and add 1/4-1/2 cup more broth to compensate for some cooking off. AllRecipes won't let me update the recipe to say this I'm sorry!! ****If you read the reviews you'll see those who stuck with the recipe as is gave it a high rating, those who tweaked it first with other options gave it a lower rating... My rule of thumb for ALL recipes is to try it how it's written first (unless I am simply SURE there is some ingredient I don't like). Once I try a recipe as written, then I will almost always tweak it the following times I make it. I don't think it's fair to change the recipe as written and then give it a poor review... Try my rule of thumb and make it 'as written' the first time before tweaking it, you will probably still tweak it to your liking, but probably in a totally different way than you expected.******** To the reviewer that had bitter sauce: that happens sometimes if the chilies get roasted too much, it only takes 30 seconds of over doing it to over roast the chilies. If you try again watch them VERY closely, they should just start to smell nice, the color really should not darken and if they look black at ALL then they are over roasted and will make a bad bitter sauce... done it too! Love, Christine

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 17, 2011

Meh. Found the chile skins made this one bitter.

Jun 09, 2009

This sauce is easily the best I ever made. I'm a Texan who unfortunately lives out of state and I CRAVE a real enchilada sauce- well this is it. It's as good or better than any I ever had in Texas. The description is accurate: smoky and savory... and I might add DELICIOUS!!!!!

Nov 09, 2009

I followed the directions exactly and this turned out really good. I would recommend adding crushed red pepper before blending to add some heat to this as its very mild.

Sep 03, 2009

I tried the recipe as is and it was good, but very time consuming. I decided to boil the chilies with a couple of jalapeños for about 25-30 mins. Strained only the ancho chilies. Then moved on to step 3. Included the jalapeños and left out the tomato paste and did not add the broth until it was in the sauce pan. I also used 1/2 a knorr caldo de pollo bullion cube with a cup of the water I used to boil the chilies. Slowly added that to the sauce to make sure it did not come out too watery. I only used about 1/2 of the broth. This saved a lot of time and still came out very tasty.

Apr 08, 2011

This is the BEST sauce we have tasted. My husband is half Mexican American and grew up eating authentic cuisine and he just raved. He is still raving this morning. I toasted my chilies in a dry cast iron skillet til they began smoking and slightly puffed. After cooling, I deseeded them and soaked them in simmering broth about 30 min. Then continued with the recipe. I only added salt at the end because broth contained salt. Served this with a side of corn with jalapenos, also from this site. That one is also 5 stars!! Thanks Christine. I have waited a long time for a recipe like this.

Sep 03, 2009

I LOVED this sauce...and I am Picky about my enchiladas (tend to prefer traditional sauce). I couldn't find Ancho Chiles dried, so substituted dried California chiles. I burned black the first batch, so put fewer in than called for (only 4). I also added more tomato paste (my can was bigger). My hubby said it was tangy (prob the extra paste) but liked it with sour creme on top. At first I thought Oh-boy a whole hour to soak! But, the time flew by as I was making the enchiladas, and the sauce was really quite easy. Thanks so much!!!

Oct 08, 2009

I screwed it up. I totally burnt the peppers while toasting them. HAHAHA. Watch the time!!!! Wah. No more peppers on hand, but I really wanted the sauce so I just used a whole bunch of chili powder and a itty bit of paprika for a smoky flavor. I'm still giving it five stars. I can tell this recipe is awesome by the ingredients. The only thing I was going to omit was the oregano because I didn't want even the slightest reminder of spaghetti sauce flavor but that's a matter of personal taste. I soooo wish I didn't burn the anchos. My adjusted sauce was OK: the chilis would have brought the sauce to perfection! So thanks for putting me on the right track. Next time!


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 70 kcal
  • 3%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 6.3 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 4.7 g
  • 7%
  • Fiber
  • 2.1 g
  • 9%
  • Protein
  • 2 g
  • 4%
  • Sodium
  • 517 mg
  • 21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Not The Same Old Chicken
Not The Same Old Chicken

We have so many top-rated chicken recipes, you'll never run out of dinner ideas again.

Slow Cooker Time Savers
Slow Cooker Time Savers

Imagine dinner making itself in the slow cooker while you relax or do other things.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Ten Minute Enchilada Sauce

See how to make a speedy enchilada sauce with authentic flavor.

Maria's Best Pasta Sauce

See how to make a meaty tomato and cream sauce for pasta.

Best Marinara Sauce Yet

Make this great marinara sauce for your favorite pasta dish.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States