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This is a great recipe for a huge batch of delicious enchilada sauce. This will freeze quite well so feel free to throw a few portions in the freezer. Yum! mexicanplease.com
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4.26 from 31 votes

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This is a great recipe for a huge batch of delicious enchilada sauce. It will freeze quite well so feel free to throw a few portions in the freezer. Yum! 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 24 (10-12 cups)
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Mexican Please


  • 15-20 dried Ancho chili peppers
  • 7-8 plum tomatoes (approx. 1.5 pounds)
  • 3 onions
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 8 cups stock
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  • Wipe off any dusty crevasses on the dried chilis.  De-stem and de-seed the chilis, but don't worry about getting rid of every last seed.  
  • Roast the chili pieces for 1-2 minutes in a 400F oven.  Add them to a bowl and cover them with hot tap water.  Let the chilis reconstitute for 20-30 minutes.  If they float to the surface you can use a small bowl or plate to keep them submerged.
  • Roast 7-8 plum tomatoes in a 400F oven for 20-30 minutes.
  • Roughly chop 3 onions and peel 8 garlic cloves.   Add a dollop of oil to a skillet on medium heat and saute the onions and whole garlic cloves until lightly browned. 
  • You'll probably have to combine the ingredients in two batches.  Add half of the tomatoes, chilis, onion mixture, and stock to a blender and combine well.  Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve and discard the leftover skin and seed remnants.  You might have to use the back of a spoon to push the sauce through the strainer.  
  • Add a dollop of oil to a saucepan on medium heat.  Add the enchilada sauce along with 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper.  Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until it has reduced down to a velvety consistency.  Take a final taste for seasoning. 
  • Let the sauce cool and then portion it into 2-cup portions (or larger if you want to, you'll have about 10-12 cups total).  I typically keep a portion in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.  Mason jars and Ziplocs are both good options for storing in the freezer. 
  • If you want to make a batch of chicken enchiladas, please see our Ancho Chicken Enchiladas post for details. 


Anchos will give you all the flavor you need in this enchilada sauce, but feel free to add in some Guajillo or New Mexican chilis. 
Take a taste of the chilis' soaking liquid.  If you like the flavor you can use some of the soaking liquid in your sauces.  If, like me, you think it tastes bitter then using stock to liquefy your sauces is a better option.
To roast the dried chilis I typically throw them in a 400F oven for 1-2 minutes for convenience.  Alternatively, you can flash roast them on a hot skillet for 15-30 seconds. 
To freeze the sauce, I find it easiest to freeze it in jars without the lid on.  Once frozen you can cap it, just be sure to leave a bit of headroom as it will expand as it freezes. 


Calories: 78kcal