I have to admit, I never ever liked enchilada sauce from a can. I’ve taken the time to make enchiladas from scratch, and then pouring on that canned sauce just seemed SO WRONG! Plus, some of that canned stuff has red dye in it, which some people just can’t put in their bodies, and frankly I don’t want to either.
What’s amazing about this recipe, is that you probably have all the ingredients to make enchilada sauce right on your pantry shelves. Tomato paste? Flour? Chili Powder? Salt? You could get away with just those things, but a little extra flair takes this over the top with cumin, oregano, onion, garlic, and cocoa powder.
I can hear you questioning me in the back of your mind. “Cocoa powder?” Cocoa powder adds a depth of flavor that is insanely good in this enchilada sauce. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of mole sauce. This is definitely NOT a mole, but the cocoa powder is a teeny homage to that. I hope you enjoy!
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Classic Enchilada Sauce Recipe
A perfectly spiced sauce made for enchiladas and Mexican pizzas.
- ¼ Cup Tomato Paste
- 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 2 Teaspoons Oregano
- 1½ Teaspoons Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Chile Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 3½ Cups Vegetable Stock / Water
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Onion diced
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic fresh, finely minced
- ¼ Cup Flour
- 1 Bay Leaf
Mix tomato paste and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, add cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, chile powder, and cocoa powder. Put a small pot over low heat, and add the stock or water, keeping it warm.
In a medium-sized pot add the olive oil, and place over medium heat. Add in the onions, and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add in garlic, and cook a minute more, until fragrant. Add in the spices, cook for a few seconds, and then add in the tomato paste mixture. After everything is thoroughly mixed up to this point, add in the flour and cook a minute more. Using a ladle, add the stock to the mixture, one spoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. A whisk helps remove any clumps as you go, and is my tool of choice here. After about 3 ladles of stock, you can add the rest of the liquid in all at once, continuing to whisk until you have a smooth sauce. Add the bay leaf, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Use immediately, or store in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.