Kitchen DIY: Homemade enchilada sauce

enchilada sauce

Lately, my mind has been drifting towards cool-weather comfort food. You know, those meals that you can settle in to and cozy up with in the evening. 


I’m ready for less running about, more family meals at the table, and that smell that you greets you at the door and permeates the house, when you know something delicious awaits you for dinner. Yes, I’m ready to eat hot soups and sip hot drinks. I’m ready to braise things again.


Enchiladas may seem like an odd place to start, but for me, it’s a perfect seasonal-transition meal. It’s warm, substantial, and very much a comfort food. I’m a big proponent of making homemade sauces since it takes just a little extra effort, and the results are almost always worth it.  


They taste so much fresher than store-bought jars, and I like having control over exactly what goes into them. This homemade enchilada sauce is no exception. It tastes delicious and comes together in a matter of minutes. 


This is a quick enchilada sauce, made from already ground spices, which works well for weeknight meals. It's perfect for those crisp, autumn nights. Be well, everyone.


The Recipe: Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

(makes 3 1/4 cup)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup diced onion

3 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 bay leaf

15 ounces organic tomato sauce (plain)

1 1/2 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 dried bay leaf

kosher salt, to taste


In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  


Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.  


Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Remove the bay leaf and blend ingredients together with an immersion or regular blender. 


Season with more kosher salt, if necessary.  


At this point, the sauce is ready to use.  


Refrigerate it to use later in the week, or freeze for another time. 




Laurie Jesch-Kulseth is a lifelong home cook who has always believed that eating healthy food is an important part of a balanced life. A wife and mother of two, she pours her heart into the meals she makes for her family. She photographs and writes about it all on her blog, Relishing It, where a version of this story first appeared.